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Imaging
Authors: Judit Simon, Szilvia Herczeg, Sarolta Borzsák, Judit Csőre, Anna Sára Kardos, Gergely Mérges, Emese Zsarnóczay, Nándor Szegedi, Melinda Boussoussou, Borbála Vattay, Márton Kolossváry, Bálint Szilveszter, László Gellér, Béla Merkely, and Pál Maurovich-Horvat

Abstract Background and Aim

To assess the prevalence of incidental extracardiac findings in patients who underwent cardiac CT for the evaluation of left atrial (LA) anatomy before atrial fibrillation (AF) catheter ablation. We also aimed to determine the independent predictors of relevant extracardiac alterations.

Patients and Methods

We studied consecutive patients who underwent cardiac CT with a 256-slice scanner for the visualization of LA anatomy before AF ablation. Prevalence of clinically significant and not significant extracardiac findings were recorded. Moreover, we determined the variables associated with relevant extracardiac alterations with uni- and multivariate logistic regression analyses.

Results

In total, 1,952 consecutive patients who underwent cardiac CT examination between 2010 and 2020 were included in our study (mean age 61.2±10.6 years; 66.2% male). Incidental extracardiac findings were detected in 820 (42.0%; 95%CI=0.40-0.44%) patients, while clinically significant alterations were reported in 416 (21.3%; 95%CI=20.0-23.2%) patients. When analyzing the predictors of clinically relevant alterations, age (OR=1.04; 95%CI=1.03- 1.05), male sex (OR=1.39; 95%CI=1.12-1.73), chest pain (OR=1.46; 95%CI=1.09-1.93), hypertension (OR=1.42; 95%CI=1.12-1.81), heart failure (OR=1.68; 95%CI=1.09-2.53), obstructive CAD (OR=1.56; 95%CI=1.16-2.09) and prior stroke/TIA (OR=1.56; 95%CI=1.04- 2.30) showed association with clinically significant incidental findings in the univariate analysis (all p<0.05). In the multivariate analysis, age (OR=1.04; 95%CI=1.02-1.06; p<0.001) proved to be the only significant predictor of clinically relevant extracardiac finding.

Conclusion

Cardiac CT performed before AF ablation is not only helpful in understanding LA anatomy, but might also identify clinically significant pathologies. These incidental findings might have further diagnostic or therapeutic consequences.

Open access

Abstract

Background

Recently, there has been significantly increased participation in online gaming and other addictive behaviors particularly in adolescents. Tendencies to avoid social interaction and become more involved in technology-based activities pose the danger of creating unhealthy addictions. Thus, the presence of relatively immature cognitive control and high risk-taking properties makes adolescence a period of major changes leading to an increased rate of emotional disorders and addiction.

Aims

The critical roles of frontostriatal circuits in addiction have become the primary focus associated with reward in the striatum and cognitive control in the PFC. Internet gaming disorder (IGD) and nicotine addiction are currently becoming more and more serious.

Methods

In the light of neuroimaging, the similarity between brain mechanisms causing substance use disorder (SUD) and IGD have been described in previous literature.

Results

In particular, two distinct brain systems affect the way we act accounting for uncharacteristic neural function in addiction: the affective system comprises of the striatum driven by emotional, reward-related, and internal stimuli, and a cognitive system consisting of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) supporting the ventral affective system's actions via inhibitory control.

Discussion and Conclusion

Therefore, as a novel concept, we focused on the implication of frontostriatal circuits in nicotine addiction and IGD by reviewing the main findings from our studies compared to those of others. We hope that all of these neuroimaging findings can lead to effective intervention and treatment for addiction especially during this critical period.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aim

Problematic mobile phone use (PMPU) is prevalent and increases the risk for a variety of health problems. However, few studies have explored the neural mechanisms that might render adolescents more or less vulnerable. Here, we aimed to identify whether PMPU is associated with depressive symptoms and whether this relationship is moderated by intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) which is associated with PMPU.

