1. Malaria: history and diagnosis

    Malaria predates humanity and is likely to have been a parasite of humans for the entire history of our species. As such it has presented a severe and sustained challenge to human health since the dawn of civilisation. Particularly when humans moved from a hunter-gatherer existence to an agriculture-based one, malaria began to have a major impact on human survival. Coupled with the fact that malaria has for most of its existence been a global disease, the effect on human populations has been profound.

  2. The evaluation of an unexpected high serum calcium concentration

    Laboratory reports of elevated serum calcium concentrations are relatively common in both hospitalized patient and outpatient settings. The distinction between measurements likely to cause symptoms requiring correction from those that are benign, poses a challenge to the physician. The purpose of this issue of Pat-Langs is to review the most common causes of hypercalcaemia, and to provide guidelines for the follow-up of a patient with an unexpected finding of a raised serum calcium concentration.

  3. Patlangs newsletter April 2011 Afrikaans

    'n Testosteroongebrek kan verskeie oorsake hê en mag mans van alle ouderdomme beïnvloed. By middeljarige en ouer mans word na testosteroongebrek verwys as androgeen gebreksindroom van die verouderende man, testosteroon gebreksindroom (TGS), of laat-aanvangs hipogonadisme. Die Endokriene Vereniging (VSA) definieer manlike hipogonadisme as 'n kliniese sindroom wat voortvloei uit die onvermoë van die testes om fisiologiese vlakke van testosteroon en die normale aantal spermatozoa te produseer a.g.v. ontwrigting van een of meer vlakke van die hipotalamus-pituïtêre klier -testes aksis.

  4. Patlangs newsletter April 2011 English

    Testosterone deficiency can result from many causes and may affect men of all ages. In middle-aged and elderly men the disorder is referred to as androgen deficiency of the aging male (ADAM), testosterone deficiency syndrome (TDS), or late-onset hypogonadism (LOH). The Endocrine Society (USA) defines male hypogonadism as a clinical syndrome resulting from failure of the testis to produce physiological levels of testosterone (androgen deficiency) and a normal number of spermatozoa due to disruption of one or more levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis.

  5. Patlangs newsletter Julie 2011 Afrikaans

    Sputum vir mikroskopie, kultuur en sensitiwiteit (MK&S) is een van die mees algemene ondersoeke wat die mikrobiologie laboratorium uitvoer. Dit is egter nie verrasend nie want lugweginfeksies is relatief algemeen en word dikwels gevind in die praktyk. Die uithoes (ekspektoreer) van sputum word nog altyd beskou as 'n logiese keuse vir die diagnose vir vanselfsprekende redes, omdat dit relatief maklik verkrygbaaris, nie indringend is nie, en sonder veel risiko vir die pasient is.

  6. Patlangs newsletter January 2012

    The scourge of HIV continues to mount in South Africa despite efforts to control the epidemic. This places an enormous financial, social and economic burden on government, health care providers, families and household as well as societies and communities. According to UNAIDS estimates in 2008, more than 33 million people are living with HIV, and approximately 2.7 million new infections arise every year. Of these 22.4 million people are living in sub Saharan Africa.

  7. Patlangs newsletter July 2011 English

    Sputum for Microscopy, Culture and Sensitivity (MC&S) is one of the commonest investigations processed by most microbiology laboratories. This is not surprising, since Lower Respiratory Tract Infection (LRTI) is a relatively common infectious disease suspected or encountered in clinical practice, and expectorated sputum has always seemed to be a logical choice as a diagnostic specimen, for obvious reasons: it is relatively easily obtainable, non-invasive and therefore procured without any risk to the patient.

  8. Patlangs newsletter October 2010

    The American Diabetes Association (ADA) published their most recent guidelines as a position statement* in Diabetes Care 33, S63, Supplement 1, January 2010. These guidelines are based on authoritative evaluation of the new standardized HbA1c methods and clinical studies to assess the diagnostic efficiency of HbA1c (a measure of either under- or over-diagnosing the condition).

  9. Patlangs newsletter May 2011

    Until recently most people believed that Vitamin D deficiency is uncommon and that enough sun exposure is sufficient for adequate Vitamin D status. Current data suggest that Vitamin D deficiency is actually very common in all age groups. Some people are at higher risk to develop Vitamin D deficiency than the general population e.g. low sun exposure (winter, institutionalized people, dark skin pigmentation, sunscreen use), obese individuals, patients on HIV or anti-epileptic medication, malabsorption due to bowel disease.

  10. Patlangs newsletter August 2011

    Each year, more than 200 000 women around the world are diagnosed with ovarian cancer.(1,3) It is the eighth most common cancer in women, with postmenopausal women at the greatest risk. Ovarian cancer has a good prognosis if detected during the early stages (and especially if treated by specialized gynaecologists) : women diagnosed in stages I – II have a 70% survival rate at 5 years, women diagnosed in stages III and IV have a 5 year survival rate of less than 30%.