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Letter from President of UMP

Letter from President
  • Tran Diep Tuan,
  • Pages 1-1
  • 10/12/2017
  • 17
  • 2700
  • Free

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Diep Tuan

President of University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City, Department of Pediatrics - UMP

 

Since our founding in 1947, the University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City (UMP) has consistently worked hard to be a well-established and highly ranked university in Vietnam and the region. We aspire to provide a healthy scientific environment for our students, faculty and researchers. UMP is committed to advance scientific research and innovation, providing our community with the necessary tools in order to achieve these aspirations.

The MedPharmRes journal represents a major step that UMP has undertaken to provide a stage for academics to spread, promote, discuss their ideas and research. MedPharmRes is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal that is dedicated to publishing cutting-edge research that will help and promote change in the practice of medicine. We believe that science should be available to everyone and to prevent any limitations in the publishing process, UMP will sponsor publication associated fees between 2017 and 2018. This will allow academics from all backgrounds to submit for publication in our Journal. MedPharmRes applies high standards towards the peer- review process to ensure strict standards in methodological design and valid results. We emphasize the accuracy of research methodology and high ethical standards.  Our live online, blinded review process will allow both reviewers and authors to discuss the manuscript which will allow fair and accurate review of the submission, ensuring that the journal’s high standards are met.

In this inaugural issue, we would like to thank all the editorial and peer reviewers for their efforts. We hope that academics from around the world will choose to publish their research in this Journal, in order to promote high quality research, contributing to the development and advancement of of medical practice in Vietnam and around the world.

 

Graphical abstract

Quantitative Hepatitis B Surface Antigen in Different Phases of Chronic HBV Infection in Vietnamese Patients: The Preliminary Study

Original Research
  • Nguyen Thi Cam Huong, Le Thi Thuy Hang, Tran Bao Nhu, Salma Fala, Ibrahim Radwan, Nguyen Tien Huy, Pham Thi Le Hoa,
  • Pages 2-8
  • 10/12/2017
  • 82
  • 1272
  • Free

Quantitative serum HBsAg has been considered as a marker that reflects the immune effect on clearance of HBV. The HBsAg level varies in different genotypes and phases of infection. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the serum HBsAg level and its correlation with HBV DNA in different phases of Vietnamese CHB patients, predominately infected with genotype B and C. 267 chronic HBV treatment naïve patients (156 genotype B and 61 genotype C) were recruited in this cross-sectional study. Patients were categorized to 5 groups: immune tolerance (IT), HBeAg positive chronic hepatitis B (CHBe+), inactive carrier (IC), viral reactivation (VR), HBeAg negative chronic hepatitis B (CHBe-). The serum HBsAg level was measured by ECLIA method. Correlations between HBsAg and HBV DNA were analyzed by Spearman's correlation. The median HBsAg values were different between groups of CHB 4.56 log10 IU/mL (IT), 3.85 log10 IU/mL (CHBe+), 2.72 log10 IU/mL (IC), 3.21 log10 IU/mL (VR) and 3.09 log10 IU/mL (CHBe-) (p= 0.001). The significant correlations between HBsAg levels and HBV DNA were found in all CHB groups (r = 0.3 to 0.5). The ratios of HBsAg/HBV DNA were distributed around 0.5. The wide distribution of HBsAg and the highest ratio of HBsAg/HBV DNA were found in the IC groups. Our study demonstrated that serum HBsAg levels were significantly different in natural stages of CHB.  Significant correlations between HBsAg and HBV DNA were found in all CHB phases. The wide distribution of HBsAg in the IC group raises the question on the existence of HBsAg integration in CHB patients.

Graphical abstract

The Vietnamese Version of the Health-related Quality of Life Measure for Children with Epilepsy (CHEQOL-25): Reliability

Original Research
  • Tri Huu Doan, Tran Diep Tuan, Han Bao Huu Nguyen,
  • Pages 9-14
  • 10/12/2017
  • 76
  • 1145
  • Free

Purpose: This study aimed to translate and culturally adapt the self-report and parent-proxy Health-Related Quality of Life Measure for Children with Epilepsy (CHEQOL-25) into Vietnamese and to evaluate their reliability.

