Objective Several studies have shown glycated albumin (GA) to be a more accurate glycemic marker than HbA1c in diabetic patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). However GA values are influenced by several factors associated with albumin turnover independent of glycemia. We tried to clarify the factors other than glycemic control affecting GA values in ESRD patients. Patients and Methods We examined the associations between GA values and several clinical variables related to albumin metabolism in 41 non-diabetic patients on maintenance hemodialysis. Results Although there were no significant correlations between glucose, albumin, and GA values, there were significant correlations between age, cholinesterase (ChE) values, BMI, and GA values (r=0.515, p=0.0004, r=-0.394, p=0.010, r=-0.327, p=0.036). Stepwise multivariate regression analysis showed that age and ChE values were significant independent variables associated with GA values (β=0.479, -0.343, R2=0.382). Conclusion GA values are influenced by age and nutritional status independent of glycemia in non-diabetic ESRD patients. We should be aware of factors other than glycemic control affecting GA values.
Objective Idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (IIPs) comprises a group of diffuse parenchymal lung diseases of unknown etiology with varying degrees of inflammation and fibrosis including cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (COP), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP). Tenascin-C is an extracellular matrix molecule that is expressed during wound healing in various tissues. The present study was aimed to investigate the role of tenascin-C in the pathogenesis of IIPs. Methods We used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays to measure levels of tenascin-C in serum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) from 17 patients with IPF, 12 with NSIP, 15 with COP and from 23 healthy individuals. Results Serum levels of tenascin-C were significantly elevated in patients with COP compared with those in all other participants, whereas those in patients with IPF and NSIP were not significantly elevated compared with healthy individuals. The levels of tenascin-C in BALF from patients with COP and NSIP were significantly higher than those of healthy individuals. In addition, serum tenascin-C was significantly correlated with levels of serum C-reactive protein, which is a serum acute phase protein. Conclusion Systemic inflammation in the lung with IIPs might be associated with tenascin-C. These results suggest that tenascin-C is responsible for the pathogenesis of IIPs especially via inflammation, and that it might serve as a serum marker of COP.
Objective18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron-emission tomography (PET) has been widely applied to malignant lymphoma both for initial staging and response evaluation. The objective is to compare the efficacy of the less common, but more easily implemented modality, CT, with that of FDG. Methods We retrospectively reviewed consecutive patients diagnosed with malignant lymphoma in our hospital between October 2002 and March 2006, and compared the efficacy of FDG-PET and CT. The standard reference was defined by the pathology and clinical course of patients followed for more than 3 months. Results Thirty-three cases for staging and 62 cases for response evaluation after treatment were included. We calculated the sensitivity and specificity of each modality. The accuracy of the diagnostic modality was evaluated using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. The sensitivity and specificity of the initial staging were 87% and 100% on CT evaluation and 87% and 100% on FDG-PET, respectively. Sensitivity and specificity of the re-staging were 81% and 78% on CT evaluation and 82% and 97% on FDG-PET, respectively. The diagnostic accuracy of FDG-PET was comparable with that of CT both in initial staging and response evaluation. The maximum standardized uptake value was not associated with patient survival. In subgroup analysis, a tendency of lower sensitivity in the initial staging was found in FDG-PET for follicular lymphoma and CT for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Conclusion Although different staging procedures appear better suited to certain subtypes of lymphoma, in general CT imaging might be as useful as FDG-PET in initial staging in selected patients.
Objective To contribute to reforming the medical education system in Japan, we visited overseas medical schools and observed the methods utilized in medical education. Materials and Methods We visited 28 medical schools and five institutes in the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia in 2008. We met deans and specialists in medical affairs and observed the medical schools' facilities. Results Among the several effective educational methods used in overseas medical schools, simulation-based learning was being used in all that we visited. Simulation-based learning is used to promote medical students' mastery of communication skills, medical interviewing, physical examination and basic clinical procedures. Students and tutors both recognize the effectiveness of simulation-based learning in medical education. Conclusion In contrast to overseas medical schools, simulation-based learning is not common in Japan. There remain many barriers to introduce simulation-based education in Japan, such as a shortage of medical tutors, staff, mannequins and budget. However, enhancing the motivation of tutors is likely the most important factor to facilitate simulation-based education in Japanese medical schools to become common place.
