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  • Springer  (13)
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  • 1
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    European radiology 8 (1998), S. 439-444 
    ISSN: 1432-1084
    Keywords: Key words: Alcohol ; Liver neoplasms ; Liver neoplasms ; therapy ; Liver ; interventional procedure
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract. The aim of our study was to investigate local therapeutic effects and long-term results of combined transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) and percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI) in the treatment of large hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Eight-six patients (67 males and 19 females, age range 48–75 years, mean age 65.1 years) with Child-Pugh class A (n = 48) or B (n = 38) liver cirrhosis and a large HCC (main tumor 3.1–8 cm in diameter with no more than two daughter nodules) were enrolled in a prospective study. All patients underwent a single TACE session followed by PEI. Follow-up ranged from 4 to 65 months (mean 27.8 months, median 26 months). No major complication occurred. The local therapeutic effect, as assessed on the basis of findings at CT and MR imaging, was complete response in 71 of 86 patients (82 %) and partial response in 15 of 86. Overall survival rates by the Kaplan-Meier method were 92 % at 1 year, 83 % at 2 years, 69 % at 3 years, 58 % at 4 years, and 47 % at 5 years. Survival of Child-Pugh A patients (75 % at 3 years and 59 % at 5 years) was significantly longer (p 〈 0.01) than that of Child-Pugh B patients (61 % at 3 years and 35 % at 5 years). Combined TACE and PEI is an effective treatment for large HCC.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Abdominal imaging 22 (1997), S. 253 -258 
    ISSN: 1432-0509
    Keywords: Key words: Contrast media, fatty acid—Lipiodol, hepatic intraarterial—Liver neoplasms, angiography—Liver neoplasms, CT—Liver neoplasms, diagnosis.
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract. Background: The purpose of this study was to determine whether tiny (〈2 cm) areas of iodized-oil retention diagnosed as intrahepatic metastatic nodules of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) at computed tomography (CT) following intraarterial injection of Lipiodol (Lipiodol-CT) correlate with truly cancerous foci on the corresponding sectioned pathologic specimens. Methods: Thirty-two consecutive patients with biopsy-proven HCC (26 men and six women, aged 41–72 years) underwent prospective evaluation with Lipiodol-CT before undergoing surgery (hepatic resection, 30 patients; liver transplantation, two patients). Imaging findings were correlated with intraoperative and pathologic findings. Results: Twenty-one areas of retained Lipiodol (0.5–1.6 cm in diameter, mean ± SD: 0.9 ± 0.3 cm) had features consistent with intrahepatic metastatic nodules of HCC on Lipiodol-CT scans. Nineteen of the 21 areas correlated with tumor deposits at pathologic examination of the surgical specimens, whereas two of 21 were due to abnormal retention of iodized oil within noncancerous liver parenchyma. The positive predictive value of findings at Lipiodol-CT for the diagnosis of intrahepatic metastatic nodule of HCC was 90.5%. Conclusions: Findings at Lipiodol-CT enable a reliable diagnosis of intrahepatic metastatic nodules of HCC.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 3
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    ISSN: 1432-0703
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
    Notes: Abstract. An in vitro assay has been developed to screen for estrogenic activity of single chemicals or complex mixtures. This method combines primary hepatocyte cultures from the channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) with an enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA) to detect and quantify the production of vitellogenin (VTG), a liver-derived, estrogen-induced lipoprotein. A variety of environmentally relevant chemicals and chemical mixtures were tested, including the polyaromatic hydrocarbon benzo(a)pyrene (BaP), the alkylphenolic surfactants 4-tert-octylphenol (OP) and p-nonylphenol (NP), the chlorinated insecticide o,p′-DDT, the plant derivative stigmastanol, and a number of waste waters from pulp and paper mills. In addition, the effects of estradiol (E2), the synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol (DES) and the antiestrogens trans-1-(4-β-dimethylamino-ethoxyphenyl)-1,2-diphenylbut-1-ene (tamoxifen) and 7α-[9-(4,4,5,5,5-pentafluoro-pentylsulfinyl)nonyl]estra-3,17β-diol (ICI-182,780) were also examined. The following compounds were observed to be estrogenic: DES 〉 E2 ≫ OP 〉 o,p′-DDT 〉 NP. Tests with BaP, stigmastanol, tamoxifen, ICI-182,780, and four paper mill effluents exhibited no detectable estrogenic activity. Furthermore, both tamoxifen and ICI-182,780 significantly reduced VTG synthesis by cells incubated with E2 or DES. Stigmastanol and the mill effluents were also tested for anti-estrogenic activity in cells incubated in media containing both DES and stigmastanol or effluent. Compared to DES alone, none of these treatments caused a significant reduction in the media concentrations of VTG. The detection limit for this assay was typically 15–25 ng VTG/ml medium. Screening results and performance characteristics such as inter- and intra-assay variability were similar to those reported for VTG assays for other teleost species. Thus, the present work provides a sensitive, rapid means for screening the estrogenic potency of environmentally relevant chemicals and chemical mixtures in vitro.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 4
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Journal of molecular evolution 46 (1998), S. 615-621 
    ISSN: 1432-1432
