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Publications (2)5.96 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Atherosclerosis and cancer share common risk factors and involve similar molecular pathomechanisms. Most clinical and epidemiological studies show a positive correlation between atherosclerosis and smoking-related cancers and heterogeneous results for non-smoking-related cancers. However, up-to-date large-scale autopsy studies including a detailed analysis of cancer types are lacking. Therefore, we sought to investigate the relation between major cancer types and the grade of atherosclerosis in a recent well-powered autopsy cohort. In 2101 patients, both autopsy data and clinical data including demographics, disease groups, tumour type, cause of death and grade of atherosclerosis were reviewed and statistically analysed. We found cancer in general is associated with less atherosclerosis (OR 0.60, p<0.0001). In particular, haematological neoplasm and sarcomas were associated with much less atherosclerosis (OR=0.45, p<0.0001 and OR=0.43, p=0.087), while carcinomas were associated with moderately less atherosclerosis (OR=0.72, p=0.002). Furthermore, non-smoking-related cancers were associated with much less atherosclerosis (OR=0.41, p<0.0001), while possibly smoking-related cancer and smoking-related cancer showed no significant association. In a comprehensive analysis of 21 cancer types, biliary tract cancer, lymphomas/lymphoid leukaemias and kidney cancer were associated with much less atherosclerosis (OR=0.19, p<0.0001; OR=0.41, p<0.0001; and OR=0.48, p=0.029). In an exploratory analysis of treatment strategies, we found that tumours with a recommendation of oxazaphosphorines and pyrimidine antagonist treatment were significantly associated with less atherosclerosis (OR=0.33, p=0.0068 and OR=0.58, p=0.012). In conclusion, the study showed an inverse association between cancer and atherosclerosis postmortem that depends on the cancer type and suggests a possible impact of chemotherapy regimens.
    Journal of clinical pathology 02/2014; · 2.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autopsy rates in Western countries consistently decline to an average of <5%, although clinical autopsies represent a reasonable tool for quality control in hospitals, medically and economically. Comparing pre- and postmortal diagnoses, diagnostic discrepancies as uncovered by clinical autopsies supply crucial information on how to improve clinical treatment. The study aimed at analyzing current diagnostic discrepancy rates, investigating their influencing factors and identifying risk profiles of patients that could be affected by a diagnostic discrepancy. Of all adult autopsy cases of the Charité Institute of Pathology from the years 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2008, the pre- and postmortal diagnoses and all demographic data were analyzed retrospectively. Based on power analysis, 1,800 cases were randomly selected to perform discrepancy classification (class I-VI) according to modified Goldman criteria. The rate of discrepancies in major diagnoses (class I) was 10.7% (95% CI: 7.7%-14.7%) in 2008 representing a reduction by 15.1%. Subgroup analysis revealed several influencing factors to significantly correlate with the discrepancy rate. Cardiovascular diseases had the highest frequency among class-I-discrepancies. Comparing the 1988-data of East- and West-Berlin, no significant differences were found in diagnostic discrepancies despite an autopsy rate differing by nearly 50%. A risk profile analysis visualized by intuitive heatmaps revealed a significantly high discrepancy rate in patients treated in low or intermediate care units at community hospitals. In this collective, patients with genitourinary/renal or infectious diseases were at particularly high risk. This is the current largest and most comprehensive study on diagnostic discrepancies worldwide. Our well-powered analysis revealed a significant rate of class-I-discrepancies indicating that autopsies are still of value. The identified risk profiles may aid both pathologists and clinicians to identify patients at increased risk for a discrepant diagnosis and possibly suboptimal treatment intra vitam.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(5):e37460. · 3.53 Impact Factor