Previous studies have noted the morphologic changes of lumbar disc herniation (LDH) in conservative treatment and predictive value of the resorption of LDH by using contrast-enhanced MRI. However, there are few reports that note the predictive value of plain, non-enhanced MRI. Therefore, no definite predictive factors for the resorption of LDH have been detected on plain MRI. Thirty-four patients with lower limb pain receiving conservative treatment were followed for more than 6 months. MRI was performed every 3 months. The findings of the first MRI in the patients who finally had resorption of LDH (R-group, 21 patients) were compared with those of the patients who exhibited no resorption of LDH (N-group, 13 patients). The MRI evaluation included the signal intensity of LDH, migration of LDH. The transition of the visual analogue scale (VAS) of lower limb pain was also compared. The R-group had significantly more patients with iso-signal intensity in comparison to the signal intensity of the nucleus pulposus observed on T1 weighted images (WI) and high-signal intensity in comparison to the signal intensity of the annulus fibrosus observed on T2 WI, whereas the N-group had more patients with the high-signal intensity on both T1 and T2 WI. The R-group had significantly more patients with migration. The VAS significantly improved at 3 and 6 months in both groups. However, no statistically significant difference was detected between the 2 groups. It is very valuable that the results clearly indicate the predictive factors on plain MRI concerning the resorption of LDH. The study also showed that lower limb pain would gradually improve even in the patients who exhibited no resorption. Therefore, it is important in the treatment of LDH to observe the clinical symptoms carefully without overestimating MRI findings.
[Purpose] To objectively compare the electronic radial scanning echoendoscope (ER-ES) with the mechanical radial scanning echoendoscope (MR-ES) in the quality of endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) images of gastrointestinal tract and pancreaticobiliary lesions. [Methods] Studied were 56 patients: 20 with gastric cancer, 20 with gallbladder lesions, and 16 with intraductal papillary-mucinous neoplasms of the pancreas (IPMN). They were subjected to EUS, half of them using the ER-ES, and the other half using the MR-ES. EUS images thus obtained were evaluated concerning four items in patients with gastric cancer and those with gallbladder lesions, and three items in patients with IPMN. Six endosonographers blindly assessed two EUS images per patient on a visual analogue scale. In each of the three groups of patients, the evaluators' median scores for the ER-ES and MR-ES for each item were compared. [Results] The median scores for the ER-ES were significantly higher than those for the MR-ES in all items in patients with gastric cancer and those with IPMN, and in one item in patients with gallbladder lesions. [Conclusion] The ER-ES is certainly superior to the MR-ES in the quality of EUS images of gastrointestinal tract and pancreaticobiliary lesions.
From 1996 to the end of 2009, a total of 114 cases of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation were performed in the Department of Hematology, Fukushima Medical University. We report here a general overview of our results. Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) was performed in 37 cases of acute leukemia, 10 of myelodysplastic syndrome, 5 of aplastic anemia, and 5 others. The 5-year survival rate with allo-HSCT was 51.1%. Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (auto-HSCT) was performed in 34 cases of malignant lymphoma, 15 of multiple myeloma, and 8 others. The 5-year patient survival rate was 75.2% with malignant lymphoma and 46.7% with multiple myeloma. These results are comparable to those from a nationwide survey in Japan, confirming that our hospital has attained a creditable level as a transplantation center.
[Background] Non-invasive detection of vascular dysfunction in the early stage is clinically important in patients with sleep apnea syndrome (SAS). Flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) is a novel clinical marker of endothelial function. However, it is not clear whether this is useful in the SAS patient. [Methods] Echocardiographic parameters and FMD were measured in 129 patients with SAS. Apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) was defined by polygraphy, and patients were divided into the two Groups: Group A (moderate-severe SAS: AHI≥ 15 times/hr, n=93) and Group B (mild SAS: AHI 5-15 times/hr, n=36). [Results] There were no significant differences in echocardiographic parameters between the two groups. However, FMD was significantly lower in Group A than in Group B (3.5±1.6 vs. 7.8±3.1, P< 0.01). [Conclusions] Although cardiac function was not different, vascular dysfunction was evident in patients with moderate-severe SAS. FMD is a useful tool to identify impaired endothelial function non-invasively in patients with SAS.
A 27-year-old woman exhibited progressive pancytopenia during cyclophosphamide pulse therapy for lupus nephritis and low-dose methotrexate therapy for severe arthralgia. Bone marrow aspiration revealed highly abnormal cell morphology, indicating therapy-related myelodysplastic syndrome. Pancytopenia and bone marrow cell morphology improved 3 months after discontinuation of cyclophosphamide. It is necessary to promptly examine bone marrow cell morphology and chromosomal aberration in cases with connective tissue diseases complicated by sudden cytopenia during immunosuppressive therapy with chemotherapeutic agents.
