Background/Aims Although hepatocellular injuries are occasionally observed in patients with an eating disorder, such as anorexia nervosa (AN), it remains unclear how malnutrition in patients with AN causes hepatocellular damage. In this retrospective study, we aimed to reveal the characteristics of hepatocellular injuries in patients with an eating disorder without any nutritional treatment, to eliminate the possible hepatotoxic effects of nutritional support. Subjects and Methods Twenty-five patients with an eating disorder who visited St. Luke's International Hospital were enrolled. No nutritional treatment had been performed for these patients. The diagnosis of eating disorder as well as typing (anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa) was made according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-4). We reviewed the charts of these patients and examined the clinical parameters. Results Elevation of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) was found in 13 out of 25 (52%), all of whom were categorized as AN. In 13 AN patients with elevated ALT, the median of serum ALT values was 92 [39-438] IU/L. The body mass index (BMI) was significantly lower (13.5 vs. 17.3, p=0.011), and the duration since the onset of AN was shorter (4.2 years vs. 8.9 years, p=0.037) in patients with elevated ALT. The age was younger in patients with elevated ALT, even though not significant (24.5 vs. 29.8, p=0.139). Logistic regression analysis revealed that only BMI was a significant determinant for the development of hepatocellular injuries (OR=3.46; 95% CI 1.06-11.34, p=0.041). Imaging studies failed to demonstrate any abnormalities, including fatty liver. Conclusion The current study indicated that lower BMI might significantly contribute to the development of hepatocellular injuries in AN patients prior to any nutritional treatments.
Objective Recent studies have shown the correlation between vertebral fractures (VFs) and gastrointestinal disorders in postmenopausal women. The aim of this study was to assess the association between VFs and hiatal hernia (HH) and/or reflux esophagitis (RE) in our patient population of both men and women. Methods We analyzed retrospective data of 280 patients aged 60 years or older (140 men and 140 women, mean ± SD 73.5 years ±7.05) who had undergone upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and chest X-rays in our hospital from August 2005 to February 2006. We analyzed the correlation between the presence of VFs and the presence of HH and/or RE. Results The incidence of RE in this study was 13.9% (39/280) and that of HH was 30.0% (84/280). Among these patients, 12.1% (41/280) had VFs. The incidence of RE in patients with VFs was 24.4% (10/41) and without VFs was 12.1% (29/239), with the difference being significant between those with and without VFs (p<0.05). The incidence of HH in patients with VFs was 43.9% (18/41) and in those without VFs was 27.6% (66/239), p<0.05. We subdivided subjects into four groups: HH only group, RE only group, HH/RE group and neither condition present group. We compared the incidence of VFs among these groups. VFs were observed in 16.4% (11/67) of the HH only group, 13.6% (3/22) of the RE only group, 41.2% (7/17) of the HH/RE group and 11.5% (20/174) in the neither condition present group. There was a significant difference in the incidence of VFs between the HH/RE group and neither condition present group (p<0.05). Conclusion The presence of VFs was significantly associated with the presence of either RE or HH. This association became more significant when HH and RE were present together in elderly Japanese people.
Objective To investigate the effects of the potent immunosuppressive agent cyclosporin A (CsA) on the proliferation of human endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) expression in EPCs. Methods and Results The EPCs were obtained from cultured mononuclear cells, which were isolated from the peripheral blood of healthy adults, and stimulated with CsA (10 μg/mL) in the presence or absence of either vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF; 50 ng/mL) or L-arginine (1 mM). To explore the effect of different concentrations of CsA alone on EPC proliferation, some cells were treated with CsA in a series of final concentrations ranging from 0 to 10 μg/mL. Cell proliferation and apoptosis were determined, respectively, by the Cell Counting Kit-8 assay and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick end labeling staining. The expression of eNOS was assayed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis while nitric oxide (NO) generation was detected using the Griess method. The effects of CsA on EPC proliferation, apoptosis, and eNOS/NO production were dose dependent in the concentration ranging from 0.1 μg/mL to 10 μg/mL. Treatment with VEGF (50 ng/mL) significantly promoted EPC proliferation and eNOS/NO production, which were completely abrogated by pre-incubation with CsA (10 μg/mL). The supplement of L-arginine (1 mM) promoted NO production that enhanced EPC proliferation and attenuated the effect of CsA on EPC proliferation and apoptosis. Conclusion CsA significantly inhibited proliferation, eNOS mRNA expression and NO production of human EPCs, in a dose-dependent manner.