Methods: Both English versions of the self-report and parent-proxy CHEQOL-25 were translated and culturally adapted into Vietnamese by using the Principles of Good Practice for the Translation and Cultural Adaptation Process. The Vietnamese versions were scored by 77 epileptic patients, who aged 8–15 years, and their parents/caregivers at neurology outpatient clinic of Children Hospital No. 2 – Ho Chi Minh City. Reliability of the questionnaires was determined by using Cronbach’s coefficient α and intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC).

Results: Both Vietnamese versions of the self-report and parent-proxy CHEQOL-25 were shown to be consistent with the English ones, easy to understand for Vietnamese children and parents. Thus, no further modification was required. Cronbach’s α coefficient for each subscale of the Vietnamese version of the self-report and parent-proxy CHEQOL-25 was 0.65 to 0.86 and 0.83 to 0.86, respectively. The ICC for each subscale of the self-report and parent-proxy CHEQOL-25 was in the range of 0.61 to 0.86 and 0.77 to 0.98, respectively.

Conclusion: The Vietnamese version of the self-report and parent-proxy CHEQOL-25 were the first questionnaires about quality of life of epileptic children in Vietnam. This Vietnamese version was shown to be reliable to assess the quality of life of children with epilepsy aged 8–15 years.

Graphical abstract

Synthesis, in vitro Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitory Activity Evaluation and Docking Investigation of Some Aromatic Chalcones

Original Research
  • Thanh-Dao Tran, Thai-Son Tran, Thi-Cam-Vi Nguyen, Minh-Tri Le, Khac-Minh Thai,
  • Pages 15-25

In this study, a total of twenty chalcones were synthesized via Claisen-Schmidt condensation reaction and evaluated for their in vitro acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activities using Ellman’s method. Molecular docking studies on acetylcholinesterase were performed to elucidate the interactions between these chalcone derivatives and acetylcholinesterase active site at the molecular level. From the series, six compounds (S1-5 and S17) exhibited strong acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activities with IC50 values below 100 µM compared to the parent unsubstituted chalcone. Compound S17 (4’-amino-2-chlorochalcone) showed the strongest acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity in the investigated group with IC50 value of 36.10 µM. Molecular modeling studies were consistent with the results of in vitro acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activities, and chalcone S17 could be considered as a potential lead compound for the development of new acetylcholinesterase inhibitors.

Graphical abstract

Virtual Screening, Oriented-synthesis and Evaluation of Lipase Inhibitory Activity of Benzyl Amino Chalcone Derivatives

Original Research
  • Trang Hoang Minh Vu, Duy Duc Vu, Dat Van Truong, Phuong Thuy Viet Nguyen, Dao Thanh Tran,
  • Pages 26-36
  • 21/12/2017
  • 124
  • 997
  • Free

Nowadays, obesity has been becoming one of the most popular problems to the global health. Molecular design with the aid of computing method is an efficient and cost-saving solution in the initial research of new potential drugs for the treatment of obesity. This study focused on benzyl amino chalcone derivatives as they have a benzyl group that can mimic the hydrophobic effect of the long chain carbon of Orlistat, a drug used to treat obesity. Initially, 102 molecular structures were prepared and docked into the protein by using AutoDock Vina version 1.5.6. Fourteen structures having good docking scores were selected to synthesize using a Claisen-Schmidt reaction. Afterward, these synthesized chalcones were tested biological activity against pancreatic lipase by spectrophotometric determination at a wavelength of 405 nm, using p-nitro phenyl palmitate as the substrate. The co-crystallized ligand of pancreatic lipase enzyme was redocked into the enzyme and the RMSD was 1.4976 Å which showed the ligand and the protein preparation could regenerate the practical experiment. As the docking results, the binding affinities of top ten compounds varied from -8.6 and -10.2 kcal/mol. Biological testing resulted in 4 derivatives with IC50 >120 µM, 8 derivatives with 60 µM < IC50 < 120 µM and 2 derivatives with IC50 < 60 µM. In addition, the docking results also confirmed the key role of amino acid Ser152 in interacting with the ligands. The benzyl amino chalcone derivatives are required for further investigation to become a lead compound for anti-obesity drug discovery.

