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Dissection of a pulmonary arterial aneurysm due to underlying pulmonary hypertension from congenital heart disease is uniformly fatal, but fortunately rare. Two such cases are presented, along with review of 24 other known cases published in the literature. Clinical presentation, guidelines tomanagement, and possible surgical intervention in the acutely dissecting patient are discussed.
Five previously reported cases have established the combination of a small right ventricle (sometimes with Uhl's anomaly), imperforate tricuspid valve with fibrotic tensor apparatus, congenital absence of the pulmonary valve, and an intact interventricular septum with muscular subaortic stenosis as a rare variant of tricuspid atresia. In this study of three new autopsy cases, we additionally identified Ebstein's malformation of the imperforate tricuspid valve, partial Uhl's anomaly, regional dysplasia of right ventricular myocardium and thinning of the interventricular septum by intramyocardial sinusoids from the right ventricle. All three new cases had epicardial anomalies of the right coronary artery—a fistula to right ventricle, ostial stenosis and proximal arterial hypoplasia. Sinusoidal connections from the right ventricle to the right coronary artery and to the sclerotic left anterior descending artery were identified in serial sections of the right ventricle and septum. Myofiber disarray, with thick walled intramyocardial arteries and sinusoids from left ventricle, involved the bulging subaortic interventricular septum. These studies are consistent with the hypothesis that defective development of the the right ventricle, along with its blood supply and associated atrioventricular and arterial valves, may underlie this unusual form of congenital heart disease.
Taste acuity declines with age and may be dependent upon Zn status. The aim of the present double-blind, randomised controlled intervention trial has been to determine taste acuity in response to Zn supplementation (placebo, or 15 or 30 mg Zn/d). Healthy older European adults aged 70–87 years were recruited within Italy (Rome) (n 108) and France (Grenoble) (n 91) to the European Commission-funded Zenith project. A signal detection theory approach was adopted for taste assessment. The data were converted to R indices and analysed by repeated-measures ANOVA controlling for baseline taste acuity as well as serum and erythrocyte Zn. Serum Zn increased post-intervention, indicating compliance with the intervention. Results differed across geographical region. Salt taste acuity was greater in response to Zn (30 mg) than placebo post-intervention among those recruited in Grenoble. There was no apparent change in acuity for sweet, sour or bitter taste in response to Zn. Supplemented Zn may have potential to enhance salt taste acuity in those over the age of 70 years. Further research is required to determine if enhanced salt taste acuity is reflected in the eating experiences of older individuals.
Given the key role of Zn in many physiological functions, optimal Zn status could be a predictive parameter of successful ageing. However, the benefit of Zn supplementation is still a matter of debate since Zn supplementation has been reported to be associated with the alteration of Cu status and lipid metabolism. As part of the Zenith Project, the present study aimed to investigate, in free-living healthy European middle-aged and older subjects, the effect of Zn supplementation on the biochemical status of Zn, Fe and Cu and on lipid profile. Volunteers aged 55–70 (n 188) and 70–85 (n 199) years old participated in a double-blinded, randomised study and received a daily placebo, or Zn as 15 or 30 mg for 6 months. Zn supplementation did not significantly modify erythrocyte Zn levels or erythrocyte Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase activity. But Zn supplementation at 15 or 30 mg/d for 6 months increased significantly serum Zn levels and Zn urinary excretion with no major adverse effects on Fe and Cu status or on lipid metabolism. However, Zn supplementation at 30 mg/d showed some age- and sex-dependent alterations in Fe status or lipid profile. Therefore, with respect to the key role of an optimal Zn status in successful ageing, Zn supplementation at 15 mg/d, when necessary, could be safely proposed regarding lipids and the risk of interaction with Fe and Cu.
A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled design was employed to investigate the effects of Zn supplementation on cognitive function in 387 healthy adults aged 55–87 years. Several measures of visual memory, working memory, attention and reaction time were obtained using the Cambridge Automated Neuropsychological Test Battery at baseline and then after 3 and 6 months of 0 (placebo), 15 or 30 mg Zn/d. Younger adults (<70 years) performed significantly better on all tests than older adults (>70 years), and performance improved with practice on some measures. For two out of eight dependent variables, there were significant interactions indicating a beneficial effect (at 3 months only) of both 15 and 30 mg/d on one measure of spatial working memory and a detrimental effect of 15 mg/d on one measure of attention. Further work is required to establish whether these findings generalise to older adults in poorer mental and physical health and with less adequate Zn intake and status than the present sample.
