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   2021| January-April  | Volume 9 | Issue 1  
    Online since December 26, 2020

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Safety and Efficacy of Convalescent Plasma for Severe COVID-19: Interim Report of a Multicenter Phase II Study from Saudi Arabia
Nawal AlShehry, Syed Ziauddin A Zaidi, Ahmed AlAskar, Abdurahman Al Odayani, Jawaher Mubarak Alotaibi, Ahmed AlSagheir, Ayman Al-Eyadhy, Saud Balelah, Abdul Salam, Abdul Rehman Zia Zaidi, Diea Alawami, Mohammed S Alshahrani, Nour AlMozain, Yem M Abulhamayel, Reem Al Qunfoidi, Mona Alfaraj, Nahid Qushmaq, Rehab Alansari, Afra Dayel, Ghada Elgohary, Ahmed Al Bahrani, Arwa A Nabhan Abdelhameed, Hazza Abdullah AlZahrani, Hanan Alturkistani, Nada AlShehry, Mohammed Abdulhameed Albalawi, Ibrahim Elalfy, Hind Alhumaidan, Hani Al-Hashmi
January-April 2021, 9(1):16-23
DOI:10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_731_20  PMID:33519339
Objective: To present the interim findings from a national study investigating the safety and efficacy of convalescent plasma (CP) containing detectable IgG antibodies as a treatment strategy for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Trial Design and Participants: An open label, two-arm, phase-II clinical trial conducted across 22 hospitals from Saudi Arabia. The intervention group included 40 adults (aged ≥18 years) with confirmed severe COVID-19 and the control group included 124 patients matched using propensity score for age, gender, intubation status, and history of diabetes and/or hypertension. Intervention group included those (a) with severe symptoms (dyspnea; respiratory rate, ≥30/min; SpO2, ≤93%, PaO2/FiO2 ratio, <300; and/or lung infiltrates >50% within 24–48 h), (b) requiring intensive care unit (ICU) care or (c) experiencing life-threatening conditions. The control group included confirmed severe COVID-19 patients of similar characteristics who did not consent for CP infusion or were not able to receive CP due to its nonavailability. Interventions: The intervention group participants were infused 300 ml (200–400 ml/treatment dose) CP at least once, and if required, daily for up to 5 sessions, along with receiving the best standard of care. The control group only received the best standard of care. Outcomes: The primary endpoints were safety and ICU length of stay (LOS). The secondary endpoints included 30-day mortality, days on mechanical ventilation and days to clinical recovery. Results: CP transfusion did not result in any adverse effects. There was no difference in the ICU LOS (median 8 days in both groups). The mortality risk was lower in the CP group: 13% absolute risk reduction (P = 0.147), hazard ratio (95% confidence interval): 0.554 (0.299–1.027; P = 0.061) by log-rank test. There was no significant difference in the days on mechanical ventilation and days to clinical recovery. Conclusion: CP containing detectable antibodies is a safe strategy and may result in a decrease in mortality in patients with severe COVID-19. The results of the completed trial with a larger study sample would provide more clarity if this difference in mortality is significant. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04347681; Saudi Clinical Trials Registry No.: 20041102.
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IRMC Abstracts

January-April 2021, 9(1):91-112
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Effects of Fear of COVID-19 on Mental Well-Being and Quality of Life among Saudi Adults: A Path Analysis
Mohsen Alyami, Julia Vajda de Albuquerque, Christian U Krägeloh, Hussain Alyami, Marcus A Henning
January-April 2021, 9(1):24-30
DOI:10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_630_20  PMID:33519340
Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been very disruptive, and thus is likely to result in substantial challenges to mental health. Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the effects of fear of COVID-19 on the mental well-being and quality of life among Saudi adult population and to evaluate the impact of perceived social support. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study used an anonymous online survey, where participants were administered the Fear of COVID-19 Scale, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, European Health Interview Survey-Quality of Life and Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey. A path analysis was used to investigate the proposed theoretical domain structure linking fear of COVID-19 with perceived social support, mental well-being and quality of life. Results: A total of 1029 Saudi adults with a mean age of 33.7 years (SD 11.5) responded to the survey. Descriptive analysis showed that this sample was fearful of COVID-19, anxious and depressed but, at the same time, reported high quality of life and perceived social support scores. Path analysis indicated that increased fear of COVID-19 was directly associated with diminished mental well-being, which in turn was associated with lower quality of life. The beneficial effects of perceived social support were stronger on quality of life than on mental well-being. No direct link was found between fear of COVID-19 and quality of life. Conclusion: These findings emphasize the importance of having effective social systems in place to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental well-being and quality of life.
