Objective To investigate the change in the plasma apelin level in patients with stable angina. Methods The study enrolled 96 patients with stable angina as the Stable Angina Group and another 78 outpatients with no angina as the Control Group. Subjects were excluded if they had a history of acute coronary syndrome, rheumatic heart disease, cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrhythmia, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, or antecedent hypertension. Plasma apelin levels of all subjects were determined using a commercially available immunoassay. In addition, blood was sampled for measurements of 8-iso-prostaglandin-F2alpha by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The severity of coronary artery stenosis of stable angina patients was evaluated using the Gensini score. Results The mean levels of apelin in plasma were significantly lower in subjects with stable angina compared with controls (1.24 vs.1.98 ng/mL, p <0.05). The plasma level of apelin in the stable angina group was negatively correlated with the Gensini score (r =-0.399, p <0.05). Conclusion Reduced apelin levels were observed in this homogenous population of stable angina subjects and the plasma apelin level was negatively correlated with the degree of coronary stenosis.
Objective To evaluate transitional changes in QuantiFERON TB-2G (QFT-2G) test results in the serial testing on the same patients and to reevaluate the optimal threshold of positive response of QFT-2G test as a cure of TB infection. Methods We prospectively investigated transitional changes of QFT-2G test results in 22 patients with active tuberculosis (TB) over three years after the initiation of treatment with antituberculosis drugs. Treatment using antituberculosis drugs was performed for six months in all patients. Results The positive rate of QFT-2G test results decreased 50% at the treatment completion. Thereafter, although the positive rate of QFT-2G test results has been decreased 45% six months later even if treatment was finished, it decreased slightly to 41% two years later and 36% three years later. If the cut-off value was situated below 50% (IFN-γ level three years later/ IFN-γ level of baseline peak value), we could judge the conversion of QFT-2G test in most cases except for two cases three years after the initiation of antituberculosis treatment through this study. Conclusion It may be difficult to monitor markers in the cure of TB infection using QFT-2G tests. The cut-off level for a positive response on QFT-2G test may need to be reconsidered when the test is used to monitor the response of active TB to therapy.
Primary infection by cytomegalovirus (CMV) commonly occurs subclinically or manifested by a self-limited mononucleosis-like syndrome in immunocompetent subjects. Severe clinical pictures are uncommon. We present a case of acute myopericarditis and hepatitis in a previously healthy 32-year-old man with primary CMV infection, assessed by serology and positive pp65 antigenemia. He was successfully treated with a course of oral valganciclovir therapy, with an immediate clinical response and normalization of laboratory tests. The literature on simultaneous presentation of CMV pericarditis and hepatitis in immunocompetent hosts, as well as the role of oral valganciclovir in this clinical setting, is reviewed.
A 68-year-old woman with a history of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) resected curatively 12 years previously was admitted to our department for scrutiny of pancreatic tumors. Various imaging studies demonstrated heterogeneously well-enhanced masses in the head and tail of the pancreas. The well-enhanced mass in the head of the pancreas was connected with the tumor thrombus in the portal vein. To differentially diagnose the multiple pancreatic lesions, we performed endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsy (EUS-FNAB). Histopathologic findings of the EUS-FNAB specimens were similar to those of the renal clear cell carcinoma previously resected. The patient underwent a surgical operation with segmental resection of the portal vein with the preoperative diagnosis of RCC metastasis to the pancreas with intraportal growth. Histopathological examination of the resected specimen revealed that the masses in the pancreas were multiple pancreatic metastases with intraportal tumor thrombus of RCC. The pancreas is a rare target for metastasis. This is a rare case of pancreatic metastasis from RCC with intraportal extension, and is the first preoperatively definitely diagnosed case using EUS-FNAB.
A 46-year-old woman presented with arthralgia. She had a history of fluctuating liver function impairment for 6 months. Laboratory investigations revealed elevated liver function test results, positive antinuclear antibodies and elevated serum IgG. The histological findings of a liver biopsy were interface hepatitis accompanied by plasmocytic infiltration with bridging fibrosis. There was no evidence of cirrhosis on pathological examination and no portal hypertension on endoscopic and radiographic studies. Autoimmune hepatitis was diagnosed, and treatment with prednisolone improved the liver dysfunction. After 6 months, she complained of dyspnea. Doppler echocardiography showed a dilated right ventricle, severe tricuspid insufficiency, and systolic pulmonary arterial pressure indicative of pulmonary arterial hypertension. We report this rare case of autoimmune hepatitis with pulmonary arterial hypertension.
A 60-year-old woman with polycystic kidney presented with intracystic hemorrhage; renocolic fistula was diagnosed by contrast-enhanced. The patient was admitted due to hematuria, pyuria and pneumaturia. Abdominal B-mode ultrasonography showed that this renal cyst had thickened walls and debris-like internal echo. Truagent Detection, a power Doppler imaging mode, could depict intracystic color signals after Levovist injection by real-time scan. Enhanced spots had increased in the cyst, and were shown as minimal intracystic hemorrhage in real-time. The case of polycystic kidney with renocolic fistula is rare, however contrast-enhanced ultrasonography could successfully identify the site of minute bleeding.