Involvement of the gastrointestinal tract in cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is commonly observed in immunocompromised hosts. We encountered an immunocompetent patient with CMV associated-acute gastric mucosal lesion (AGML). The emergence of inclusion bodies characteristic of CMV infection in the specimens obtained from the patient's gastric ulcers was helpful in identifying the cause of AGML. The patient recovered without the administration of antiviral drugs. This case illustrates that CMV infection can be one of the causative agents that trigger AGML even in immunocompetent hosts, and that gastric biopsies are extremely useful for ascertaining the etiology of AGML.
Metastasis of one tumor to another tumor within the same individual is considered rare. Lung cancer metastatic to renal cell carcinoma represents the most common combination of such tumor-to-tumor metastases. We present the autopsy case of a 97-year-old woman with metastatic adenocarcinoma of the lung to renal cell carcinoma.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is often associated with congenital heart disease (CHD). Acute administration of beraprost reduces pulmonary vascular resistance in patients with idiopathic PAH and PAH associated with CHD; however, little is known about whether or not long-term treatment with oral beraprost benefits these patients. We report the case of a patient suffering from severe PAH associated with large patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), who was considered to be ineligible for PDA closure using a conventional treatment strategy. Eventually, long-term administration of oral beraprost ameliorated the degree of PAH and the patient subsequently underwent successful closure of the PDA.
We describe a case of Brugada syndrome, in which recurrent syncope with convulsive seizures was induced after antidepressant treatment. The patient had been treated with five kinds of psychotropic drugs. The twelve-lead ECG after the syncope exhibited an RSR'-pattern in the precordial leads, however, a coved type ST-segment elevation was induced by a pilsicainide test. Although ventricular fibrillation was not induced in the electrophysiologic study, an ICD implantation was considered as the recommended therapy since Brugada syndrome unmasked by antidepressants could not be ruled out. The possible contribution of antidepressants to Brugada type ST-segment changes is discussed.
A case with early presentation of acute lymphocytic leukemia with bilaterally enlarged kidneys and liver is presented. Both hepatic and renal infiltration with leukemic cells is a rare manifestation of acute lymphocytic leukemia.
A 29-year-old woman was diagnosed as having type 1 diabetes mellitus and received insulin aspart and NPH insulin (Novolin®N). On day 22, she had leg edema and right abdominal pain. The serum hepatobiliary enzyme levels were markedly elevated. Computed tomography revealed gallbladder edema. After an injection of human regular insulin and NPH insulin (Humacart®N), the elevated liver enzyme levels were no longer observed. Challenge testing demonstrated that protamine was the cause of her allergy. Furthermore, tests revealed increased VEGF levels. This is an extremely rare case with a delayed-type protamine allergy caused by Novolin®N resulting in gallbladder edema.
Takayasu's arteritis (TA) is a chronic, progressive, granulomatous inflammation of the aorta and its major branches, and is diagnosed often only in the late stage. The late phase of disease is characterized by variety of ischemic symptoms due to stenosis or occlusion of the major arteries. Although major neurological events such as stroke, transient ischemic attacks, and seizures due to either progressive arterial stenosis or hypertension, are reported to occur in one-fifth of the patients, nasal septal perforation has not been previously reported. Herein we present a young woman with TA who was hospitalized with left hemiparesis due to occlusion of stented carotid artery. Her clinical course was also complicated with nasal septal perforation. This case suggested that nasal septal perforation could be a rare complication of TA and might be considered as a part of the clinical spectrum of the disease.
We report a case of HELLP syndrome, multiple liver infarctions, and intrauterine fetal death in a woman in the 17th week of pregnancy with SLE and APS who had been in remission on a regimen of low-dose prednisolone and aspirin. An increase in the dosage of corticosteroid together with intravenous heparin infusion led to improvement of the clinical symptoms, laboratory parameters, and multifocal low-density liver lesions detected by computed tomography. Early onset and signs of severe organ involvement are the characteristic features of HELLP syndrome associated with APS, and patients that are at risk should be followed up carefully.