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Left Ventricular Thrombus and Cardioembolic Stroke in a Patient with Ulcerative Colitis: A Case Report
Hardeep Kaur Grewal, Manish Bansal, Arun Garg, Ravi R Kasliwal, Anil Bhan, Dheeraj Gautam
January-April 2021, 9(1):67-70
DOI:10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_525_19  PMID:33519347
Left ventricular (LV) thrombi usually occur in the setting of global or regional LV systolic dysfunction and are extremely rare in the absence of LV wall motion abnormalities. We report here a case of a 23-year-old female who presented with cardioembolic stroke due to ulcerative colitis. To determine the cause of stroke, several investigations and evaluations were carried out, but the results were mostly normal or unremarkable. Transthoracic echocardiography revealed an oscillating pedunculated globular mass, which was eventually resected due to recurrent transient ischemic attacks. The histopathology of the excised mass revealed it to be an organized thrombus with acute and chronic inflammatory cells and fibroblasts. The uncommon etiology combined with the unusual appearance of the thrombus presented a major diagnostic and therapeutic dilemma for this exceedingly rare cause for intracardiac thrombus formation. Therefore, it would be useful to have a low threshold for screening patients with active inflammatory bowel disease for possible ventricular thrombosis before discharge, especially if other risk factors are present.
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Convalescent Plasma in COVID-19: To what Degree should Clinicians Rely on Currently Available Data?
Waleed Alhazzani, Roman Jaeschke
January-April 2021, 9(1):1-2
DOI:10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_882_20  PMID:33519336
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Ketamine for Sickle Cell Vaso-Occlusive Crises: A Systematic Review
Mohammed S Alshahrani, Mohannad A Alghamdi
January-April 2021, 9(1):3-9
DOI:10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_218_20  PMID:33519337
Introduction: Vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC) is one of the main causes of hospital admission in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). Ketamine is often used as an adjuvant to opioids to control sickle cell crisis; however, there is a lack of evidence about its safety and efficacy for VOC in SCD patients. Objective: To synthesize evidence from published reports about the efficacy and safety of ketamine in the management of acute painful VOC in both pediatric and adult SCD patients. Methods: A systematic literature search of PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, EBSCO and Cochrane Library was conducted, up to March 2019. Studies reporting the analgesic effects and side effects of ketamine in the management of acute painful VOC in pediatric and adult SCD patients were included. The primary outcome measure was improvement in pain scale, and the secondary outcomes were reduction in opioid utilization and side effects. Studies were narratively summarized in this review. Results: Fourteen studies (with a total of 604 patients) were included in the final analysis. Several case reports and case series showed that ketamine significantly reduced pain scales and opioid utilization in both populations. The only randomized controlled trial available showed that ketamine was noninferior to morphine in reducing pain scores, but had a higher incidence of nonlife-threatening, reversible adverse effects. However, a retrospective study of 33 patients showed a higher pain score in the ketamine group with an acceptable short-term adverse effect. Conclusion: Ketamine has a potentially comparable efficacy with other opioids in reducing the pain during VOC in SCD patients. However, it also likely has a higher rate of transient adverse events. Owing to the lack of published randomized controlled trials, current evidence is not sufficient to confirm the safety and efficacy of ketamine. Future well-designed randomized controlled trials are strongly recommended.
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Understanding Obesity: The Role of Adipose Tissue Microenvironment and the Gut Microbiome
Nusrat M Awan, Imran J Meurling, Donal O'Shea
January-April 2021, 9(1):10-15
DOI:10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_561_20  PMID:33519338
The prevalence of obesity has more than doubled globally over the past few decades, with a 12-fold rise in extreme levels. Obesity, with its multiple complications, remains a major ongoing challenge for health-care professionals, as highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, where people with obesity had poorer outcomes. In this article, we review advances in our understanding of the pathophysiology underlying obesity, with a focus on the immune system and its interaction with both the adipose tissue organ and the gut microbiome. As our understanding of the causes and effects of obesity improves, opportunities should emerge, underpinned by rigorous laboratory and clinical research, to both better prevent and treat this global epidemic.