Background and Objective Pulmonary Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) disease is the most common pulmonary non-tuberculous mycobacteriosis (NTM). The clinical and radiological findings were similar to those of pulmonary tuberculosis, both of which are characterized by upper lobe cavities. On the other hand, the presence of middle and lower field lesions with centrilobular nodules and bronchiectasis has been noted. We analyzed the clinical feature of these two radiologically different types and identified their prognostic factors. Methods The clinical, laboratory and radiological findings of 273 cases of MAC disease, newly diagnosed during the recent 7 years periods, were investigated. They were radiologically classified into cavitary (Cav) and nodular bronchiectasis (NB) types at the time of diagnosis. The findings of 44 fatal cases were compared with those of the newly diagnosed cases. Results A prominent increase in the number of cases was recently found only in females. Low body mass index (BMI) and moderately reduced serum albumin were found at the time of first hospital visit in both newly diagnosed and fatal cases. In the latter, peripheral blood lymphocyte count was slightly decreased, and tuberculin skin test was negative in 57.7% of the cases. Radiologically, Cav type was prevalent in males and NB type in females in the newly diagnosed cases, while in the fatal cases Cav type was frequently found in both males and females. The two radiological patterns did not change during the entire disease course. Conclusion Cav type in females was one of the pathogenetic factors. Deterioration of cell-mediated immunity may underlie MAC disease.
Objective Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic syndrome characterized by widespread pain with tenderness in specific areas. We examined the applicability of Waon therapy (soothing warmth therapy) as a new method of pain treatment in patients with FMS. Methods Thirteen female FMS patients (mean age, 45.2±15.5 years old; range, 25-75) who fulfilled the criteria of the American College of Rheumatology participated in this study. Patients received Waon therapy once per day for 2 or 5 days/week. The patients were placed in the supine or sitting position in a far infrared-ray dry sauna maintained at an even temperature of 60°C for 15 minutes, and then transferred to a room maintained at 26-27°C where they were covered with a blanket from the neck down to keep them warm for 30 minutes. Reductions in subjective pain and symptoms were determined using the pain visual analog scale (VAS) and fibromyalgia impact questionnaire (FIQ). Results All patients experienced a significant reduction in pain by about half after the first session of Waon therapy (11-70%), and the effect of Waon therapy became stable (20-78%) after 10 treatments. Pain VAS and FIQ symptom scores were significantly (p<0.01) decreased after Waon therapy and remained low throughout the observation period. Conclusion Waon therapy is effective for the treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome.
Lupus cystitis is a rare manifestation in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE); it usually occurs in association with gastrointestinal manifestations. We report two cases of lupus cystitis without bladder irritation symptoms. Both cases developed severe abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea and showed no bladder irritation symptoms. The diagnosis of lupus cystitis was made by abdominal ultrasonography and bladder biopsy. The patients were treated with intravenous methylprednisolone pulse therapy followed by oral prednisolone. Their symptoms were ameliorated, and hydroureteronephrosis improved. Thus, when a patient with SLE shows gastrointestinal symptoms, further examinations are required to determine whether the patient has lupus cystitis.
Sweet's syndrome is a multisystem inflammatory disorder characterized by painful, erythematous plaques and aseptic neutrophilic infiltration of various organs. The absence of vasculitis is a histological criterion for diagnosis, but recent reports suggest that vasculitis can occur in Sweet's syndrome. Involvement of the central nervous system and the pulmonary system is very rare. In this case study we describe a chronic alcoholic man with Sweet's syndrome associated with acute-onset encephalitis and severe pulmonary involvement. The patient's symptoms responded dramatically to steroid treatment, and notably, a skin biopsy of his lesions showed vasculitis.
Reports of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) isolates carrying Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) gene that causes infective endocarditis in injection drug users (IDUs) with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection are rare in the English language literature. We present a case of CA-MRSA infective endocarditis with bilateral septic lung emboli in a previously healthy 45-year-old IDU. This case suggests that PVL gene-positive CA-MRSA should be considered as a potential pathogen in IDUs with infective endocarditis.
Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is an inherited disease characterized by the presence of multiple polyps in the colon or other areas of the gastrointestinal tract. In Gardner's syndrome, which is considered by some as a variant of FAP, polyps in the colon present with extracolonic manifestations, such as osteomas, lipomas, fibromas or other soft tissue tumors. In 100% of all untreated patients, cancer of the large intestine develops before the age of 40. Subjects with this disorder usually die from complications related to this and other tumors. Older patients surviving this disease only did so after total colectomy was performed. We describe a 75-year-old patient with the typical lesions of Gardner's syndrome who survived without treatment for the disease for more than 40 years after diagnosis.
Alveolar echinococcosis, which is caused by Echinococcus multilocularis, is a very aggressive and potentially fatal infestation which always affects the liver primarily and metastasizes to any part of the body. Imaging studies are usually highly suspicious of carcinoma or sarcoma, and biopsy may provide the first indication of infection. We report a case of disseminated alveolar echinococcosis with liver, lung, and bone involvement mimicking a metastatic malignancy.