Methods

In this longitudinal study, we included 238 students (mean age = 19.05, SD = 0.81) that came from a university in Hefei, China. They all finished MRI scans at baseline and completed questionnaires both at baseline and 1 year later. A self-rating questionnaire for adolescent problematic mobile phone use and depression anxiety stress scale-21 were used to assess PMPU and depressive symptoms. We first assessed the relationship between PMPU and depressive symptoms using an autoregressive cross-lagged model. Then, we detected the brain regions that were associated with PMPU. Moreover, the neuroimaging results were extracted to explore whether the iFC of these brain regions moderated the relationship between PMPU and depression.

Results

Consistent with our hypotheses, PMPU was positively associated with depressive symptoms, and the relationship between PMPU and depressive symptoms was moderated by iFC of the left parahippocampal gyrus-right middle temporal gyrus both at baseline and after 1 year (β = 0.554, P = 0.003; β = 0.463, P = 0.016, respectively).

Conclusions

These results advance the understanding of PMPU and suggest that iFC of the left parahippocampal gyrus-right middle temporal gyrus may be a neurobiological contributor to its relationship with depressive symptoms.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Research recognizes the extent of harm experienced by concerned significant others (CSOs) of gamblers. This systematic review’s aims are to examine the interventions for CSOs, evaluate potential benefits, and thematically describe treatment processes. The Stress-Strain-Coping-Support model (SSCS) served as the theoretical framework.

Methods

Database searches were conducted in: MEDLINE, CINAHL Complete, Web of Science Core Collection, Social Services Abstracts, Applied Social Science Index and Abstracts, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and APA PsycInfo (between 01/Jan 2011–10/Jun 2021). Other search methods were also utilized. Inclusion criteria: interventions for CSOs with CSO specific outcomes. The Evidence Project Risk of Bias Tool was used for assessment.

Results

19/768 records were included. Nine interventions were utilized: 3 CSO directed, 4 for couples, and 2 low threshold online interventions. A quantitative synthesis (N = 7 studies) of effect size estimates for depression and anxiety measures didn’t indicate any intervention to have better outcomes than others. Core themes in the treatment process identified in the qualitative synthesis (N = 7) included: information and understanding, social support, coping skills, communication, and strain. Limitations in the evidence related to sampling, control-conditions and outcome measurements.

Discussion and conclusion

Several interventions were identified, yet no specific interventions appeared more beneficial than others. Using the SSCS model, commonalities and differences in intervention content were identified, along with themes that influence treatment processes. The need for tailored interventions is discussed. Future treatment efficacy research should carefully select study designs and outcome measurements. PROSPERO (CRD42021229408).

Open access

Abstract

Background

Addictive behaviors share clinical, genetic, neurobiological and phenomenological parallels with substance addictions. Despite the prevalence of compulsive sexual behaviors, particularly problematic pornography use (PPU), how neuroendocrine systems relate to PPU is not well understood. Preclinical studies demonstrate alterations in oxytocin and arginine vasopressin (AVP) function in animal models of addiction, but no human study has tested their involvement in PPU.

Method

Participants included 122 males; 69 reported PPU, and 53 were demographically-matched participants without PPU. Plasma oxytocin and AVP levels and oxytocin-to-AVP balance were measured at baseline. Salivary oxytocin was assessed at baseline and in response to four videos depicting neutral/positive social encounters. Participants reported on empathy and psychiatric symptoms.

Results

Baseline plasma AVP levels were elevated in men with PPU, and the ratio of oxytocin-to-vasopressin suggested AVP dominance. Men with PPU reacted with greater oxytocin increases to presentation of neutral/positive social stimuli. Decreased empathic tendencies were found in men with PPU, and this reduced empathy mediated links between oxytocin and pornography-related hypersexuality. Structural equation modeling revealed three independent paths to pornography-related hypersexuality; two direct paths via increased AVP and higher psychiatric symptoms and one indirect path from oxytocin to pornography-related hypersexuality mediated by diminished empathy.

Conclusions

Findings are among the first to implicate neuropeptides sustaining mammalian attachment in the pathophysiology of pornography-related hypersexuality and describe a neurobiological mechanism by which oxytocin-AVP systems and psychiatric symptomatology may operate to reduce empathy and lead to pornography-related hypersexuality.

Open access