ISSN Print 2500–1094    ISSN Online 2542–1204
Bulletin of RSMU
BIOMEDICAL JOURNAL OF PIROGOV UNIVERSITY (MOSCOW, RUSSIA)

New articles

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is an alternative treatment option for patients with drug-resistant trigeminal neuralgia (TN). However, the effect of rTMS is variable. The aim of this study was to find neuroimaging biomarkers of clinical efficacy of navigated rTMS. Seventeen patients with TN (14 women and 3 men, median age 56 years) received 10 sessions of high-frequency rTMS of the motor cortex contralateral to pain side. The data were analyzed for correlations between functional connectivity (FC), the grey matter (GM) volume and the reduction in pain intensity. Positive correlations were established between the reduction in average pain intensity and GM volume in caudate nuclei in both hemispheres (p(unc) = 0.03), both cerebellar hemispheres (p(unc) = 0.002) and the postcentral gyrus contralateral to pain side (p(unc) = 0.005); between the reduction in peak pain intensity and GM volume in the caudate nucleus contralateral to pain side (p(unc) = 0.04) and the cerebellar hemisphere ipsilateral to pain (p(unc) = 0.03). Significant positive correlations were discovered between the reduction in average pain intensity and FC between the thalamus contralateral to pain side, the postcentral gyrus and the insular operculum (both ipsilateral to pain side; (p(FWE) = 0.018), as well as between the cingulate cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex ipsilateral to pain (p(FWE) = 0.017), between the contralateral subcallosal gyrus and the cerebellar hemisphere ipsilateral to pain (p(FWE) = 0.018). A negative correlation was established for FC between the contralateral putamen and the occipital lobes in both hemispheres (p(FWE) = 0.001). Our findings may spur the development of individual predictors of rTMS efficacy in patients with chronic pain.
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Pathogenetic progression mechanisms in the SARS-CoV-2–essential hypertension (EAH) system are more complex than interaction at the level of angiotensinconverting enzyme 2 (ACE2). The study was aimed to assess the dynamic changes of the IL1 members (IL1β, IL1α, IL1ra, IL18, IL18BP, IL37) blood levels in patients with EAH 10, 30, and 180 days after having COVID-19 in order to define cytokine-mediated mechanisms of EAH progression during the period following infection. The study involved four groups of patients: with a history of EAH and COVID-19 (pneumonia/no pneumonia), with a history of COVID-19 (pneumonia/no pneumonia) and no EAH. Cytokine levels were determined by enzyme immunoassay. The study results demonstrate the prolonged proinflammatory immune response during the period following infection in patients with EAH (retaining higher levels of IL1β, IL1α, and IL18 on days 10, 30, and 180 after recovery (р < 0.001) compared to levels measured prior to SARS-CoV-2 infection). In the group with no EAH, the balance of assayed cytokines was restored on day 30 of follow-up. The two-fold increase of blood IL18 levels in patients, having a history of EAH and COVID-19 and showing no increase in the IL18ВР levels after 30 days of follow up compared to the values measured prior to infection, is associated with cardiovascular complications occurring during the first six months of follow-up. This makes it possible to hypothesize the importance of these immunoregulatory peptides for the pathogenesis of complications and enhances the relevance of further scientific research.
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The double burden of the novel coronavirus infection and tuberculosis (TB) is a global challenge. The aspects of emergency surgical care for patients with COVID-19 and TB coinfection remain understudied. The aim of this study was to assess treatment outcomes in acute surgical patients with COVID-19 and preexisting TB coinfection. In 2020, our Center delivered surgical care to 465 patients with COVID-19 and preexisting TB; a total of 64 emergency surgeries were performed on 36 (5.6%) patients, of whom 16 had HIV. Thirteen patients (36.1%) were diagnosed with pulmonary TB; 23 patients (63.9%) had disseminated TB. Chest CT scans showed >25% lung involvement in 61.9% of the patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, 25–50% lung involvement in 30.6% of the patients, and 50–75% lung involvement in 5.6% of the patients. By performing abdominal CT, we were able to detect abdominal TB complications, including perforated tuberculous ulcers of the intestine, intestinal obstruction and tuberculous peritonitis, as well as tuberculous spondylitis complicated by psoas abscess. Of all surgical interventions, 28.2% were abdominal, 23.2% were thoracic, 15.6% were surgeries for soft tissue infection, and 32.8% were other types of surgery. Postoperative mortality was 22.2%. We conclude that COVID-19 did not contribute significantly to postoperative mortality among acute surgical patients with TB.
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Popular articles