An 83-year-old man with myelodysplastic syndrome was admitted to our hospital due to dyspnea and abnormal shadows on chest X-ray films during corticosteroid therapy for organizing pneumonia. He was diagnosed as having disseminated cryptococcosis with pulmonary lesions after detecting Cryptococcus neoformans. Both bilateral pleural effusion with or without ipsilateral pulmonary lesions and ascites ensued, and it was assumed that both direct involvement and serositis were associated with the fluid accumulation. Cryptococcal yeast was only detected in the right pleural effusion, and the titer of cryptococcal antigen was quite different between body cavities, even though it was positive in all sites.
Acute tumor lysis syndrome (ATLS) is a well-recognized complication of systemic chemotherapy for rapidly proliferating neoplasms. ATLS has rarely occurred after intrathecal chemotherapy for the treatment of leukemia with meningeal involvement. Here, we report a case of fatal ATLS complicating intrathecal injections of methotrexate, cytarabine and hydrocortisone for acute lymphoblastic leukemia which relapsed with meningeal involvement after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. This case indicates that intrathecal chemotherapy alone may be sufficient to induce ATLS. Close monitoring and prevention of ATLS are also warranted following intrathecal chemotherapy alone.
Avascular necrosis (AVN) is a devastating adverse effect of steroid therapy rarely reported in idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). We describe a 64-year-old woman with progressive left knee and hip pain for 30 days resulting with the inability to ambulate. After she had been diagnosed ITP pulse steroid treatment was started in the department of Hematology. Two weeks later she described left knee and left hip pain. On physical examination, motion in her left knee and hip was severely painful without inflammation but range of motion was not limited. Magnetic resonance imaging showed multiple bony infarcts in the proximal femur, distal femur and proximal tibia, consistent with AVN. This case report is the first to define concurrent hip and knee AVN at a very early stage due to steroid use in a patient with ITP.
A 70-year-old right-handed Japanese man who had undergone surgical resection for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) 2 years earlier was diagnosed with lung metastasis 3 months before consulting our hospital with a headache and visual field disturbance. Head computed tomography revealed a brain tumor with an intracerebral hemorrhage. Using 99mTc-PMT (pyridoxal-5-methly-triptophan) scintigraphy, we determined that the brain tumor was metastasis from the HCC and utilized the cyber-knife for treatment. The prognosis of patients with brain metastasis from HCC has been reported to be poor. Use of the cyber-knife was non-invasive, and proved to be effective for improving prognosis and quality of life.
Scrub typhus is not uncommon in Asia and it is life threatening without correct treatment. The presentation of scrub typhus mimicking deep neck infection is rarely encountered by clinical physicians and delays the determination of the correct diagnosis. Here, we report a case of scrub typhus presenting symptoms like deep neck infection. The patient was admitted due to fever and a tender swelling on left side of his neck, which progressed to respiratory failure and acute renal failure under empirical use of ceftriaxone and metronidazole. After repetitive physical examinations, an eschar was found on his scalp. Finally he was successfully treated with tetracycline antibiotics.
Nonocclusive mesenteric ischemia (NOMI) is an acute mesenteric circulatory disorder which is characterized by spasm and narrowing of the arterial branches. In contrast to occlusive disease, early diagnosis of NOMI is difficult because of its mild symptoms, thus resulting in a high mortality rate. In this study, we report three cases who survived NOMI because of early diagnosis by multidetector row computed tomography and immediate treatment with prostaglandin E1, which is known to improve blood flow by relaxing vascular smooth muscle. We conclude that early diagnosis and treatment of NOMI with prostaglandin E1 considerably improves the prognosis of this disease.
Superior vena cava (SVC) syndrome is usually caused by malignant tumors or their lymph node metastases oppressing a SVC. However, we encountered a case of SVC syndrome that was caused by a thrombus in the SVC, which we considered as a manifestation of Trousseau's syndrome triggered by underlying prostate cancer. A 60-year-old man patient complained of facial swelling. Physical examinations suggested SVC syndrome; enhanced CT and MRI demonstrated the presence of thrombus in the SVC accompanied by multiple mediastinal and axillary lymph node swelling. Histological examination of both percutaneous transluminally aspirated thrombus via a catheter through jugular vein and the axillary lymph nodes included metastatic prostate cancer. Although the ultrasonic and MR images were not compatible with the prostate cancer, needle biopsies from the prostate established the diagnosis. The SVC syndrome as an initial manifestation of underlying unknown malignancy and also due to intravascular thrombosis caused by cancer metastasis to the vascular wall is extremely uncommon.