  2,468 386 1
Saudi Arabian Consensus Statement on Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Refractory Epilepsy
Khalid Alqadi, Hesham Aldhalaan, Abdulaziz Alghamdi, Fawzia Bamgadam, Amal Abu-Jabber, Saleh Baeesa, Ibrahim Althubaiti, Salah Baz
January-April 2021, 9(1):75-81
DOI:10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_578_19  PMID:33519349
Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is an approved adjunctive therapy for refractory epilepsy and used in patients who are not candidates for resective epilepsy surgery. In Saudi Arabia, VNS device implantation is being performed since 2008 by several comprehensive epilepsy programs, but with variable protocols. Therefore, to standardize the use of VNS, a task force was established to create a national consensus. This group consisted of epileptologists, epilepsy surgeons and a VNS nurse coordinator working in comprehensive epilepsy centers and dealing with refractory epilepsy cases. The group intensively reviewed the literature using Medline, EMBASE, Web of Science and Cochrane Library, in addition to physician's manual. Evidence is reported as three stages: preimplantation and patient selection, a perioperative phase involving all stakeholders and post-operative care with specific programming pathways.
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Emotional Intelligence and its Association with Academic Success and Performance in Medical Students
Sulaiman Altwijri, Abdulaziz Alotaibi, Mohammed Alsaeed, Abdulrahman Alsalim, Abdulrahman Alatiq, Saud Al-Sarheed, Sajida Agha, Aamir Omair
January-April 2021, 9(1):31-37
DOI:10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_375_19  PMID:33519341
Background: Emotional intelligence (EI) is potentially associated with higher academic performance. However, no study from the Gulf region has previously assessed if EI affects academic success and academic performance in medical students. Objectives: To examine the relationship between EI and academic success and academic performance in a sample of Saudi Arabian medical students. Methods: This cross-sectional, questionnaire study included all 4th–6th year medical students enrolled at King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in the academic year 2017–18. Eligible students were invited to complete the self-administered Schutte Self-Report Emotional Intelligence Test and the Academic Success Inventory for College Students (ASICS) along with a questionnaire eliciting demographic information between January and April 2018. Academic achievement was assessed based on each student's self-reported grade point average in the most recent examination. Results: Of 377 eligible students, 296 (78%) completed the questionnaires. A significant association was identified between overall EI and ASICS scores (r = 0.197; P < 0.001). EI scores were constant in males and females and the year of study. No statistically significant association was observed between EI and academic success across gender and academic years (P > 0.05 for all values). However, in terms of external motivation and career decidedness by level of study, final-year students had higher scores compared with students in the other two study years (P = 0.02 and P = 0.01, respectively). Conclusion: This study offers primary data on the impact of EI scores on academic success in medical education, and it identified several factors associated with EI and academic success. The findings of this study suggest that EI and academic success are linked, and that both are vital for increasing academic performance.
  1,913 367 1
Two Cases of the Emerging Candida auris in a university hospital from Saudi Arabia
Reem Al-Jindan, Doaa M Al-Eraky
January-April 2021, 9(1):71-74
DOI:10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_449_19  PMID:33519348
Candida auris is an opportunistic multidrug-resistant pathogen that was first isolated in 2009 and has since been reported from about 30 countries. In Saudi Arabia, only four cases of C. auris have previously been reported; here, we report two new cases of this infection. Both patients were polymorbid and had long hospitalization periods with recurrent intensive care unit (ICU) admissions. The findings of the tissue/blood cultures and antimicrobial therapy protocols are explained in the case report. Urine culture in both cases was positive for C. auris, and the colonies grew well at 42°C. The fungal isolates were confirmed by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The first patient was treated with the recommended dose of caspofungin, but he passed away. The second patient was also planned to be treated with caspofungin, but he passed away before the treatment could be initiated. The present cases further corroborate signs of a growing number of reports of C. auris in patients with high-risk factors, such as hospitalization in ICU, multiple chronic conditions and prolonged antimicrobial treatment exposure. It also highlights the need for hospitals to further improve their infection control practices to prevent nosocomial infections such as C. auris.
