Recent experimental and clinical studies have suggested that oxidative stress is enhanced in heart failure. Chronic increases in oxygen radical production in the mitochondria can lead to a catastrophic cycle of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage as well as functional decline, further oxygen radical generation, and cellular injury. Reactive oxygen species induce myocyte hypertrophy, apoptosis, and interstitial fibrosis by activating matrix metalloproteinases. These cellular events play an important role in the development and progression of maladaptive cardiac remodeling and failure. Overexpression of mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) could ameliorate the decline in mtDNA copy number and preserve it at a normal level in failing hearts. Consistent with alterations in mtDNA, the decrease in oxidative capacities was also prevented. Therefore, the activation of TFAM expression could ameliorate the pathophysiological processes seen in myocardial failure. Inhibition of mitochondrial oxidative stress and DNA damage could be the most effective and novel treatment strategies for heart failure.
A 64-year-old female was admitted to hospital for acute abdominal pain with ascites. The patient had received postoperative pelvic irradiation for carcinoma of the uterine cervix 7 years previously. Serum creatinine (Scr) was elevated to 2.70 mg/dl, and urinary output was reduced to below 200 ml/day. Cystoscopy revealed a small perforation from the bladder diverticulum. Following transurethral catheterization, urinary output was promptly increased, and Scr was returned to 0.65 mg/dl 4 days later. This rare case suggested that spontaneous rupture of the urinary bladder following postoperative radiotherapy could occur very late with laboratory features of oliguric acute renal failure.
A 48-year-old man with dyspnea, cough, and fever was found to have a diffuse ground-glass pulmonary lesion without lymphadenopathy on chest X-ray. The lesion shifted to the peripheral lung zones 2 months later when transbronchial biopsy demonstrated noncaseating granulomas with Langhans type giant cells. After 6 more months, prominent bilateral hilar lymphadenopathy and highly elevated serum angiotensin-converting enzyme confirmed the diagnosis of pulmonary sarcoidosis. Such a course is quite rare in that it goes the opposite way of the conventional staging system.
We report a patient with severe dementia who acutely developed transient coma following possible acute anoxic encephalopathy, and presented multifocal periodic lateralized epileptiform discharges (PLEDs) on EEG, who had a good recovery from the acute state. Two EEGs were recorded from this patient. In the first EEG taken immediately after admission, multifocal PLEDs were prominent, and the background activity consisted of low voltage, continuous and irregular theta activity (4-6 Hz). The patient recovered from coma (GCS-3) to the conscious state (GCS-15) within 14 hours and was not associated with newly developed focal or global neurological deficits except for stable severe dementia which had developed in the previous several years. Another EEG taken 5 days later showed disappearance of multifocal PLEDs. Transient appearance of multifocal PLEDs might represent at least the transient, vulnerability associated with underlying dementia in this particular patient. We concluded that multifocal PLEDs do not always indicate a poor outcome in patients with possible acute anoxic encephalopathy, and rapid diagnosis and appropriate treatment should be done even if the initial EEG shows multifocal PLEDs.
An 87-year-old man with heart failure caused by severe anemia was referred to our hospital. Gastroenteroscopy revealed the existence of several parasites in the duodenum. Examination of the stool by a formalin-ethyl acetate concentration technique detected hookworm eggs. After a single dose of pyrantel pamoate, his symptoms including dyspnea on exertion and edema diminished. And also hemoglobin and B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) had improved dramatically. Hookworm infection is an extremely rare cause of heart failure, and furthermore this parasitic infection is not common in advanced countries. We suggest the possible relationship between parasite infection and organic foods.