2 These findings are not characteristic of mice genetically null

2 These findings are not characteristic of mice genetically null for Mrp4 or Mrp312, 13, 20 and highlight the importance of ileal Ostα-Ostβ as a regulator of normal bile acid homeostasis. As might be expected with such a small bile acid pool, LY2157299 the Ostα−/− mice show less accumulation of hepatic bile acids after BDL, especially of polyhydroxylated forms. However, because obstructive cholestasis in these animals prevents bile acids from entering the intestine, there is a loss of signaling from Fgf15 and a lowering of the elevated liver levels of Shp

and FgfR4 mRNA that otherwise occur in wild-type BDL mice. Thus, Cyp7a1 and Bsep are up-regulated and the bile acid pool is increased. Fxr, Car, and Pxr are all key nuclear receptors

that participate in the adaptive response to cholestatic injury.21, 22 Car and Pxr play important roles in bile acid–detoxifying enzymes in mice and in the regulation of Mrp4 and Sult2a1.23–25 However, unlike Fxr or Pxr, we find that sham-operated and BDL Ostα-deficient mice have a significant increase in Car mRNA compared to the wild-type controls, suggesting that this nuclear receptor may play a more important regulatory role in detoxification in these mice. Our data are consistent with Car-induced Phase I (Cyp3a11, Cyp2b10) and Phase II (Sult2a1, Ugt1a1) detoxification enzymes.24, 25 Furthermore, they support the Palbociclib mw concept that this nuclear receptor can induce expression of the Phase III transporters Mrp3 and Mrp4, and provide alternative pathways for bile acid export from the liver.24 Another particularly

novel finding in this study is that in the absence of Ostα, obstructive cholestasis leads to a further increase in urinary excretion of bile acids than otherwise occurs in cholestasis. This has also been shown in mice treated with Car agonists and subjected to 24-hour BDL.24 We show that adaptive regulation of key membrane transporters in the kidney could be responsible for this change. First, in the absence Baricitinib of Ostα-Ostβ in the proximal tubule, Ostα-deficient mice cannot reabsorb the increase in urinary filtration of bile acids that occurs after BDL. Second, the renal apical uptake transporter Asbt is further decreased, and the renal apical export transporters Mrp2 and Mrp4 are both increased. Thus, bile acids are blocked from being transported back to the systemic circulation, and the limited amount that are taken up into the proximal tubule are effectively exported back out the apical membrane into the urine. This conclusion is also supported by the finding of increased urinary excretion of the Ostα-Ostβ substrates [3H]estrone 3-sulfate and [3H]dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate when administered to Ostα−/− mice.1 In summary, liver injury is attenuated in Ostα−/− mice following BDL.

[13-20] Conveniently, some authors have asserted that anti-VEGF h

[13-20] Conveniently, some authors have asserted that anti-VEGF had a protective effect based on the result that VEGF is one of the causative cytokines for SOS.[24, 49] On the other hand, another report has asserted that the inhibition of VEGF receptors had an adverse effect on liver regeneration in the murine experimental model. Clinically, Aussilhou et al. demonstrated that bevacizumab impaired hypertrophy of the future remnant liver after portal

vein embolization, particularly in patients who received six cycles or more of bevacizumab treatment, and warned that major liver resection should be considered with caution in patients who have received bevacizumab.[50] Most recently, encouraging data has been published HM781-36B purchase based on hepatic volumetric analysis of bevacizumab-treated patients who underwent hepatectomy.[51] This study included 41 patients who underwent major hepatectomy (≥3 segments) with more than four cycles of neoadjuvant chemotherapy including less than 3 months of bevacizumab treatment and compared the matched 41 patients administrated the equivalent systemic chemotherapy without bevacizumab. In preoperative characteristics, patients with bevacizumab received a median of six cycles of chemotherapy that was discontinued for a median of 52 days before hepatic resection (median

cessation interval of bevacizumab, 65 days). As a result, postoperative liver regeneration was not influenced by the type of hepatic resection, the number find more of courses of chemotherapy (≥6 cycles or ≥10 cycles) or age factor Metalloexopeptidase (>65 years old), and no intergroup differences in overall morbidity or postoperative liver failure were observed. Our experimental study with rats also revealed that preoperative bevacizumab (7 days before hepatectomy) administration significantly