Zn has been shown to possess antioxidant properties in vitro and in vitro. As inadequate dietary Zn intake has been reported in these populations, Zn supplementation may protect against oxidative stress and thereby limit the progression of degenerative diseases in such populations. We conducted the present study to evaluate the long-term supplementation effects of two moderate doses of Zn on in vitro Cu-induced LDL oxidation in French men and women.Three groups of sixteen healthy subjects aged 55–70 years from each sex participated in this randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Each group received for six months either 0, 15 or 30mg supplemental Zn per d. At the beginning and at the end of the supplementation periods, dietary intakes of Zn, Cu, Fe and vitamin E were estimated using 4d food-intake records (including the weekend) and the GENI program. Zn, Cu, Fe and vitamin E statuswere also determined. In vitro LDL oxidizability (basal conjugated diene level, maximal conjugated diene formation and lag time) and lipid parameters were also determined. Dietary intakes of Zn, Cu, Fe and vitamin E were adequate in this population. Zn supplementation significantly increased serum Zn levels but did not significantly modify Cu, Fe or vitamin E status. However, Zn supplementation had no effect on in vitro LDL oxidation parameters, nor were there any sex-related differences in in vitro LDL oxidizability. The present study showed that long-term Zn supplementation of healthy subjects aged 55–70 years had no effect on in vitro Cu-induced LDL oxidation under the study conditions.
Western diets containing suboptimal Cu concentrations could be widespread. A link between marginal Cu deficiency and CVD has been suggested. The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of Cu supplementation on both Cu status and CVD risk factors in healthy young women. Sixteen women with a mean age of 24 (sd 2) years participated in a randomised crossover study of three 4-week periods with 3-week washouts between periods. During each intervention period, subjects received 0, 3 or 6 mg elemental Cu/d as CuSO4 in addition to their habitual diet. Blood samples were taken to assess the effect of supplementation on putative markers of Cu status. The content of plasma lipids, lipoprotein (a), apo and certain haemostatic factors, as putative indices of CVD, was also analysed. Daily supplementation with 3 mg Cu significantly increased (P<0·05) serum Cu concentration and the activity of erythrocyte superoxide dismutase, although there was no further significant increase after an intake of 6 mg Cu/d. The concentration of the fibrinolytic factor plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 was significantly reduced (P<0·05) by about 30% after supplementation with 6 mg Cu/d. No other marker of Cu status or CVD risk factor was affected by Cu supplementation. The results indicate that supplementation with 3 or 6 mg Cu/d may improve Cu status in these healthy young women. Increased Cu intake could reduce the risk of CVD and atherosclerosis in man by promoting improved fibrinolytic capacity.
As a result of evidence documenting harmful effects of Zn supplementation on immune function and Cu status, thirty-eight men were recruited onto a Zn supplementation trial. The aim was to examine the effects of chronic Zn supplementation on circulating levels of peripheral blood leucocytes and lymphocyte subsets. Subjects (n 19) took 30 mg Zn/d for 14 weeks followed by 3 mg Cu/d for 8 weeks to counteract adverse effects, if any, of Zn supplementation on immune status resulting from lowered Cu status. A control group (n 19) took placebo supplements for the duration of the trial. Dietary intakes of Zn approximated 10 mg/d. Blood samples, taken throughout the trial, were assessed for full blood profiles and flow cytometric analyses of lymphocyte subsets. Putative indices of Cu status were also examined. Results indicate that there was no effect of Zn supplementation on circulating levels of peripheral blood leucocytes or on lymphocyte subsets. Cu status was also unaltered. Independent of supplement, there appeared to be seasonal variations in selected lymphocyte subsets in both placebo and supplemented groups. Alterations in circulating levels of B cells (cluster of differentiation (CD) 19), memory T cells (CD45RO) and expression of the intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (CD54) on T cells were observed. Findings indicated no adverse effects of Zn supplementation on immune status or Cu status and support the US upper level of Zn tolerance of 40 mg/d. The seasonal variations observed in lymphocyte subsets in the group as a whole could have implications for seasonal variability in the incidence of infectious diseases.