Acute compartment syndrome is a life-threatening complication in trauma patients. Not only regional neuromuscular disability, but also systemic organ disorders can result from prolonged tissue ischemia. In this report, we describe 2 cases of acute atraumatic compartment syndrome complicated with severe heat stroke. In both cases, emergency fasciotomy was rapidly performed after recognition of the syndrome, but serious regional neuromuscular disabilities remained. Microvascular endothelial injury is an important mechanism of acute atraumatic compartment syndrome. Thrombi diffusely formed in the compartmental space hinder establishment of reperfusion even after fasciotomy. Furthermore, disruption of fibrinolysis due to heat stroke could enhance this damage.
We tried L-arginine for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension secondary to pulmonary embolism. The plasma brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) level inversely correlated with the plasma concentration of L-arginine. After oral supplementation of L-arginine, patient's symptoms (shortness of breath and general malaise), state of congestive heart failure, and exercise capacity all improved. L-arginine may be effective in the treatment of pulmonary hypertension secondary to pulmonary embolism.
In the case of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), prompt and appropriate initial treatment is essential for increasing the rate of survival and early reperfusion is a main determinant factor for long-term prognosis. The survival of a patient with refractory ventricular fibrillation was made possible by cooperative emergency medical care including air medical transport, despite long distance to the hospital. The patient was a 60-year-old man. Under a diagnosis of AMI, a helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) with medical staff on board was requested. Although ventricular fibrillation (VF) occurred at the scene, quick and appropriate advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS) was provided by the attending doctor, leading to the return of heartbeat. Since the patient still exhibited serious bradycardia and cardiac failure, he was airlifted while undergoing transcutaneous pacing. Upon arrival at the hospital, the patient underwent emergency percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). During the PCI, VF recurred and chest compressions and a total of 17 defibrillations were performed. The PCI was continued with percutaneous cardiopulmonary support (PCPS). The patient survived without sequelae. Smoother cooperation between pre-hospital medical procedures and post-hospital emergency care is considered to be essential for the survival of patients such as this case.
The patient was a 50-year-old woman with a palpable tumor and pain in the right breast in May of 2008. The tumor was then diagnosed as an atheroma. The tumor enlarged rapidly in June, and the pain and the redness had worsened. The patient was then referred to our hospital. The tumor was in the upper inner quadrant of the right breast with surface redness, measuring about 3 cm. In the mammographic (MMG) findings, the tumor shadow was in the upper inner quadrant of the right breast and was observed to be circular and have a high density with a plain boundary and slightly roughed edges. In the ultrasonographic (US) findings, an oval-shaped high echoic region was found subcutaneously in the right breast. Because the high echoic area was subdivided in the partition of the low echoic string, it looked like a pebbled wall. Upon core needle biopsy, this case was diagnosed as malignant lymphoma. After comparing the histopathology and the US image, it was determined that the pebbled wall-shaped image was due to lymphocyte infiltration of the tissue. The US image was peculiar and we report this case as a peculiar example of malignant lymphoma.
Renal amyloidosis is typically characterized by nephrotic syndrome, often with massive proteinuria and refractory peripheral edema. We report the case of a patient with renal amyloidosis associated with nephrotic syndrome who maintained remission for 6 years after undergoing high-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous peripheral blood stem-cell transplantation (auto-PBSCT). The patient was a man aged in his 50s who had developed nephrotic syndrome. Bone marrow aspiration and kidney biopsy determined that the cause of the nephrotic syndrome was renal amyloidosis due to multiple myeloma, and the patient was admitted to our department in July 2003. After one course of chemotherapy, auto-PBSCT was performed in March 2004. Following transplantation, serum M-protein was no longer detectable from March 2005, and the patient achieved complete hematological remission. Subsequently, proteinuria decreased, serum albumin levels normalized, and nephrotic syndrome improved. As of 6 years after transplantation, in March 2010, the patient remained in remission, meaning that auto-PBSCT proved extremely effective as a treatment for renal amyloidosis in this case.
We report a patient who developed Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) 5 years after she presented with immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN). A 10-year-old Japanese female was identified with proteinuria and hematuria by a school urinary screening. The first renal biopsy showed mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis with immunofluorescent findings consistent with IgAN. She was treated with prednisolone, warfarin, and dilazep dihydrochloride, and the proteinuria and hematuria disappeared 4 months after the onset of treatment. Five years later she developed abdominal pain, gross hematuria and a classic purpuric rash of HSP after acute pharyngitis. The second renal biopsy showed diffuse mesangial proliferation with cellular crescent formation, and the patient was treated with methylprednisolone pulse therapy, prednisolone and mizoribine, resulting in a gradual decrease in urinary protein excretion. Our patient is unusual in that she developed Henoch-Schönlein purpura nephritis 5 years after clinical and biopsy evidence of IgAN, which suggests that IgAN and HSP are different clinical manifestations of the same disease, probably sharing a common pathogenesis.