increased liver regeneration, and induced heat shock protein 70 mRNA, which had protective effects for organ injury, just before hepatectomy (Fig. 2). Actually, several reports are beginning to emerge on the safety and efficacy of bevacizumab in patients treated with preoperative chemotherapy and surgical treatment (Table 4).[30, 35, 37, 52-57] Most investigators have indicated that bevacizumab reduced the severity of SOS as well as decreased the incidence of SOS induced by preoperative chemotherapy, and did not increase the risk of morbidity and mortality. Ribero et al. first reported the protective effect of bevacizumab for grade 2–3 SOS in patients receiving bevacizumab preoperatively in patients receiving chemotherapy with 5-FU and L-OHP.[30] Kesmodel et al. also reported a surgical series analyzing the safety of preoperative chemotherapy including bevacizumab.

With the exception of the seven formulas included in the retrospe

With the exception of the seven formulas included in the retrospective study, FODMAPs Galunisertib have only been identified and quantified in food. The low FODMAP diet for use as management of IBS is now supported by good knowledge in food composition. FODMAP analysis of a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and grains has been completed,[19, 26, 27] and with the ever-expanding database of FODMAP composition, packaged foodstuff containing ingredients of known FODMAP content is seemingly well predicted by ingredients lists. The application of the same assays for measurement of FODMAPs in food to enteral formula

yielded a FODMAP content of the seven formulas included in the retrospective study from 10.6 to 36.5 g per recommended daily volume,[25] most commonly from oligosaccharides. All of these formulas represent a higher FODMAP content than that seen in a daily dietary oligosaccharide intake.[22] Whether those assays are prone to artifactual influence is currently

under evaluation, Autophagy activator including the application of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) techniques and competitive assays. Considering the suggested link between EN-associated diarrhea and FODMAP intake, the FODMAP content of all enteral formulas may be beneficial in predicting diarrhea development. The ingredients commonly found in enteral formulas are rarely found in food supply, so prediction of FODMAP content of enteral formulas via the ingredients 2-hydroxyphytanoyl-CoA lyase lists may not be as accurate. Comparison of estimated FODMAP content based on ingredients lists to actual measured FODMAP content will indicate whether ingredients lists may be used in the same way as food supply in predicting FODMAP content. It is thought that any enteral formula containing one or more ingredient of known high FODMAP content—inulin, FOS, GOS, fructose, and milk solids/powder

(lactose-containing)—represents a high FODMAP formula. An inaccuracy behind this assumption is that ingredients are seldom quantified. Thus, the influence of these ingredients within an enteral formula may be inaccurate. Additionally, inulin is never described in relation to degree of polymerization (i.e. the number of fructose units per molecule) and is most often referred to as fiber rather than FODMAP. While both terms are acceptable descriptions, effects of inulin of differing chain lengths is likely to also have an influence in the accuracy of FODMAP content and may also overestimate FODMAP content. Inulin of a greater degree of polymerization may have a physiological effect characteristic of a fiber, which is not as rapidly fermented as FODMAPs and has less of an osmotic effect. These symptom-inducing properties are related to the shorter chain length of FODMAPs. Furthermore, our knowledge of the FODMAP content of specific ingredients found in enteral formula is poor, with potential to underestimate FODMAP content. Ingredients lists remain inaccurate predictors of FODMAP content in enteral formulas.

The PBMCs were diluted to 1 × 106 cells/mL in RPMI (Roswell Park

The PBMCs were diluted to 1 × 106 cells/mL in RPMI (Roswell Park Memorial Institute-1640) supplemented with 10% FBS and incubated for 24 h in 5% CO2 at 37°C, then cultured for 18 h in the presence or absence of recombinant IFN-α2a at 1000 IU/mL (Roferon-A, Roche, Basel, Switzerland). Supernatants were harvested and stored at −20°C until analysis. Levels of G-CSF and CXCL-10 were measured in the cell culture supernatants

by this website enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) as directed by the manufacturer (DuoSet, R&D Systems, Minneapolis, MN, USA). The limit of detection of both assays was 32 pg/mL. Human PBMCs were obtained from the buffy coat preparations of healthy blood donors (National Blood Centre, Dublin, Ireland) by density gradient centrifugation. Monocytes (> 97–99% CD14+) were purified by CD14+ immunomagnetic-positive selection (Miltenyi Biotec, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany). PBMCs,

