Aim: To examine the causes of death in elderly patients with advanced dementia, we retrospectively investigated the medical records for death discharge cases hospitalized in the Department of Geriatric Medicine at Saiseikai-Nakatsu Hospital and examined death certificates issued throughout the hospital. Methods: (1) From 2010 to 2013, 31 patients with advanced dementia died in the hospital or were discharged to receive terminal care at home. We evaluated their medical records to examine the pathological background and disease with which they were diagnosed when admitted to and discharged from the hospital. (2) In order to assess the relationship between disease and dementia, we examined death certificates with "senility" or " (aspiration) pneumonia" recorded as the direct death cause issued throughout the hospital in the one-year period of 2013. Results: (1) There were many cases in which eating problems and dysphagia influenced the clinical course. A total of 21 patients died from eating problems and/or dysphagia. (2) All 13 cases with "senility" recorded as the direct death cause on the death certificate involved severe dysphagia. Investigating the medical records, 11 patients had advanced dementia and two patients had end-stage Parkinson's disease. In total, 46 cases were diagnosed as involving " (aspiration) pneumonia", whereas there were no cases in which the records mentioned dementia or dysphagia in another column on the death certification. Conclusions: Advanced dementia is a mortal illness, and most patients with advanced dementia have dysphagia. Clinicians should be aware of the fact that dysphagia may lead to aspiration pneumonia and is a significant cause of death. Understanding the clinical course of dementia is important for determining the cause of death.
Aim: In the present study, we defined the state of pre-dehydration (PD) as the suspected loss of body fluids, not accompanied by subjective symptoms, where the serum osmotic pressure ranges from 292 to 300 mOsm/kg・H2O. The goal of this study was to develop a PD assessment sheet based on the results of sensitivity and specificity testing among elderly individuals. Methods: We evaluated the serum osmotic pressure in 70 subjects >65 years of age who regularly visited an elderly-care institution. We then determined the associations between the serum osmotic pressure and various dehydration-related diagnostic factors identified in our previous study. Risk factors for dehydration were evaluated using a logistic regression analysis and allotted points according to the odds ratio. Results: PD was confirmed in 15 subjects (21.4%) using measurements of the serum osmotic pressure. We developed a PD assessment sheet that consisted of six items: (1) Female gender (4 points), (2) BMI≥25 kg/m2 (5 points), (3) Diuretics (6 points), (4) Laxatives (2 points), (5) Dry skin (2 points) and (6) A desire to consume cold drinks or foods (2 points). The cutoff value at which the risk of PD was high was set at 9 points (total of 21 points) (sensitivity 0.73, specificity 0.82; P<0.001). Conclusions: In this study, we found that 21.4% of the elderly subjects had PD. Using these data, we developed an effective noninvasive tool for detecting PD among elderly individuals.
Aim: We retrospectively evaluated blood culture results in elderly patients (≥65 years) with a fever due to infection. Methods: We examined the bacteria isolated from blood cultures and compared them to bacteria detected in infected lesions that caused bacteremia. We compared the types of bacteria isolated in the two groups (the community-acquired group and the hospital-acquired group). Results: Blood cultures were obtained from 638 patients. Bacteria were detected in 182 patients (28.5%), including 66 (36.3%) patients in the community-acquired group and 116 (63.7%) patients in the hospital-acquired group. There were 259 positive samples (25.1%). In arterial blood specimens, 153 (30.9%) samples were positive, while in venous blood specimens, there were 106 (19.8%) positive samples (P<0.001). In the community-acquired group, the most common bacteria identified were E. coli compared to S. epidermidis in the hospital-acquired group. More than 50% of the bacteria identified in the blood cultures were of the same species identified in the respective urine samples and central venous catheter tips. Conclusions: The bacteria detection rate in this study was 28.5% for blood cultures, which is higher than the 17.5% reported by the Japan Nosocomial Infections Surveillance Program conducted by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. These results suggest that in elderly patients from whom an insufficient volume of blood can be drawn from a vein, an arterial sample may increase the detection rate. A high percentage of bacterial species isolated from the blood cultures was also detected in urinary tract infections and central venous catheter-related infections, indicating that a blood culture is useful for detecting various infectious diseases, even in elderly febrile patients.
