Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: World journal of clinical cases


Focal epithelial hyperplasia (FEH), or Heck’s disease, is a rare disease of the oral mucosa; it is mostly found in children or young adults who are immunosuppressed and who live in regions with low socioeconomic status. It is characterized by asymptomatic papules on the oral mucosa, gingiva, tongue, and lips. Healing can be spontaneous, and treatment is indicated if there are aesthetic or functional complications. Human papillomavirus, especially genotypes 13 and 32, has been associated with FEH and is detected in the majority of lesions. Histopathologically, FEH is characterized by parakeratosis, epithelial hyperplasia, focal acanthosis, and fusion and horizontal outgrowth of epithelial ridges. A 37-year-old male patient was referred to the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences at the Sapienza University of Rome, complaining of numerous exophytic lesions in his mouth. He stated that the lesions were not painful but he had experienced occasional bleeding after incidental masticatory trauma. He had received no previous treatment for the oral lesions. His medical history revealed that he was human immuno-deficiency virus positive and was a smoker with numerous, asymptomatic oral papules clinically and histologically corresponding to FEH. The labial and buccal mucosa were especially affected by lesions. Surgical treatment was performed using a 532-nm potassium titanyl phosphate laser (SmartLite, Deka, Florence, Italy) in continuous mode with a 300 μm fiber and power of 1.4 W (power density 1980.22 W/cm(2)). After anesthesia without vasoconstrictors, the lesions were tractioned with sutures or an Allis clamp and then completely excised. The lesions were preserved in 10% formalin for histological examination, which confirmed the clinical diagnosis of FEH. In this case, the laser allowed excellent control of bleeding, without postoperative sutures, and optimal wound healing.

Concepts: Oral mucosa, Surgery, Mouth, Anatomical pathology, Histology, Rome, Sapienza University of Rome, Heck's disease


Defensive medicine is widespread and practiced the world over, with serious consequences for patients, doctors, and healthcare costs. Even students and residents are exposed to defensive medicine practices and taught to take malpractice liability into consideration when making clinical decisions. Defensive medicine is generally thought to stem from physicians' perception that they can easily be sued by patients or their relatives who seek compensation for presumed medical errors. However, in our view the growth of defensive medicine should be seen in the context of larger changes in the conception of medicine that have taken place in the last few decades, undermining the patient-physician trust, which has traditionally been the main source of professional satisfaction for physicians. These changes include the following: time directly spent with patients has been overtaken by time devoted to electronic health records and desk work; family doctors have played a progressively less central role; clinical reasoning is being replaced by guidelines and algorithms; the public at large and a number of young physicians tend to believe that medicine is a perfect science rather than an imperfect art, as it continues to be; and modern societies do not tolerate the inevitable morbidity and mortality. To finally reduce the increasing defensive behavior of doctors around the world, the decriminalization of medical errors and the assurance that they can be dealt with in civil courts or by medical organizations in all countries could help but it would not suffice. Physicians and surgeons should be allowed to spend the time they need with their patients and should give clinical reasoning the importance it deserves. The institutions should support the doctors who have experienced adverse patient events, and the media should stop reporting with excessive evidence presumed medical errors and subject physicians to “public trials” before they are eventually judged in court.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a highly contagious virus that can transmit through respiratory droplets, aerosols, or contacts. Frequent touching of contaminated surfaces in public areas is therefore a potential route of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. The inanimate surfaces have often been described as a source of nosocomial infections. However, summaries on the transmissibility of coronaviruses from contaminated surfaces to induce the coronavirus disease 2019 are rare at present. This review aims to summarize data on the persistence of different coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces. The literature was systematically searched on Medline without language restrictions. All reports with experimental evidence on the duration persistence of coronaviruses on any type of surface were included. Most viruses from the respiratory tract, such as coronaviruses, influenza, SARS-CoV, or rhinovirus, can persist on surfaces for a few days. Persistence time on inanimate surfaces varied from minutes to up to one month, depending on the environmental conditions. SARS-CoV-2 can be sustained in air in closed unventilated buses for at least 30 min without losing infectivity. The most common coronaviruses may well survive or persist on surfaces for up to one month. Viruses in respiratory or fecal specimens can maintain infectivity for quite a long time at room temperature. Absorbent materials like cotton are safer than unabsorbent materials for protection from virus infection. The risk of transmission via touching contaminated paper is low. Preventive strategies such as washing hands and wearing masks are critical to the control of coronavirus disease 2019.


Stress can be associated with many physiological changes resulting in significant decrements in human performance. Due to growing interests in alternative and complementary medicine by Westerners, many of the traditions and holistic yogic breathing practices today are being utilized as a measure for healthier lifestyles. These state-of-the-art practices can have a significant impact on common mental health conditions such as depression and generalized anxiety disorder. However, the potential of yogic breathing on optimizing human performance and overall well-being is not well known. Breathing techniques such as alternate nostril, Sudarshan Kriya and bhastrika utilizes rhythmic breathing to guide practitioners into a deep meditative state of relaxation and promote self-awareness. Furthermore, yogic breathing is physiologically stimulating and can be described as a natural “technological” solution to optimize human performance which can be categorized into: (1) cognitive function (i.e., mind, vigilance); and (2) physical performance (i.e., cardiorespiratory, metabolism, exercise, whole body). Based on previous studies, we postulate that daily practice of breathing meditation techniques play a significant role in preserving the compensatory mechanisms available to sustain physiological function. This preservation of physiological function may help to offset the time associated with reaching a threshold for clinical expression of chronic state (i.e., hypertension, depression, dementia) or acute state (i.e., massive hemorrhage, panic attic) of medical conditions. However, additional rigorous biomedical research is needed to evaluate the physiological mechanisms of various forms of meditation (i.e., breath-based, mantra, mindfulness) on human performance. These efforts will help to define how compensatory reserve mechanisms of cardiovascular and immune systems are modulated by breath-based meditation. While it has been suggested that breath-based meditation is easier for beginning practitioners when compared to other forms of meditation more research is needed to elucidate these observations. A breath-based meditation sequence such as Sudarshan Kriya has the potential to help develop an individual’s self-awareness and support better integration of the brain (i.e., mind) with other organ systems (i.e., body) for enhanced human performance.

