Objective We evaluated the relationships between the serum autotaxin (ATX) levels and the clinical and pathological parameters, as well as the long-term renal outcome, in type 2 diabetic patients with biopsy-proven diabetic nephropathy. Methods In this retrospective single-center cohort study, serum samples were collected from 38 Japanese type 2 diabetic patients with biopsy-proven diabetic nephropathy at the time of renal biopsy. The serum ATX levels were measured using a specific sandwich enzyme immunoassay. Results A multivariate linear regression analysis revealed the urinary protein excretion to be independently associated with the serum ATX levels. In addition, patients with serum ATX levels above the median showed more advanced diffuse lesions, nodular lesions and arteriolar hyalinosis compared to those with serum ATX levels below the median. However, high serum ATX levels were not associated with any increase in the number of renal composite events [a need for dialysis or a 50% decline in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) from baseline]. Conclusion The serum ATX levels in type 2 diabetic patients with diabetic nephropathy were associated with proteinuria and diabetic kidney lesions, although the serum ATX levels were not identified to be a predictive indicator for the renal outcome.
Objective Although chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by systemic inflammation, the association between the neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR; an indicator of inflammation) and the clinical status of COPD has not been well studied. We hypothesized that the NLR is associated with disease severity and exacerbation in COPD patients. Methods We performed blood testing, pulmonary function testing, chest computed tomography, a body composition analysis, and a 6-minute walk test and applied the modified Medical Research Council (MMRC) dyspnea scale for 141 stable COPD patients. In addition, we calculated the body mass index, airflow obstruction, dyspnea, and exercise capacity (BODE) index to evaluate the disease severity. Finally, we examined the association between the NLR and clinical parameters in stable COPD patients, and we further investigated changes in the NLR between exacerbation and the stable state. Results The NLR was positively correlated with the BODE index, extent of emphysema, and MMRC score (p<0.001 for all), while inversely correlated with airflow obstruction (p<0.001), body mass index (p<0.001), fat-free mass index (p=0.001), and the 6-minute walk distance (p<0.001). We obtained the NLR during exacerbation from 49 patients. The NLR was significantly higher at exacerbation compared to the stable state (p<0.001). Conclusion The NLR was associated with disease severity and exacerbation in COPD patients. Therefore, the usefulness of the NLR in COPD patients should be elucidated in clinical settings in future investigations.
Objective Melatonin is effective for treating patients with rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD). Ramelteon, a novel hypnotic, acts as a melatonin receptor agonist. In the current study, we investigated the effects of ramelteon on sleep disorders, including RBD, in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Methods We evaluated 35 patients from multiple centers with idiopathic PD accompanied by sleep disturbances (age: 69.1±11.1 years; 17 men, 18 women; PD morbidity: 6.9±5.7 years; Hoehn & Yahr stage: 2.5±0.8; levodopa dose equivalent: 561±401 mg/day). The patients received 8 mg of ramelteon before sleep once daily for 12 weeks. Motor and sleep symptoms were evaluated both before and after ramelteon administration. Results Of the 35 patients enrolled in this study, 24 (68.6%) were diagnosed with probable RBD (pRBD) using the Japanese version of the RBD screening questionnaire. Ramelteon administration reduced the severity of sleep disturbances in patients with PD. It also lowered scores on the Japanese version of the RBD questionnaire in patients with PD and pRBD. Conclusion Ramelteon may have beneficial effects on sleep disturbances, especially on RBD in patients with PD.
Objective We sought to detect the presence of left ventricular regional dysfunction and myocardial abnormalities in systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients without cardiac symptoms using a complementary cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging approach. Methods Consecutive patients with SSc without cardiac symptoms and healthy controls underwent CMR on a 1.5 T scanner. The peak systolic regional function in the circumferential and radial strain (Ecc, % and Err, %) were calculated using a feature tracking analysis on the mid-left ventricular slices obtained with cine MRI. In addition, we investigated the myocardial characteristics by contrast MRI. Pharmacological stress and rest perfusion scans were performed to assess perfusion defect (PD) due to micro- or macrovascular impairment, and late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) images were obtained for the assessment of myocarditis and/or fibrosis. Results We compared 15 SSc patients with 10 healthy controls. No statistically significant differences were observed in the baseline characteristics between the patients and healthy controls. The mean peak Err and Ecc of all segments was significantly lower in the patients than the controls (p=0.011 and p=0.003, respectively). Four patients with LGE (28.6%) and seven patients with PD (50.0%) were observed. PD was significantly associated with digital ulcers (p=0.005). Utilizing a linear regression model, the presence of myocardial LGE was significantly associated with the peak Ecc (p=0.024). After adjusting for age, the association between myocardial LGE and the peak Ecc was strengthened. Conclusion A subclinical myocardial involvement, as detected by CMR, was prevalent in the SSc patients without cardiac symptoms. Regional dysfunction might predict the myocardial abnormalities observed in SSc patients without cardiac symptoms.
Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST) of the liver is rare. Most cases of MPNST are accompanied by neurofibromatosis 1 (NF-1, von Recklinghausen's disease). We herein report an autopsy case of MPNST without NF-1 and review the pertinent literature. The tumor occupied the entire lobe of the liver, and was 18 cm in maximum diameter. The tumor revealed necrosis and cystic changes with hemorrhage and it had also metastasized to the peritoneum. Microscopically, the tumor was composed of pleomorphic spindle cells with hyperchromatic nuclei and mitogenic figures. The spindle cells stained positive for both S-100 and vimentin antibodies.