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Sclerosing Encapsulating Carcinomatous Peritonitis: A Case Report
Saeed Alshomimi, Ali Hassan, Zainab Faisal, Afnan Mohammed, Omran Al Dandan, Hind S Alsaif
January-April 2021, 9(1):63-66
DOI:10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_275_19  PMID:33519346
Sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis (SEP) is a rare clinical condition characterized by the formation of a thick, fibrous membrane encasing the intestines, which may lead to intestinal obstruction. The pathogenesis is not completely understood, but various risk factors are well established. However, there are only few reported cases of SEP associated with peritoneal carcinomatosis. Herein, we report a case of a 69-year-old male patient who presented clinically with acute intestinal obstruction 2 years after undergoing a resection procedure for gastric cancer. An abdominal computed tomography revealed findings typical of SEP. Consequently, the patient underwent exploratory laparoscopy, which confirmed the diagnosis of SEP and established the etiology as peritoneal metastases. The patient was managed conservatively, and his symptoms showed some improvement. The patient was at an advanced stage of the disease, and thus remained on palliative care and passed away 1 month later. Although very rare, physicians should consider SEP in their differential diagnoses of intestinal obstruction in patients, particularly in those with a history of intra-abdominal malignancies.
  1,691 164 1
Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in Italian Patients: Gender Differences in Presentation and Severity
Martina Baiardo Redaelli, Giovanni Landoni, Davide Di Napoli, Federica Morselli, Marianna Sartorelli, Chiara Sartini, Annalisa Ruggeri, Andrea Salonia, Lorenzo Dagna, Alberto Zangrillo
January-April 2021, 9(1):59-62
DOI:10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_542_20  PMID:33519345
Background: In the first wave of the novel coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) infections, Italy experienced a heavy burden of hospital admissions for acute respiratory distress syndromes associated with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Early evidence suggested that females are less affected than males. Objective: This study aimed to assess the gender-related differences in presentation and severity among COVID-19 patients admitted to IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy. Materials and Methods: This prospective observational study included all patients admitted to the hospital between February 25 and April 19, 2020, with a positive real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction for COVID-19. The following data were collected: date of admission, gender, age and details of intensive care unit admission and outcomes. Results: A total of 901 patients with COVID-19 were admitted to the hospital and provided consent for the study. Of these, 284 were female (31.5%). The percentage of admitted female patients significantly increased over time (25.9% of all admissions in the first half of the study period vs. 37.1% in the second half; P < 0.001). Females accounted for 14.4% of all COVID-19 intensive care unit admissions. There was no gender-based difference in the overall hospital mortality: 20.1% for females and 19.2% for males (P = 0.8). Conclusions: In our hospital, which was in the epicenter of the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Italy, female patients were few, presented late and were less critical than male patients.
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Endoscopic Management of Post-Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy Leakage and Stenosis Using Fully Covered Stent
Emad S Aljahdli, Ammar Aldabbagh, Fatima Salah, Majid Alsahafi, Ashraf A Maghrabi
January-April 2021, 9(1):45-50
DOI:10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_347_19  PMID:33519343
Background: Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) is the most commonly performed surgery to treat morbid obesity. Post-LSG leak and stenosis are serious complications that can be associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Objective: The objective was to report the efficacy and safety profile of using specifically designed fully covered self-expandable metallic stent for the treatment of post-LSG complications. Methods: This retrospective study included adult patients who underwent placement of a fully covered esophagogastric, self-expandable metallic stent for post-LSG leak or stenosis. The procedure was carried out at King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, between September 2017 and May 2019. Data regarding demographics, indication for stenting, size of the stent, procedural success and poststenting adverse events were collected. Results: A total of 14 patients met the inclusion criteria, with indication for endoscopic stenting being post-LSG leak in 11 patients and stenosis in 3 patients. The technical success rate of self-expandable metallic stent placement was 100%, and the clinical success was 85.7% (12 of 14 patients). Nausea (71.4%) and vomiting (85.7%) were the most frequent mild adverse events reported. Stent-induced esophageal stricture was the only major adverse event reported in two patients. Conclusion: Placement of specifically designed self-expandable metallic stent for the treatment of post-LSG leak and stenosis is an effective and safe approach. Further studies with larger cohorts are needed to assess the optimal duration needed to treat such complications.