    Keywords: Key words: Genetic code theories — Measurement of history — Polarity — Molecular volume — Distance indices — Minimization percentage — Parallel algorithms
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract. Two forces are in general, hypothesized to have influenced the origin of the organization of the genetic code: the physicochemical properties of amino acids and their biosynthetic relationships. In view of this, we have considered a model incorporating these two forces. In particular, we have studied the optimization level of the physicochemical properties of amino acids in the set of amino acid permutation codes that respects the biosynthetic relationships between amino acids. Where the properties of amino acids are represented by polarity and molecular volume we obtain indetermination percentages in the organization of the genetic code of approximately 40%. This indicates that the contingent factor played a significant role in structuring the genetic code. Furthermore, this result is in agreement with the genetic code coevolution hypothesis, which attributes a merely ancillary role to the properties of amino acids while it suggests that it was their biosynthetic relationships that organized the code. Furthermore, this result does not favor the stereochemical models proposed to explain the origin of the genetic code. On the other hand, where the properties of amino acids are represented by polarity alone, we obtain an indetermination percentage of at least 21.5%. This might suggest that the polarity distances played an important role and would therefore provide evidence in favor of the physicochemical hypothesis of genetic code origin. Although, overall, the analysis might have given stronger support to the latter hypothesis, this did not actually occur. The results are therefore discussed in the context of the different theories proposed to explain the origin of the genetic code.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 5
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Journal of molecular evolution 48 (1999), S. 253-254 
    ISSN: 1432-1432
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 6
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Journal of molecular evolution 45 (1997), S. 571-578 
    ISSN: 1432-1432
    Keywords: Key words: Models — Coenzyme origin — Primitive catalysis — Origin of the enzyme–coenzyme complex — Origin of protein synthesis — Origin of metabolism — RNA world — Ribonucleoprotein world — Origin of life
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract. A highly complex RNA world, as is sometimes presented in view of the widespread and diversified use of RNA enzymes, would have encountered many difficulties in passing to a world with catalysis mediated by proteins. These difficulties can be overcome by postulating a very early relationship between the nucleotide and the amino acid components. In particular, after asserting that some characteristics expressed by (nucleotide) coenzymes in catalysis are easier to understand if a close and early relationship between these coenzymes and amino acids is hypothesized, a model is presented for the origin of the enzyme–coenzyme complex. This model is essentially based on an intermediate formed by a tRNA-like molecule covalently linked to a polypeptide. The model attributes the majority of the catalytic role in the ribonucleoprotein world to the latter complex and thus it takes into account the birth of the key intermediate in the origin of protein synthesis—namely, peptidyl-tRNA, which would have otherwise been extremely difficult to select. The predictions of the model are discussed along with its robustness, using the data derived from the study of intermediary metabolism and those from molecular biology. Finally, the appearance of the genetic code in the late phase of the ribonucleopeptide world is discussed.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 7
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Journal of molecular evolution 49 (1999), S. 1-10 
    ISSN: 1432-1432
    Keywords: Key words: Genetic code theories — Intermediate evolutionary stages — Error minimization — Coevolution — Polarity and molecular volume of amino acids
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract. We have assumed that the coevolution theory of genetic code origin (Wong JT, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 72:1909–1912, 1975) is essentially correct. This theory makes it possible to identify at least 10 evolutionary stages through which genetic code organization might have passed prior to reaching its current form. The calculation of the minimization level of all these evolutionary stages leads to the following conclusions. (1) The minimization percentages increased linearly with the number of amino acids codified in the codes of the various evolutionary stages when only the sense changes are considered in the analysis. This seems to favor the physicochemical theory of genetic code origin even if, as discussed in the paper, this observation is also compatible with the coevolution theory. (2) For the first seven evolutionary stages of the genetic code, this trend is less clear and indeed is inverted when we consider the global optimisation of the codes due to both sense changes and synonymous changes. This inverse correlation between minimization percentages and the number of amino acids codified in the codes of the intermediate stages seems to favor neither the physicochemical nor the stereochemical theories of genetic code origin, as it is in the early and intermediate stages of code development that these theories would expect minimization to have played a crucial role, and this does not seem to be the case. However, these results are in agreement with the coevolution theory, which attributes a role to the physicochemical properties of amino acids that, while important, is nevertheless subordinate to the mechanism which concedes codons from the precursor amino acids to the product amino acids as the primary factor determining the evolutionary structuring of the genetic code. The results are therefore discussed in the context of the various theories proposed to explain genetic code origin.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 8