CP-868596 chemical structure CD14+ monocytes or CD14- cells were cultured at 1 × 106 cells/mL in RPMI supplemented with 10% FBS for 18 h stimulated with 1 µg/mL CL097 (a TLR7/8 agonist, Invivogen, San Diego, CA, USA) in the presence or absence of 1000 i.u./mL recombinant IFN-α2a (Roferon A). Previous reports have shown that CL097 could activate TLR7 mediated NFκB at concentrations of 0.1 µg/mL and TLR8 mediated NFκB at concentrations of 1 µg/mL.16 Supernatants were harvested and stored at −20°C until analysis. Levels of G-CSF and CXCL10 were determined in the supernatant by ELISA (R&D Systems). Statistical analysis

was carried out using GraphPad Prism version 5.02 for Windows (GraphPad Software, San Diego, CA, USA). Differences between G-CSF and CXCL10 secretion under multiple culture conditions were evaluated using anova with the Newman–Keuls post-hoc test. The Wilcoxon matched-pairs test was used for comparisons within patients between individual time points during IFN-α therapy. Differences between different patient groups were calculated Dimethyl sulfoxide using the Mann–Whitney U-test. Correlations were calculated using the Spearman rank order correlation. A P-value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Details of patients and controls are shown in Table 1. Fifty five patients and 16 healthy controls participated in total. In two patients, treatment was discontinued early during the course of IFN-α therapy because of side-effects, and their results were completely excluded. Thirty eight patients achieved sustained virologic response (SVR), while 15 did not respond to treatment (NR). The single pre-treatment predictor of response was non-1 viral genotype (Table 1). When PBMCs were thawed and viability determined, only 43 patients had sufficient viable cells in their pre-treatment samples. In vitro secretion of G-CSF by PBMCs obtained from patients prior to their commencement on anti-viral therapy did not predict the subsequent requirement for therapeutic G-CSF to treat IFN-α induced neutropenia (Fig.

9 years; range 20 0–78 4 years): 38 patients with OGIB and 38 wit

9 years; range 20.0–78.4 years): 38 patients with OGIB and 38 with suspected

or known CD. Seventeen patients did not undergo capsule endoscopy because of high-grade stenosis. Ninety-five percent (344/363) of the questionnaires were suitable for evaluation. Capsule endoscopy was significantly favored over magnetic resonance enteroclysis and balloon-assisted enteroscopy with respect to bowel preparation, swallowing of the capsule (compared to insertion of the tube/scope), burden of the entire examination, duration and accordance with the pre-study information. Capsule endoscopy and magnetic resonance enteroclysis were significantly preferred over balloon-assisted enteroscopy for clarity of explanation of the examination, and magnetic resonance enteroclysis was significantly preferred over balloon-assisted enteroscopy for bowel preparation, painfulness and burden of the entire examination. Balloon-assisted enteroscopy www.selleckchem.com/products/ABT-737.html was significantly favored over magnetic resonance enteroclysis for insertion of the scope and procedure duration. Pre- and post-study the order of preference was capsule endoscopy, magnetic resonance enteroclysis and balloon-assisted enteroscopy. Conclusion:  Capsule endoscopy was preferred to magnetic resonance enteroclysis and balloon-assisted enteroscopy; buy CX-5461 it also had the lowest burden. Magnetic resonance enteroclysis was preferred over balloon-assisted enteroscopy for

clarity of explanation of the examination, bowel preparation, painfulness and burden of the entire examination, and balloon-assisted enteroscopy over magnetic resonance enteroclysis for scope insertion and study duration. “
“Recently, much progress has been made in the field of hepatitis B, such as natural history of the disease in relation to the amount of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA, genotypes of HBV influencing

the natural course and treatment effects, mutations of HBV influencing the severity of the disease and development of hepatocellular carcinoma, and antiviral treatment such as nucleos(t)ide analogues and pegylated interferon. To make the consensus for the diagnosis, Phospholipase D1 management and treatment of hepatitis B, a meeting was held during 45th annual meeting of Japan Society of Hepatology (JSH) in June 2009. In the meeting, recommendations and informative statements were discussed on the following subjects: (i) natural history of HBV infection; (ii) clinical implication of HBV genotypes; (iii) HBV mutations and their potential impact on pathogenesis of HBV infection; (iv) indications for antiviral treatment of chronic hepatitis B; (v) nucleos(t)ide analogues for chronic hepatitis B; and (vi) interferon therapy for chronic hepatitis B. The presenters reviewed the data on these subjects and proposed the consensus statements and recommendations. These statements were discussed among the organizers and presenters, and were approved by the participants of the meeting.

