What's Hot In Medicine> 2010

Year: 2010

The Top Ten lists in Medicine feature papers published during the last two years (excluding review articles) that were most cited in current journal articles indexed by Clarivate Analytics during a recent two-month period. Papers are ranked according to the latest bimonthly citation count. The articles below are accompanied by expert discussion and analysis (including comments from the papers’ authors) written by one of four veteran scientist-journalists and longtime ScienceWatch.com contributors.



Bypass and Stenting Vie For Hearts and Minds

by David W. Sharp

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting. From the National Heart and Blood Institute.Faced with the necessity of myocardial revascularizaton, clinicians typically have two choices: coronary-artery bypass grafting (CABG), or less-invasive percutaneous procedures that usually involve stents. A recent study has compared these two methods and concluded that CABG should remain the standard of care, given the decreased likelihood of major cardiac or cerebrovascular events, although the reduced invasiveness of percutaneous methods appears to have accounted for their wider use.
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Role of Soluble Amyloid-ß Examined in Alzheimer’s

by David W. Sharp

Combination of two brain diagrams in one for comparison. In the left normal brain, in the right brain of a person with Alzheimer's disease. Image from the Wikimedia Commons.Recent research in Alzheimer’s disease has shifted from emphasis on plaques and tangles of beta-amyloid protein in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients to smaller, soluble forms of beta-amyloid. Soluble forms of human beta-amyloid have been observed to interfere with the memory of learned behavior in rats. Soluble beta-amyloid also correlates well with dementia in human patients. These findings open a promising area for further Alzheimer’s research.
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Genetic Determinants of Platelet-Inhibitor Response

by David W. Sharp

Structure of the CYP2C19 protein. Based on PyMOL rendering of PDB 
          1r9o. From the Wikimedia Commons.Identifying the genetic determinants of how efficacious a drug will be—research that has already been applied to the anti-cancer agent cetuximab—has also been explored in connection with the anti-platelet compound clopidogrel. In examining why cardiac patients given the drug respond so differently, researchers have pinpointed genetic differences, such as variant alleles of the gene CYP2C19.
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Disquieting Details on the 2009 Swine Flu Outbreak

by David W. Sharp

          colorized negative stained transmission electron micrograph (TEM) 
          depicted some of the ultrastructural morphology of the A/CA/4/09 swine 
          flu virus.Early reports on the H1N1 influenza outbreak in humans during 2009 already rank among the most-cited recent papers in medicine. Three such papers, based on an international collaborative effort, report on the emergence and characteristics of the outbreak, including characterization of the novel virus, cataloguing of patients and their symptoms, and assessments of transmission rates.
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Coronary-Artery Calcium: A Risk for Heart Disease?

by David W. Sharp

Coronary Calcium. From the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute,
              National Institutes of Health. Among recent medical reports attracting numerous citations are studies addressing some of society’s most prevalent health problems: type 2 diabetes, obesity, and coronary heart disease. The elements under study include the control of blood glucose in diabetes, examinations of increase in the incidence of obesity among various segments of the population, and the monitoring of coronary-artery calcium as a means for predicting heart disease.
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Prostate Debate: Does PSA Screening Affect Mortality?

by David W. Sharp

Testing men for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) as a screening for prostate cancer continues to provoke investigation and debate in the healthcare community. A definitive improvement in mortality rate has yet to be demonstrated, and the tests carry the potential drawbacks of false-positive results and unnecessary overtreatment. Studies reported in two recent Hot Papers in Medicine consider data related to these matters.
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