Aim: Many patients with cerebral stroke are successively treated with the latest advances in medical therapies. Surgical hematoma evacuation is a treatment option for patients with hemorrhagic cerebral stroke, however; it may result in a prolonged vegetative state. The difficult choice of whether or not such surgery should be performed is mostly made by the family, frequently in an urgent manner, and nurses need to understand the factors affecting this decision-making. Methods: We performed statistical analyses on the responses of 30 patients' families who answered our questionnaire, presuming disabilities after the surgery were expected. Multiple answers were obtained according to the severity of the expected disabilities after the surgery. Results: The refusal of surgery increased as the expected disabilities worsened, and the statistically significant factor affecting the decision-making process was "what they would wish if they suffered a stroke themselves." The 18 nurses working in the neurological ward who responded to the same questionnaire wished surgery more in the case of the patient's cognition being preserved. Conclusions: Since it is rare for patients with stroke to have an advance directive, patients' families have to decide the treatment choice in most cases. In the clinical setting, such decisions frequently need to be made rapidly, however; the decision should be made by speculating on the patients' own will, and it is desirable for medical staff to explain the expected outcomes of the surgery in detail as far as possible.
Aim: The purpose of this study is to identify the factors affecting long-term prognosis of home-based medical care subjects. Methods: We evaluated 290 subjects, who received home-based medical care between January 2012 and May 2015. We evaluated several aspects of the activities of daily living, such as the ability to walk, use of the toilet, self-feeding and self-administering of medications, as well as their cognition, activities, and abilities to communicate. The influence of these parameters on major adverse cardiovascular cerebrovascular events, non-cardiovascular, cerebrovascular events and the incidence of death was evaluated. Results: The mean age of the subjects was 83 years old and 38% of them were male: dementia or previous cerebral infarction was their main diagnosis. They required assistance for almost all activities of daily living except for feeding. Primary health concerns included 103 (37.0%) subjects had non-cardiovascular, cerebrovascular events, 63 subjects (21.7%) had pneumonia, and 48 subjects (16.6%) suffered major adverse cardiovascular cerebrovascular events, including 22 subjects (7.6%) with congestive heart failure. Sixty-one subjects (21.0%) died. The activities of daily living and cognition correlated strongly with non-cardiovascular, cerebrovascular events and death. Conclusion: Our results indicated the activities of daily living and cognition strongly influence the occurrence of non-cardiovascular, cerebrovascular events and death in subjects receiving home-based medical care. Therefore, intervention should be targeted at improving these subjects' abilities to perform activities of daily living.
Purpose: We carried out a cross-sectional study investigating the association between health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and voice, as evaluated by an acoustic analysis, in elderly residents of a nursing home. Methods: The HRQOL of 61 elderly nursing home residents (mean age: 82.1±8.3 years) was assessed via the SF-8 Health Survey questionnaire, Japanese version (SF-8). The subjects' voices were recorded and analyzed by a voice assessment software program, which calculated the pitch period perturbation quotient (PPQ), amplitude perturbation quotient (APQ), and noise-to-harmonic ratio (NHR). Results: Subjects who scored under the 25th percentile on general health (GH), vitality (VT), or physical summary (PCS) in the SF-8 showed significantly higher PPQ, APQ, and NHR scores in comparison to their counterparts (p<0.05). After adjustment for age, lower GH scores were found to be associated with higher PPQ, APQ, and NHR scores; lower VT scores were associated with higher APQ and NHR scores; and lower PCS scores were associated with higher APQ and NHR scores (p<0.05). Conclusion: The results of the acoustic analysis indicated that voice was associated with HRQOL in the elderly nursing home residents of the present study. Among the acoustic parameters that were analyzed, PPQ, APQ, and NHR may be an influential factor that can be used to assess HRQOL, independently of the effects of age, in elderly individuals.
Aim: Vascular dementia may be referred to as "treatable dementia" because its development and progress can be inhibited by intervention in the early stage. In particular, cerebral white matter lesions are readily encountered the clinical setting. In this study, we aimed to clarify the phenomenon and symptoms of patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) with cerebral white matter lesions prior to the onset of dementia. Methods: The subjects included 181 cases diagnosed with MCI among 643 consecutive new patients of the Center for Comprehensive Care on Memory Disorder at Kyorin University Hospital from January 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014. Patients with particular diseases were excluded. An interview, physical examination, comprehensive geriatric assessment, brain MRI and SPECT were performed for all subjects. The cerebral white matter lesions were evaluated using the modified Fazekas scale. We defined Grades 0 and 1 as the group without apparent cerebral white matter lesions and Grades 2 and 3 as the group with apparent cerebral white matter lesions. We compared the laboratory findings and outcomes of these two groups. Results: The age of the group with apparent cerebral white matter lesions was significantly higher than the group without apparent cerebral white matter lesions (P<0.05). No significant difference was observed regarding gender, MMSE, or "vegetable" term retrieval. A significant difference was observed in the total score and the subordinate component of the 21-item fall risk index and geriatric depression scale between the groups (P<0.05). Additionally, a significant difference was observed regarding the subordinate component of the instrumental ADL, the Dementia Behavior Disturbance Scale and the Zarit Care Burden Scale between the groups (P<0.05). Conclusions: Our results suggest that the presence of white matter lesions at the stage of MCI has a significant relationship to care burden due to the deterioration of ADL, risk of falling, and the presence of depression and behavior disorders. We speculate that our results are useful for the explanation of the characteristics of MCI with white matter lesion to the patients and the care givers. Furthermore, these results may lead to improvements in the appropriate approach, intervention and appropriate nursing of such patients.