Blunt chest trauma can cause acute myocardial infarction, which may also be associated with pericarditis. However, such cases are rare. We herein report a case of a 57-year-old man suffering from acute myocardial infarction due to a blunt chest trauma and postcardiac injury syndrome after discharge with spontaneous resolution of a total coronary occlusion.
A 67-year-old man with a history of aortic mechanical valve replacement exhibited an abnormal mass on the sewing ring of the prosthesis on echocardiography. Despite receiving strong anticoagulation, he developed acute cerebral infarction due to the formation of emboli resulting from the thrombus and underwent urgent re-aortic valve replacement. Based on the microscopic findings of the resected mass, he was finally diagnosed as having nonbacterial thrombotic endocarditis (NBTE) of the mechanical prosthetic valve, which was thought to be associated with colorectal cancer. We herein report the first known case of an antemortem diagnosis of NBTE on a mechanical heart valve.
Congenital long QT syndrome (LQTS) is an important cause of sudden cardiac death in young people without any other structural disease. Mutations in the genes encoding the cardiac ion channels or associated proteins have been shown to result in ion channel dysfunction and thereby causing LQTS. We investigated a Japanese family with LQTS for four generations, with the female family members showing severe symptoms. We performed genetic tests for LQTS-related genes and identified a heterozygous KCNH2 mutation (p.K638del). In the family, the KCNH2 mutation had a very high multigenerational inheritance, and female genotype positives showed more severe phenotypes.
The effectiveness of bortezomib treatment for multiple myeloma (MM) is well established. However, the protocol by which maintenance therapy using bortezomib should be continued for myeloma patients requiring regular hemodialysis remains to be established. We herein report a case of MM with severe renal insufficiency requiring hemodialysis for nearly 30 months which was finally withdrawn from renal replacement therapy during monthly maintenance treatment with bortezomib and dexamethasone for two years. The details of this case are essential for establishing clinical guidelines for applying intermittent low-frequency bortezomib therapy in dialysis-dependent myeloma patients.
Encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis (EPS) is an occasional and serious complication for peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients for whom no evidence-based management strategies have yet been established. Encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis could appear after kidney transplantation in patients who previously underwent long-term PD. In this report, we present our experience in four PD patients diagnosed with EPS after kidney transplantation. Adhesiolysis provided improvement in their acute clinical conditions and allograft functions, despite the long-term follow-up. Surgical intervention may be a safe modality for this specific group of patients.
Nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP) is often associated with connective tissue diseases (CTD). The diagnosis of NSIP was confirmed in a 63-year-old man by high-resolution computed tomography and an open lung biopsy. Anti-Golgi complex autoantibodies (AGA) and anti-Ro52 antibodies were simultaneously detected at high concentrations. Autoantibodies to aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARS) were negative. The patient was treated with corticosteroids for six months. During the seven-year follow-up, NSIP had a slow progression and patient had not developed the clinical features of CTD. The present study potentially demonstrates that the autoimmune process elicited by AGA and/or Ro/SSA may play a role in promoting idiopathic NSIP independently of the typical ARS routes, which has not been reported thus far.
Summer-type hypersensitivity pneumonitis (SHP) is the most common form of pneumonitis in Japan; it accounts for 74% of all cases. It has been reported that 19.5-23.8% of SHP cases occur in families who live in the same house. We present our SHP cases and review 50 familial cases in 23 families that were reported in Japan (including our own) and 48 cases that were previously described in 22 articles published between January 1982 and October 2011. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first review article in English to document the familial occurrence of SHP in Japan.
A 65-year-old Japanese man presented with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and polycythemia. Biochemical studies of the patient's hemoglobin (Hb) and the sequencing of his globin genes revealed that the polycythemia was secondary to a high oxygen affinity Hb variant, Hb Fuchu-II. Hb variants with high oxygen affinity can be an additional thrombotic risk factor in older patients and/or those with other risk factors. The patient was diagnosed with hemoglobinopathy after the development of AMI and exemplifies the importance of recognizing such conditions and of taking appropriate prophylactic interventions.
Giant cell arteritis (GCA), a type of systemic arteritis, is rare in Japan. We herein report a case of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) complicated by GCA that manifested during chemotherapy for AML. A 77-year-old woman with severe back pain was diagnosed with AML. She achieved complete remission with the resolution of her back pain following induction chemotherapy. However, she developed a headache and fever after consolidation chemotherapy. A diagnosis of GCA was made based on a biopsy of the temporal artery and arterial imaging. GCA should therefore be included in the differential diagnosis in AML patients complicated with a headache and fever of unknown origin.
We herein report a case of a 78-year-old woman who was admitted to our hospital due to a stroke with left-sided hemiparesis. Ultrasound of the carotid arteries showed a carotid body tumor on the bifurcation of the right common carotid artery, which was subsequently confirmed by a further neuroradiological investigation. Magnetic resonance imaging of the head confirmed an acute ischemic lesion located in the right periventricular region. The carotid body tumor (CBT) was surgically removed and confirmed on histopathology. Our case reveals the role of carotid ultrasound in the diagnosis of a CBT, which may be a potential cause of stroke.
A 31-year-old woman gradually developed weakness in the lower extremities and gait disturbance. Subsequently, the patient developed severe constipation and hypertension with tachycardia. Nerve conduction studies revealed demyelinating polyneuropathy. Serum anti-GQ1b IgG antibody was detected. The levels of plasma noradrenaline and dopamine and urinary noradrenaline were elevated. Cardiac [123I] metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) scintigraphy showed a normal H/M rate at the early phase and an elevated washout rate. According to these findings, the patient was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome with cardiac sympathetic hyperactivity. During convalescence, the plasma and urine catecholamine levels fell within the reference ranges, and MIBG scintigraphy showed a decreased washout rate.