Coronary spasm plays an important role in the pathogenesis of not only variant angina but also coronary heart disease in general including acute coronary syndromes, especially in the Japanese population. The vascular endothelium has been reported to be a multifunctional organ whose integrity is essential for normal vascular physiology. Vascular endothelial dysfunction can be a critical factor in the pathogenesis of ischemic heart disease. Acetylcholine and methacholine cause vasodilation by endothelium-derived relaxing factor when the endothelium is functioning normally, whereas they cause vasoconstriction when the endothelium is removed or damaged. Coronary spasm can be induced by a variety of stimuli with different mechanisms of action, including acetylcholine and methacholine. Patients with coronary spasm may have a disturbance in endothelial function as well as local hyperreactivity of the coronary arteries.
Objective To measure the amount and affinity of insulin antibodies, we performed a trial to establish a new method for quantitative and qualitative analysis of these antibodies by using surface plasmon resonance (BIAcoreTM system). Methods Real-time detection of insulin antibody interaction and kinetic analysis were performed using the BIAcoreTM system. Patients or Materials Eight diabetic patients with insulin antibodies and whose fasting total immunoreactive insulin levels were more than 100 μU/ml were selected. The patients with and without recurrent hypoglycemia were classified into hypoglycemic episode-positive or hypoglycemic episode-negative groups, respectively. Seven diabetic patients without insulin antibodies were selected as controls. Results In the 8 patients, the concentration of insulin antibodies ranged from 2.91 to 16.3 μg/ml and insulin antibodies were not detected in the control group. The apparent KD (dissociation constant) and kd (the dissociation rate constant) values of the patients were much larger than those seen for the anti-human insulin monoclonal antibody. The KD values were significantly higher in the hypoglycemic episode-positive group than in the hypoglycemic episode-negative group (p<0.05). No significant differences in the concentration, the ka (the association rate constant) and the kd values were noted between the groups. Conclusion The data suggests that insulin antibodies of the patients have an apparently lower affinity status in sera as compared with that for the anti-human insulin monoclonal antibody, and dissociate easily from the immune-complex in the sera, especially in cases where there is recurrent hypoglycemia in the patients. Therefore insulin antibody characteristics are one of the causative factors in hypoglycemic episodes.
Objective To determine how Japanese patients with lung cancer weigh potential survival, chemotherapy response rate, and symptom relief against the potential toxicity of different treatments in cancer chemotherapy. Methods and Patients We used a questionnaire describing a hypothetical situation about stage IV non-small-cell lung cancer. Seventy-three patients with lung cancer who had received chemotherapy and 120 patients with other respiratory disease as the control group were asked to rate the minimal benefit that would make two hypothetical treatments acceptable. For “chance of cure,” “response but not cure,” and “symptom relief,” the subjects could give answers from 1% to 100% and for prolonging life could give answers from 1 to 60 months. Results Patients with lung cancer were significantly more likely than were patients with other respiratory diseases to accept either intensive or less-intensive treatments for a potentially small benefit for “chance of cure,” “response but not cure,” and “symptom relief”. The degree of survival advantage that patients require before accepting cancer treatment with its associated toxicity varied widely. If their lives were prolonged 3 months, 19% and 21% of patients with lung cancer would choose to receive intensive and less-intensive treatment, respectively. When the chance of symptom relief was 70%, 73% of patients with lung cancer were willing to choose intensive chemotherapy. Factor associated with patients’ choice of chemotherapy in both groups was age. Conclusion Oncologists must consider the substantial range of attitudes to chemotherapy among patients when making treatment decisions and they must give patients the opportunity to be included in this process.
We describe a patient who had a metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) after previous failed extensive therapy, including multiple surgeries and hepatic artery embolization. Within a few months of starting administration of imatinib mesylate, the patient exhibited a clinical response with grade 3 neutropenia, when pulmonary tuberculosis developed. A c-kit mutation in exon 11 was detected only in metastatic liver specimens. It is unclear whether or not pulmonary tuberculosis may be induced by imatinib mesylate treatment, but caution is warranted in immunocompromised GIST patients. This is the first report of tuberculosis associated with neutropenia during imatinib mesylate treatment.
A 17-year-old man with mediastinal seminoma was treated with chemotherapy and mediastinal irradiation therapy. Then he received high-dose chemotherapy containing cyclophosphamide (CY) followed by autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation. He suffered from CY-induced cardiomyopathy beginning six days after the administration of high-dose CY. The predictable factors associated with the onset of CY-induced cardiomyopathy are not precisely known. It is suggested that the history of mediastinal irradiation was responsible for the onset of cardiomyopathy.