A 79-year-old man with a history of gastrectomy with Billroth II reconstruction 27 years previously was admitted to our hospital due to recurrent pneumonia. Because he had dysphagia and had frequently developed pneumonia over the course of a year, enteral nutrition via nasogastric tube was initiated approximately six months before admission. The clinical and computed tomography findings showed that the cause of pneumonia was aspiration of tube feeding nutrients due to gastroesophageal reflux. To prevent gastroesophageal reflux, he was continuously kept in a 30-degree or greater reclining position. However, gastroesophageal reflux was seen at an injection rate of 50 ml/h or greater. After we inserted a nasogastric-jejunal feeding tube guided by endoscopy, gastroesophageal reflux, dumping syndrome and diarrhea were not seen up to an injection rate of 300 ml/h. Endoscopically guided nasogastric-jejunal feeding tube placement is a simple method and may be useful for patients with aspiration pneumonia due to postgastrectomy. Moreover, long-term postgastrectomy patients appear to tolerate the postopyloric injection of enteral nutrition. Because the number of elderly patients who have dysphagia with postgastrectomy is increasing, these findings provide a basis for treatment in elderly medical settings.
An 85-year-old man was admitted to our hospital for swollen and painful bilateral lower legs and a high fever. He was initially diagnosed with acute cellulitis and treated with antibiotics. Several days after the improvement of his swollen legs, he complained of both shoulder and arm pain. The laboratory data at this time were as follow: C-reactive protein 10.7 mg/dL, uric acid 8.7 mg/dL, and creatinine 1.07 mg/dL. Both rheumatoid factor and anti-CCP antibody were negative. Whole-body gallium scintigraphy showed a high pathological accumulation in both the shoulders and left wrist. As polymyalgia rheumatica was suspected, oral prednisolone (PSL) of 10 mg/day was started. The patient's shoulder pain improved and he was discharged. However, he was hospitalized twice in the next month because of left shoulder, left knee, right arm, and right wrist pain. During the third hospitalization, we found a subcutaneous nodule on right toe. Aspiration material from the nodule was a white paste, showing acicular crystals under the microscope. According to these findings, the nodule was diagnosed as a tophaceous nodule, and recurrent episodes of polyarthritis were diagnosed as chronic tophaceous gout. Low-dose PSL was continued and febuxostat was added. This patient had multiple risk factors for chronic tophaceous gout: obesity, a habit of drinking, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, congestive heart failure, and interruption of allopurinol treatment. We herein discuss the clinical course of the patient, the interruption of allopurinol treatment and polypharmacy in elderly patients.
A 68-year-old man was diagnosed with non small cell lung cancer in May 2013. Although the patient was negative for EGFR mutation, he wished to undergo treatment with gefitinib and erlotinib as first-line therapy. However, one year later, he was admitted to our hospital because of cardiac tamponade due to malignant pericarditis. He received pericardial drainage, after which his condition was stabilized. He was diagnosed with lung adenocarcinoma by cytology of pericardial effusion and treated with pemetrexed plus cisplatin as second-line therapy. Thereafter, the malignant effusion was decreased and the primary lesion was regressed. He received six courses of chemotherapy, however, brain metastases and bone metastases appeared. The brain metastases were controlled with gamma knife radiosurgery and he received carboptatin-paclitaxel plus bevacizumab as third-line therapy. The patient is currently receiving chemotherapy without any recurrence of malignant pericarditis or cardiac tamponade.
We herein describe the case of a 90-year-old man. He had been treated for type II diabetes mellitus for over twenty years. One day he noticed weakness in the bilateral upper limbs. The next morning the symptoms extended to the bilateral lower limbs. As a result, he was admitted to Shimane University Hospital. MRI showed mild compression of the cervical spinal cord, but it did not account for his neurological symptoms. Because his quadriplegia progressed, we examined the cerebrospinal fluid with albuminocytologic dissociation. A nerve conduction study showed an axonal neuropathy pattern. We diagnosed Guillain-Barre syndrome and started intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) therapy 5 mg/kg on the fifth day after admission. All deep tendon reflexes were absent during the treatment. He was able to get up one week later and could walk by himself two weeks later. Guillain-Barre syndrome is a treatable disease and this disorder should be taken into consideration even if an elderly person presents with quadriplegia.