Graphical abstract

Evaluation of ESP Effectiveness in Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Original Research
  • Thao Nguyen Thi Phuong, Tien Nguyen Dong Phuong, Hai Nguyen Duc, Dat Van Truong,
  • Pages 37-45

Since 2011, English for Specific Purposes (ESP) curriculum in Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) has been changed in accordance with pharmaceutical specialization orientation and did apply the active learning-learner centered teaching methods. Our study used three self-administered questionnaires to collect the feedbacks from sophomores, final-year and pharmacist graduating in 2016 in evaluating ESP course effectiveness. Data analyzed with STATA 13 indicated that English lecturers made efforts to organize the active learning activities in ESP class but their target has neither been effective nor met the required students’ needs in academic purposes as well as their occupational purposes. In addition, students’ passivity and lack of apparent motivation made it more difficult to apply the active learning method. Generally, final-year pharmacy students and newly graduated pharmacists, besides their moderate English competence, had a low frequency in using English. It is also found that there exists the relationship between final-year pharmacy students’ frequency of using English, their English competence and pharmaceutical specialization as well as that between English use frequency and occupation.

Graphical abstract

The Incidence and Characteristics of Gastrointestinal Intolerance on Mechanically Ventilated Patients with Continuous versus Intermittent Feeding Method in The Intensive Care Unit: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Original Research
  • Vo Thi Hong Nhan, Alison Merrill, Tran Thien Trung,
  • Pages 46-51
  • 21/12/2017
  • 120
  • 1214
  • Free

Background: Enteral nutrition therapy via nasogastric tube can be administered through continuous or intermittent feeding methods for critically ill patients. However, there has not been existing consensus on the superiority of either method for mechanically ventilated patients due to insufficient evidence comparing the effectiveness of the two methods. The present study aimed to compare the impact of continuous versus intermittent feeding methods on gastrointestinal intolerance in mechanically ventilated patients.

Methods: 41 mechanically ventilated patients in the intensive care unit, University Medical Center, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam from 3/2017 to 5/2017 were enrolled in a randomized controlled trial. They were randomly and equally assigned to the two study groups and monitored for 4 consecutive days on incidence of gastrointestinal intolerance including high gastric residual volume, abdominal distention, diarrhea, and tube occlusion.

Results: There was statistically significant difference when comparing the gastric residual volumes between two groups with a median at 0.93ml (0.09-1.93) versus 11.61ml (7.61-17.28) (p < 0.001). The mean number of abdominal distention episodes in the continuous group was significantly lower than in the intermittent group (2.8 ± 2.66 versus 8.29 ± 5.1 episodes, respectively, p < 0.001). The diarrhea scores were not significantly different (p < 0.05) and there were no cases of occlusion recorded in the two groups.

Conclusions: Continuous feeding method offered less gastrointestinal intolerance than intermittent feeding method by reducing gastric residual volumes and limiting abdominal distention. The feeding method did not increase the risk of tube obstruction if it was flushed regularly.

Graphical abstract

Phytochemical Screening and Total Phenolics and Flavonoids Contents of Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis. L Cultivated in Viet Nam

Original Research
  • Han Truong, Ly Le, Minh Tran,
  • Pages 52-57

Background: Phenolics and flavonoids are regarded as the highest potential of chemotherapeutic activities. This investigation was carried out to evaluate phytochemical and total phenolics content (TPC) and total flavonoids content (TFC) and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) spectral analysis of Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis L. extracts (crude extract, n-hexane extract, ethyl acetate extract, and methanol extract) for further applications in pharmaceutical development.

Method: Total phenolics were estimated by Folin-Ciocalteu method; while, Aluminum chloride was employed to quantify total flavonoids in the sample extracts. And, functional groups of Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis compound was determined using a FTIR-spectrophotometer.  

Result: Results showed the leaves extracts to encompass the high amount of total phenolic and total flavonoid content. TPC values for crude extract, methanol extract, ethyl acetate extract and n-hexane extract were 57.09 ± 0.35 mg/g, 70.98 ± 0.03 mg/g, 21.31 ± 0.01 mg/g, and 18.45 ± 0.003 mg/g as gallic acid equivalent, respectively. Crude extract, methanol extract, ethyl acetate extract and n-hexane extract showed total flavonoids 26.87 ± 0.01 mg/g, 21.08 ± 0.03 mg/g, 21.70 ± 0.001 mg/g, 14.95 ± 0.02 mg/g as rutin equivalent. FTIR spectra of four extracts were comparable and showed the presence of nitro compounds and ring aromatic compounds.  

Conclusion: Our results indicate the potential of exploiting Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis leaves as a source of chemotherapeutic compounds, and it is worthy doing further researches on isolated bioactive compounds for developing novel functional foods or new drugs.

 

Graphical abstract