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Journal of molecular evolution 50 (2000), S. 258-263 
    ISSN: 1432-1432
    Keywords: Key words: Genetic code theories — Random code distributions — Coevolution — Biosynthetic relationships between amino acids — Hypergeometric distribution
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract. A paper (Amirnovin R, J Mol Evol 44:473–476, 1997) seems to undermine the validity of the coevolution theory of genetic code origin by shedding doubt on the connection between the biosynthetic relationships between amino acids and the organization of the genetic code, at a time when the literature on the topic takes this for granted. However, as a few papers cite this paper as evidence against the coevolution theory, and to cast aside all doubt on the subject, we have decided to reanalyze the statistical bases on which this theory is founded. We come to the following conclusions: (1) the methods used in the above referred paper contain certain mistakes, and (2) the statistical foundations on which the coevolution theory is based are extremely robust. We have done this by critically appraising Amirnovin's paper and suggesting an alternative method based on the generation of random codes which, along with the method reported in the literature, allows us to evaluate the significance, in the genetic code, of different sets of amino acid pairs in biosynthetic relationships. In particular, by using this method and after building up a certain set of amino acid pairs reflecting the expectations of the coevolution theory, we show that the presence of this set in the genetic code would be obtained, purely by chance, with a probability of 6 × 10−5. This observation seems to provide particularly strong support to the coevolution theory.
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  • 9
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Journal of materials science 9 (1998), S. 317-322 
    ISSN: 1573-482X
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology , Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
    Notes: Abstract Tungsten trioxide thin films were grown by reactively sputtering a circular WO3 target in different Ar–O2 atmospheres. After deposition, data on the structural, optical and electrical properties were obtained by using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to examine the structure and the morphology of the films, UV-VIS spectrophotometry to determine optical absorption edge characteristics, and Hall effect measurements to determine the change carrier mobility and the film resistivity. In addition, the film resistance variations in controlled atmospheres were examined and the gas sensing properties of films grown under different conditions were compared. The aim of the study was to examine the effect of O2 concentration in the sputtering atmosphere on structural, optical, electrical and sensing properties. © 1998 Kluwer Academic Publishers
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  • 10
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Digestive diseases and sciences 45 (2000), S. 976-981 
    ISSN: 1573-2568
    Keywords: butyrate ; ulcerative colitis ; mesalazine
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract Butyrate represents the main source of energy for colonic epithelial cells; however, its availabilty/utilization is impaired in ulcerative colitis (UC). In the present randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study, the safety and efficacy of colonic targeted oral sodium butyrate tablets, coated with a pH-dependent soluble polymer, have been evaluated in ulcerative colitis. Thirty patients with mild to moderate colitis underwent a six-week course of oral sodium butyrate (4 g/day) plus oral mesalazine (2.4 g/day), (Group A) or of oral mesalazine plus placebo (Group B). Clinical, endoscopic, and histologic data were collected at the beginning and the end of the study. Twenty-five patients completed the study (12 in group A, 13 in group B). No untoward side effects were reported. In group A, seven patients underwent remission and four improved; in Group B the numbers were 5 and 5, respectively. After treatment, all clinical parameters had significantly improved in both treatment arms compared to pretreatment findings. The UC disease activity index (UCDAI) score decreased from 7.27 ± 2.02 to 2.58 ± 2.19 (P 〈 0.05) in the combined treatment group and from 6.07 ± 1.60 to 3.46 ± 1.98 (P 〈 0.05) in group B. The endoscopic and histologic scores also significantly improved after treatment in both groups (P 〈 0.05). The difference between the two treatment arms was not significant, but a significantly better improvement vs baseline values (P 〈 0.05) was observed in the combined treatment group vs the mesalazine group, when considering both the clinical index (Δ9.58 ± 4.19 vs 5.92 ± 3.48) and the UCDAI score (Δ4.67 ± 2.19 vs 2.54 ± 2.18). A more favorable trend, although not significant, was observed for all individual parameters in group A. In conclusion, results of the present pilot study indicate that oral butyrate is safe and well tolerated. These data also suggest that oral butyrate may improve the efficacy of oral mesalazine in active ulcerative colitis and prompt the need of a large scale investigation to confirm the present findings.
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