The lack of information about the frequency of pharmacogenetic markers in Russia impedes the adoption of personalized treatment algorithms originally developed for West European populations. The aim of this paper was to study the distribution of some clinically significant pharmacogenetic markers across Russia. A total of 45 pharmacogenetic markers were selected from a few population genetic datasets, including ADME, drug target and hemostasis-controlling genes. The total number of donors genotyped for these markers was 2,197. The frequencies of these markers were determined for 50 different populations, comprised of 137 ethnic and subethnic groups. A comprehensive pharmacogenetic atlas was created, i.e. a systematic collection of gene geographic maps of frequency variation for 45 pharmacogenetic DNA markers in Russia and its neighbor states. The maps revealed 3 patterns of geographic variation. Clinal variation (a gradient change in frequency along the East-West axis) is observed in the pharmacogenetic markers that follow the main pattern of variation for North Eurasia (13% of the maps). Uniform distribution singles out a group of markers that occur at average frequency in most Russian regions (27% of the maps). Focal variation is observed in the markers that are specific to a certain group of populations and are absent in other regions (60% of the maps). The atlas reveals that the average frequency of the marker and its frequency in individual populations do not indicate the type of its distribution in Russia: a gene geographic map is needed to uncover the pattern of its variation.
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At the current stage of development of urology, selection of the surgical method for cases of severe obstructive diseases of the upper urinary system remains a challenge. This study aimed to explore the results of application of a buccal graft (BG) to remedy extended recurrent strictures and obliterations of the distal ureter. Seven patients with the mentioned diseases had undergone surgery: for six of them, the method of choice was complete BG ureteroplasty, one had onlay ureteroplasty. One intervention was laparoscopic, the remaining surgeries were open. The length of the replaced ureteral defect was 5–8 cm. In five cases, the flap was additionally vascularized with the iliac muscle, in one we used omentum tissue, in another — both the iliac muscle and the omentum. There were no fatalities registered, nor severe complications as per the Clavien–Dindo classification. The patients were followed-up for 4–18 months; as of today, no recurrence cases were identified. Control examinations showed complete patency of the neoureter and good vascularization of the BG. Thus, this method can be an option in cases disallowing distal ureter restoration with tissues of the patient's own urinary tract or segments of the gastrointestinal tract.
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Dear researcher!
At the end of 2015, Bulletin of RSMU saw an important change in its typographic design and content. We formulated new editorial policies and established strict ethical standards for submitted manuscripts in accordance with the guidelines of reputable international bodies. As a result, about a quarter of the submitted works have been rejected, the primary reason being the author trying to submit a previously published article. Sometimes authors believe that by making slight changes to the introduction, excluding a few people from the study, performing a new statistical analysis, and thus obtaining totally new results they will turn their old manuscript into a novel work. That is why we would like to talk about scientific integrity, honesty, plagiarism, and self-plagiarism in our special project “Author’s work”.
Richard FEYNMAN Cargo cult science
American physicist Richard P. Feynman, a Nobel laureate, was always very scrupulous about the quality of a research study. During his commencement address at the California Institute of Technology in 1974, he talked about scientific integrity and honesty and warned young researchers “not to fool” themselves. A must-read for anyone who believes he/she is a true scientist.
Ivan PAVLOV On the Russian mind
In 1918, Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov, a Nobel laureate, delivered two lectures: on the mind in general and the Russian mind in particular; on those mind qualities that determine the success of a research work and on how these qualities are present in the Russian mind. Pavlov's thoughts are an effective vaccine against poor intellectual work.