A 49-year-old woman complained of hearing loss and diminution of left radial arterial pulsation. She had been diagnosed with sudden deafness and treated with corticosteroids. Her audibility deteriorated again after the cessation of the therapy. Angiograms showed stenosis in the bilateral carotid arteries, the left vertebral artery, the left subclavian artery, and the pulmonary arteries. She was diagnosed with Takayasu’s arteritis. After steroid therapy was restarted, there were improvements in her audibility, radial arterial pulsation, and levels of inflammatory markers (erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein, and gamma-globulin), fibrinogen, interleukin-6, and RANTES (regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted).
A 69-year-old man with a recurrent ventricular tachycardia (VT) was admitted. The patient was diagnosed as myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) and DNA analysis revealed 1,800 CTG-repeat expansion in the myotonic dystrophy protein kinase (DMPK) gene. Ultrasonic cardiogram (UCG), left ventriculogram (LVG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) did not show any abnormal sign including fatty infiltration. But, endomyocardial biopsy obtained from ventricular outflow tract revealed severe fatty infiltration and interstitial fibrosis. Radiofrequency catheter ablation at the biopsy site could eliminate VT, so it was strongly suggested that the re-entry circuit was formed by focal fatty-fibrosis. Careful observation should be continued for a long period.
A 79-year-old woman was admitted due to chest pain with T wave inversion and anasarca. Echocardiography demonstrated a mass compressing the heart and computed tomography revealed a giant hiatal hernia within the intrathoracic stomach located just behind the heart. After drainage of the gastric contents, the T wave inversion disappeared, but subsequent ST elevation in leads V1-V6 was noted. After surgical correction of the hiatal hernia, the ST segment elevation returned to a nearly normal level. The changes in the compressed heart induced by hiatal hernia may cause pericarditis resulting in electrocardiographic changes.
Coccidioidomycosis, caused by inhaling Coccidioides immitis, is a mycosis imported from endemic regions including the southwestern United States. C. immitis is so virulent that even a short-term stay in the endemic area can provide a chance for infection. Here, we report a 33-year-old Japanese man with formation of a fungus ball inside the pulmonary cavity secondary to coccidioidomycosis with a duration of 8 years, which is considered rare. He was infected with C. immitis in the United States in 1996. A nodule remained in the lung, which later cavitated with fungus ball formation. We identified Coccidioides immitis in the cultured specimen from the cavity and serum antibodies against it. We performed a lobectomy in 2003 since anti-fungal treatment was only temporarily effective. He is still free of disease 6 months later.
A 17-year-old woman was diagnosed as acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). As she had chromosomal abnormalities of 44, XO, der(9)t(3;9)(q11;p13), der(10;19)(q10;p10), del(15)(q15), -16, -19, +22 with the presence of ovarian dysplasia and abnormal physical features, a diagnosis of Turner’s syndrome was made. She received an induction chemotherapy, which consisted of daunorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, L-asparaginase and prednisolone. Although, severe liver dysfunction was observed, the patient achieved a complete remission (CR) on day 31 following chemotherapy and has maintained CR for more than five years. The recording of such cases may well be of value to clarify toxicity and outcome after chemotherapy for patients with ALL complicated with Turner’s syndrome.
A 53-year-old man with Behçet disease was treated with conventional cyclosporin A (CyA), because of refractory bilateral uveitis. Immediately following the conversion from conventional CyA to a microemulsion formulation, he presented with neurological complications. The neurological findings, pleocytosis of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and brainstem lesions revealed by brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) suggested neuro-Behçet disease. After discontinuing CyA and introducing oral prednisolone, the neurological symptoms, pleocytosis of CSF and brainstem lesions on MRI improved. Although the microemulsion formulation, which can maintain a stable level of blood CyA, is a useful agent for the control of ocular lesions in Behçet disease, the resulting abrupt increase in blood CyA level may have induced neuro-Behçet disease.
We conducted spinal MR imaging on a 35-year-old man with Lhermitte’s sign that had manifested over the previous 4 years. He had consumed more than 500 ml of whisky daily for at least 10 years. However, he did not show any evidence of severe liver disease with hepato-systemic blood shunting. Neurologic examination revealed markedly depressed sense of vibration in the feet and mild spasticity in the lower limbs, together with Lhermitte’s sign. MR imaging revealed abnormal signal intensity in the posterior column spanning the whole length of the upper cervical cord, which is consistent with Lhermitte’s sign.