Concepts: Psychology, Cognition, Mind, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Generalized anxiety disorder, Meditation, Yoga, Sudarshan Kriya


Gluten is one of the most abundant and widely distributed components of food in many areas. It can be included in wheat, barley, rye, and grains such as oats, barley, spelt, kamut, and triticale. Gluten-containing grains are widely consumed; in particular, wheat is one of the world’s primary sources of food, providing up to 50% of the caloric intake in both industrialized and developing countries. Until two decades ago, celiac disease (CD) and other gluten-related disorders were believed to be exceedingly rare outside of Europe and were relatively ignored by health professionals and the global media. In recent years, however, the discovery of important diagnostic and pathogenic milestones led CD from obscurity to global prominence. In addition, interestingly, people feeding themselves with gluten-free products greatly outnumber patients affected by CD, fuelling a global consumption of gluten-free foods with approximately $2.5 billion in United States sales each year. The acknowledgment of other medical conditions related to gluten that has arisen as health problems, providing a wide spectrum of gluten-related disorders. In February 2011, a new nomenclature for gluten-related disorders was created at a consensus conference in London. In this review, we analyse innovations in the field of research that emerged after the creation of the new classification, with particular attention to the new European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition guidelines for CD and the most recent research about non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Concepts: Medicine, Wheat, Poaceae, Cereal, Coeliac disease, Gluten, Gluten-free diet, Wheat allergy


The current corona virus disease 2019 outbreak caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 started in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and has put the world on alert. To safeguard Chinese citizens and to strengthen global health security, China has made great efforts to control the epidemic. Many in the global community have joined China to limit the epidemic. However, discrimination and prejudice driven by fear or misinformation have been flowing globally, superseding evidence and jeopardizing the anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 efforts. We analyze this phenomenon and its underlying causes and suggest practical solutions.


Vampiristic behaviors are rarely seen clinically and less than 100 cases have been reported in the world literature to date. A distinction is usually made as to whether the patient drinks their own blood or the blood of others. We describe a 38-year-old patient who had vampiristic thoughts and fantasies that began in adolescence, but did not act on these thoughts until after she suffered a traumatic brain injury with a three-week loss of consciousness while serving in the military. Brain imaging showed focal damage to her bilateral frontal lobes. Psychological testing demonstrated impairment of executive function. We review the proposed diagnostic criteria for vampirism and discuss how behavioral disinhibition may have affected the emergence into behavior of her previously inhibited vampiristic thoughts.

Concepts: Psychology, Brain, Traumatic brain injury, Mind, Frontal lobe, Behavior, Human behavior, Behaviorism


Hypogonadism is prevalent in older men and testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) for older hypogonadal men is a promising therapy. However, a number of important clinical concerns over TRT safety remain unsolved due to a lack of large-scale randomized clinical trials directly comparing the health risks of untreated hypogonadism vs long-term use of TRT. Meta-analyses of clinical trials of TRT as of 2010 have identified three major adverse events resulting from TRT: polycythemia, an increase in prostate-related events, and a slight reduction in serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. There are other purported health risks but their incidence can be neither confirmed nor denied based on the small number of subjects that have been studied to date. Furthermore, subsequent literature is equivocal with regard to the safety and utility of TRT and this topic has been subject to contentious debate. Since January 2014, the United States Food and Drug Administration has released two official announcements regarding the safety of TRT and clinical monitoring the risks in TRT users. Additionally, the health risks related to the clinical presentation of low or declining testosterone levels not been resolved in the current literature. Because TRT is prescribed in the context of putative risks resulting from reduced testosterone levels, we reviewed the epidemiology and reported risks of low testosterone levels. We also highlight the current information about TRT utilization, the risks most often claimed to be associated with TRT, and current or emerging alternatives to TRT.

Concepts: Cholesterol, Osteoporosis, Epidemiology, Clinical trial, Testosterone, Pharmaceutical industry, Clinical research, Hypogonadism


Alopecia areata is a hair loss disease associated with genetics, autoimmunity, and other factors. There is an intriguing link between alopecia areata and gut dysbiosis. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has been recommended to treat Clostridium difficile (previously known as Clostridioides difficile) infection, and has also shown potentials in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and non-alcohol fatty liver disease.


The manuscript describes the efficacy of a new skin closure system (ZipLine™) for wound closure after pacemaker/implantable cardioverter defibrillator surgery. The system is particularly useful when wound healing is difficult with traditional methods and in patients at high risk for surgical site infections (SSIs). This skin closure option is easy and quick to apply and remove, and produces excellent cosmetic results. Although it is associated with a minimal expense upcharge, the benefits, including the potential for decrease in SSI, make it attractive and worth considering for skin closure in device patients, particularly those at increased risk of complications.

Concepts: Scar, Wound healing, Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, Wound, Chronic wound