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Social Media Use for Health Purposes by Chronic Disease Patients in the United States
Noara Alhusseini, Jim E Banta, Jisoo Oh, Susanne B Montgomery
January-April 2021, 9(1):51-58
DOI:10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_262_20  PMID:33519344
Background: Social media can be a cost-effective instant tool for exchanging health information among those with chronic diseases. However, few studies have analyzed the nexus between chronic disease and patients' use of the internet for health-related purposes. Objective: The objective of this study is to determine if chronic disease patients in the United States use social media platforms to share health information and/or join groups of similar condition. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study conducted a secondary analysis of the Health Information Trends Survey dataset 5 (cycle 1 of 2017 and cycle 2 of 2018) (N = 6650), which is nationally representative of American adults. A series of chi-square tests was carried to examine the association between using social media by chronic disease patients and (a) sharing health information and (b) participating in relevant health groups. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine significant findings. Results: In terms of sharing health information on social media sites, those who were aged 18–49 years (P < 0.0001) and underweight (P = 0.04) were more likely to share health information on social media, while males were less likely to do so (P < 0.0001). In terms of joining relevant health groups on social media, predictors were being aged 35–49 years (P = 0.008), having a Bachelor's or postbaccalaureate degree (P < 0.02) and having depression or anxiety disorder (P = 0.004); males were less likely to join such groups (P = 0.0004). Conclusion: Individuals with chronic conditions, except depression or anxiety disorder, were not likely to participate in social media support groups. Future studies should explore how social media can be used to effectively engage those with chronic diseases, which may assist in disease management.
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Nontransported Cases after Emergency Medical Service Callout in the Rural and Urban Areas of the Riyadh Region
Ahmed Ramdan M. Alanazy, Stuart Wark, John Fraser, Amanda Nagle
January-April 2021, 9(1):38-44
DOI:10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_560_20  PMID:33519342
Background: Callouts resulting in patient nontransportation can impact the overall quality of prehospital Emergency Medical Service (EMS), as resources in health care are finite. While some studies have investigated the causes of nontransportation, few have examined whether there are differences between urban and rural patients. Similarly, there has been limited research focused on rural EMS in locations such as the Middle East. Objectives: This study investigated EMS cases that resulted in nontransportation in the urban and rural areas of the Riyadh region in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Methods: A cross-sectional study of 800 (400 rural and 400 urban) patient records was undertaken, using 12 months (January 1 to December 31, 2017) of data from the Saudi Red Crescent EMS. A random sampling method was used to select ambulance records from the 78 urban and rural EMS stations in the Riyadh region, with demographic data and reasons for patient nontransport analyzed comparatively. Results: A total of 310 cases were nontransported (39%) (rural: 146; urban = 164). The highest rates of nontransportation cases were of medical and trauma callouts (44.6% and 39.6%, respectively), which was consistent in both areas. The most common reason for nontransportation in both urban and rural areas was refusal of treatment and transportation (66.5% and 59.9%, respectively). Further, 10 patients were treated on-scene and released by rural EMS, while no urban patients were treated and released. Overall, the case presentations of nontransported patients did not differ significantly between both areas, and it was found that gender, age, and geographic location were not predictors for nontransportation. Conclusions: The high rate of nontransportation, particularly in medical and trauma callouts, indicates that a review of current EMS protocols may be required, along with consideration of relevant community education programs.
  973 179 2
Efficacy and Safety of Azilsartan and Telmisartan in Hypertensive Patients
Alok Kumar, Dorchhom Khrime
January-April 2021, 9(1):82-82
DOI:10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_495_20  PMID:33519350
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Reply to the Letter to the Editor
Megha Garg
January-April 2021, 9(1):83-83
DOI:10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_840_20  PMID:33519351
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List of Reviewers, 2020

January-April 2021, 9(1):84-85
Full text not available  [PDF]  [Mobile Full text]  [EPub]
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Arabic Abstracts

January-April 2021, 9(1):86-89
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