This suggests that bowheads have a sense of smell, and we specula

This suggests that bowheads have a sense of smell, and we speculate that they may use this to find aggregations of krill on which they feed. “
“Aerial photographs were analyzed to investigate the feeding habits of the Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort (BCB) population of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus), particularly

epibenthic feeding near Barrow, Alaska. Evidence of epibenthic feeding was based on mud visible on the dorsal surface of whales, resulting from feeding near the seafloor. Other cues used to assess feeding were an open mouth or the presence of feces in photographs. Over 3,600 photographs were analyzed including photos from surveys in spring learn more and late summer and in both the western and eastern Beaufort Sea. Of all the photographs analyzed, 64% were scored as definitively muddy. In spring, ratios ranged from a low of 27% in 2003 to a high of 76% in 2004. When all May sample sets off Barrow were combined (1985, 1986, 2003, 2004), there was a significant difference (t-test, P < 0.004) between the proportion of muddy juveniles to the proportion of muddy adults, with muddy adults being more common. The Barrow area was a commonly used feeding ground during migrations in both the spring (61% of the sample were feeding; 55% epibenthically) see more and autumn (99% of the sample; 97% epibenthically). Bowheads both migrate and feed through areas where petroleum extraction is underway and anticipated; hence, exposure

to oil after a spill is of considerable concern to Native communities and management agencies. “
“Domoic acid (DA) is a neuroexcitatory toxin increasingly MycoClean Mycoplasma Removal Kit causing strandings and mortality of marine mammals. The hippocampus of mammalian brains, associated with learning, memory, and spatial navigation, is one of the predominant regions affected by DA exposure. California sea lions stranding from 2003 to 2006 as a result of DA toxicosis were classified as having acute (n= 12) or chronic neurologic (n= 22) clinical signs. Chronic neurologic cases were examined by magnetic resonance imaging to determine the extent of brain damage related to DA exposure. Brain damage included hippocampal and parahippocampal

atrophy, temporal horn enlargement, and pathological T2 hyperintensity. Posttreatment, animals were fitted with satellite transmitters and their movement and dive behaviors compared with those of a control group. The only significant difference between acute and chronic animals was distance traveled per day. There were, however, significant differences between chronic neurologic cases and controls: chronic neurologic cases dove shallower for shorter durations, traveled further from shore, and spent less time hauled out and more time surface swimming than control animals. There was no relationship between severity of brain damage and behavioral patterns for chronic neurologic cases. Sea lions with chronic neurologic changes had a poor prognosis for survival following release.

[83-85] IFNβ is a natural non-pegylated agent that is administere

[83-85] IFNβ is a natural non-pegylated agent that is administered three or more times per week either by intravenous injection or infusion. IFNβ binds to the same type I IFN receptors as IFNα and exhibits the same antiviral effect, but with a different adverse reaction profile. It is recommended for patients affected by depression who are considered unsuitable for IFNα. In a meta-analysis (n = 837) of randomized clinical controlled trials conducted overseas in 1993, the

IFN therapy group had an HBeAg negative conversion rate of 33% and an HBV DNA negative conversion rate of 37%. The corresponding rates for the untreated group were 12% and 17% respectively. These findings demonstrate the benefit of IFN therapy.[86] see more Negative conversion for HBsAg was also higher at 7.8% for the IFN group compared to 1.8% for the untreated group. Sustained ongoing HBeAg seroconversion was observed in almost 90% of https://www.selleckchem.com/products/azd2014.html cases, as well as delayed seroconversion (occurring one or two years after the conclusion of therapy) in 10%–15% of cases.[87-89] Thus, in cases where IFN therapy in HBeAg positive patients successfully bring about HBeAg seroconversion, there is an ongoing effect that acts to hinder progression to cirrhosis and HCC, and the prognosis is therefore much improved.[90] Reports from Asia however suggest that the effect is not sustained