Cu appears to have many important functional roles in the body that apparently relate, among others, to the maintenance of immune function, bone health and haemostasis. Some have suggested a role for long-term marginal Cu deficiency in the aetiology of a number of degenerative diseases. Accurate diagnosis of marginal Cu deficiency, however, has remained elusive despite an increased understanding of the biochemistry of Cu and its physiological roles in the body. Traditional markers of Cu status, such as serum Cu and caeruloplasmin protein concentrations are insensitive to subtle changes in Cu status. Cu-containing enzymes, such as Cu–Zn-superoxide dismutase, cytochrome c oxidase and diamine oxidase, may be more reliable but evidence to date is not conclusive. Development of markers sensitive to marginal Cu status is essential before conclusions can be drawn concerning the risks of long-term intake of suboptimal dietary Cu. As Cu appears to be essential for maintenance of immune function, activities of specific immunological markers, altered in Cu deficiency, offer alternatives. This review evaluates a selection of immunological markers that could be considered potentially sensitive markers of marginal Cu status. The indices of immune function reviewed are neutrophil function, interleukin 2 production, blastogenic response to mitogens and lymphocyte subset phenotyping.
No sensitive functional index is currently available to assess Cu status in healthy human populations. This study evaluated the effect of Cu supplementation on putative indices of Cu status in twelve women and twelve men, aged between 22 and 45 years, who participated in a double-blind placebo controlled crossover study. The study consisted of three 6-week supplementation regimens of 3 mg CuSO4, 3 mg Cu-glycine chelate and 6 mg Cu-glycine chelate, each separated by placebo periods of equal length. Women had significantly higher caeruloplasmin oxidase activity (P < 0·001), caeruloplasmin protein concentration (P < 0·05), and serum diamine oxidase activity (P < 0·01) at baseline than men. Erythrocyte and leucocyte superoxide dismutase activity, leucocyte cytochrome c oxidase activity, and erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase activity did not respond to Cu supplementation. Platelet cytochrome c oxidase activity was significantly higher (P < 0·01), after supplementation with 6 mg Cu-glycine chelate in the total group and in women but did not change in men. Caeruloplasmin oxidase activity was significantly higher (P < 0·05), in men after supplementation with 3 mg Cu-glycine chelate, while caeruloplasmin protein concentration was significantly lower in men after supplementation with 6 mg Cu-glycine chelate (P < 0·05). Serum diamine oxidase activity was significantly higher after all supplementation regimens in the total group and in both men and women (P < 0·01). These results indicate that serum diamine oxidase activity is sensitive to changes in dietary Cu intakes and may also have the potential to evaluate changes in Cu status in healthy adult human subjects.
The influence of Cu supplementation of the usual diet for 6 weeks on biochemical markers of bone turnover and on putative indices of Cu status was investigated in healthy adults (twelve male and twelve female) aged 22–46 years, who participated in a double-blind placebo-controlled repeated crossover study. The study consisted of three 6-week supplementation regimens of 3 mg CuSO4, 3 mg Cu–glycine chelate (CuGC), and 6 mg CuGC, each separated by placebo periods of equal length. During baseline and on the last day of each dietary period, fasting morning first-void urine and fasting blood serum, plasma and erythrocytes were collected. The habitual dietary Cu intakes in males and females were approximately 1·4 and 1·1 mg/d respectively. Females had significantly higher (50 %) plasma caeruloplasmin (Cp) protein concentrations than males at baseline. Cu supplementation had no effect on erythrocyte superoxide dismutase (SOD, EC 126.96.36.199) activity or plasma Cp protein (putative indices of Cu status) in the total group. Similarly, serum osteocalcin (a marker of bone formation), urinary creatinine (Cr) concentration, urinary pyridinoline : Cr or deoxypyridinoline : Cr excretion (markers of bone resorption) were unaffected in either the total group or in males and females separately, by any Cu supplementation regimen. It is concluded that Cu supplementation of the usual diet in healthy adult males and females had no effect on biochemical markers of bone formation or bone resorption over 6-week periods.
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