in the long term, with negative conversion of HBsAg being relatively rare.[87, 90] This may be attributable to host-specific factors such as race as well as genotype, infection period, and route of infection. Collation of 24 studies of therapeutic outcomes in HBeAg positive patients with chronic hepatitis B in Japan[91] yielded HBeAg negative conversion rates of 29% after one year of IFN therapy and 55% after two years, and HBeAg seroconversion rates of 12% after one year and 29% after two years. These figures are higher than the corresponding natural conversion rates of 10% and 5% respectively, indicating the efficacy of IFN therapy. However, there have

also been reports of cases that revert to HBeAg positive status after completion of treatment, and hepatitis fails to subside. It should be noted that at the time these studies were conducted, most IFN Leukocyte receptor tyrosine kinase therapy regimens in Japan lasted only four weeks. With a longer IFN treatment regimen, the HBeAg negative conversion rate six months after the completion of the therapy is considerably higher at 29%.[91] Japanese national medical insurance does not cover conventional IFN therapeutic agents for the treatment of HBeAg negative chronic hepatitis B. Overseas studies, mainly from Europe, report impressive biochemical and virological therapeutic benefit rates of 60%–90% in HBeAg negative patients following IFN therapy.

Conclusions — Problematic headache is highly prevalent among pati

Conclusions.— Problematic headache is highly prevalent among patients with HIV/AIDS, most of which conform to the semiology of chronic migraine, although with some atypical features such as bilateral location and pressing/tightening quality. A low frequency of identifiable secondary causes is likely attributable to reduced frequency of opportunistic infections in the current era of HAART. Disease severity is strongly predictive of headache, highlighting

the importance of physician attention to headache symptoms and of patient adherence to treatment. (Headache 2012;52:455-466) “
“(Headache 2011;51;S2:93-100) XL765 Chronic migraine (CM) is a complex disorder requiring a multifaceted management approach encompassing lifestyle modification, trigger avoidance, behavioral therapy, pharmacotherapy, patient education and support, management of expectations, and close follow-up. The lack of pharmacotherapies approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hinders CM prophylaxis and management. Topiramate, gabapentin, tizanidine, fluoxetine,

amitriptyline, and onabotulinumtoxinA have been evaluated for prophylactic treatment of CM in randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled or active comparator-controlled trials. Additional well-designed, placebo-controlled studies are needed to assess the effectiveness of new and existing treatment options for CM. Understanding current clinical trial design and management guidelines is

critical Sitaxentan to designing future trials that overcome the challenge of consistent find more use of sensitive and clinically meaningful outcome measures. Topiramate is approved for episodic migraine management and has been studied for CM management. A growing body of evidence has shown it to be safe, effective, and well-tolerated in specific patient populations. However, intolerable adverse effects and inadequate efficacy associated with topiramate may lead to poor adherence. The efficacy, safety, and tolerability of onabotulinumtoxinA have been demonstrated in studies in various migraine patient populations, leading to recent FDA approval of onabotulinumtoxinA for the prophylactic treatment of CM in adults. These studies included patients with or without medication overuse, which may affect 30% to 80% of CM patients in the USA. In this program, we will analyze and discuss recent clinical trials investigating topiramate and onabotulinumtoxinA for CM. “
“The term New Daily Persistent Headache (NDPH) has been used for nearly 25 years and yet the entity remains enigmatic. It can be argued the simplest, indeed most appropriate, approach is to use the term to mean simply what it says- i.e. as an umbrella description, rather like chronic daily headache. NDPH should be used as a diagnostic umbrella inviting better characterization, not be an achievement in itself.

Koji Umeshita, Hiroyuki Furukawa, Shinji Uemoto “

Koji Umeshita, Hiroyuki Furukawa, Shinji Uemoto. “
“Background and Aim:  Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection is endemic in several developing countries. Clinical manifestations of this infection vary widely

from asymptomatic infection to uncomplicated acute viral hepatitis and fulminant hepatic failure. The pathogenesis of this disease and the reason of varying disease severity remain unknown. In viral infections, tissue injury can be caused either by virus itself or by host immune responses directed against infected cells. We therefore studied adaptive immune responses to HEV antigens in patients with hepatitis E of varying disease severity and healthy controls. Methods:  Cytokine secreting CD4+ T cells and antibody-producing B cells specific for HEV were enumerated through intracellular cytokine selleck chemicals llc staining and enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay, respectively. Results:  Patients with fulminant hepatitis E had a less marked expansion of HEV-specific interferon-γ or tumor necrosis factor-α secreting CD4+ T cells than patients with uncomplicated hepatitis

Midostaurin E and healthy controls. These patients also had fewer CD4+ T cells that produce γ-interferon or tumor necrosis factor-α upon in vitro polyclonal stimulation. In addition, patients with fulminant disease had a more marked expansion of B cells that can secrete immunoglobulin G anti-HEV than patients with uncomplicated infection and control patients. Conclusion:  These findings suggest that less-marked antiviral cellular immune responses and heightened antiviral humoral responses are associated with a more severe disease during HEV infection. “
“Despite proven clinical benefit, there are no studies that have examined the relationship between pancreatic stent caliber and its impact on PEP [post-endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP) pancreatitis] in high-risk patients. To study the relationship between stent caliber and PEP rates in patients with confirmed sphincter of Oddi dysfunction (SOD). A retrospective review was

conducted of ERCP’s in patients with SOD from 2002 to 2012 Y-27632 2HCl from a prospectively maintained, Institutional Review Board approved database. A total of 243/7659 (3.2%) patients underwent 3Fr or 5Fr pancreatic stent placement following sphincterotomy for manometry-proven SOD. Of these, 133 (54.7%) underwent 3Fr stent placement, while 110 (45.3%) underwent 5Fr stent placement. There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of baseline characteristics, demographics, and previous cholecystectomy. Cannulation and stent placement success rates were 100% in both groups. There was no significant difference in rates of PEP and overall complications, 12% versus 12.7%; P = 0.89 and 13.5% versus 15.5%; P = 0.

Additionally, we

investigated reasons for noninclusion an

Additionally, we

investigated reasons for noninclusion and nontreatment RO4929097 datasheet of patients referred to our tertiary referral center. A0-A3, necroinflammatory activity score; AFP, alpha-fetoprotein; ALT, alanine aminotransferase; AST, aspartate aminotransferase; BMI, body mass index; CHC, chronic hepatitis C; CI, confidence interval; DAA, direct-acting antiviral agent; F0-F4, fibrosis stage score; γ-GT, gamma glutamyle transferase; GT, genotype; HCV, hepatitis C virus; ITT, intent to treat; IL, interleukin; IVDA, intravenous drug abuse; peg-IFN, pegylated interferon; RBV, ribavirin; SCR, screening; SD, standard deviation; SOC, standard of care; SVR, sustained virologic response; TPP, treated per protocol; WBC, white blood cell count. Medical records of all 503

treatment-naïve patients with CHC, GT-1, referred to our center from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2009 were reviewed retrospectively. At referral, patients had a blood test, including HCV GT and viral load, and received an appointment to see a hepatologist. Twenty-two patients had contraindications for peg-IFN/RBV-based therapy; the remaining 481 were evaluated for the feasibility for antiviral therapy. All patients were informed selleck chemicals about the option to participate in

ongoing studies (DAAs [n = 101]: telaprevir, danoprevir, TMC435, BI201355, mericitabine, balapiravir, and IDX 184; or IFN-based treatments [n = 40]: albIFN alpha-2b or response-guided treatment2). Every patient, for whatever reason, not eligible or willing to be included into a study was offered SOC therapy: 171 patients did neither opt to take part in a study nor had SOC resulting from several reasons (Fig. 1), 169 received SOC, and 141 were treated BCKDHA within a study regimen. For analysis of the IL28B GT, patients were either tested at one of the follow-up visits or were recalled for testing. All patients gave informed consent for genetic testing. In 79% of all treated patients, the IL28B rs12979860 GT could be determined. History of intravenous drug abuse (IVDA), alcohol consumption, nicotine abuse, drug-substitution therapy, history of psychiatric disorders, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, coronary artery disease, concomitant medication intake, mode of infection, country of origin, sex, age, and body mass index (BMI; calculated by dividing weight [kg] divided by height2 [m2]) were assessed.