Objective Left ventricular systolic time intervals, including pre-ejection period (PEP), ejection time (ET), and their ratio (PEP/ET), is determined by systolic and diastolic function and ventriculo-arterial coupling. We investigated the usefulness of the electromechanical activation time [(EMAT) PEP minus isovolumic contraction time] in the prediction of cardiac mortality or re-hospitalization for heart failure in patients with the acute heart failure syndrome (AHFS). Patients and Methods A total of 45 patients (71.9±16.1 years old) hospitalized for AHFS were enrolled. Systolic time intervals and EMAT normalized by cardiac cycle length (%) were measured separately by separate automated acoustic devices. All parameters were assessed within 24 hours of admission, before discharge, and 2 weeks after discharge. Results During a mean follow-up of 242±156 days, 20 patients (44%) incurred adverse cardiovascular events including 18 re-hospitalizations for heart failure and 2 cardiovascular deaths. Using uni-variate Cox regression analysis, at admission %EMAT and %PEP, pre-discharge %EMAT, and post-discharge %EMAT significantly predicted post-discharge cardiovascular events with hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals of 1.75 (1.13-2.70), 1.67 (1.02-2.70), 1.87 (1.10-3.17) and 2.50 (1.58-3.97) per 1-SD increment, respectively. The predictions remained significant after adjustment for age, sex, left ventricular ejection fraction, E/E´ by Doppler echocardiography, and serum N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide. Conclusion EMAT measured during the hospitalization course is useful in the prediction of cardiovascular outcomes in patients with AHFS independent of left ventricular ejection fraction, E/E´, and serum N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide.
Background It is known that patients with myocarditis of unknown etiology and with dilated cardiomyopathy show a high incidence of serum autoantibodies (M7) directed against mitochondrial flavoproteins. The tissue concentration of mitochondrial flavoproteins in the myocardium obtained from patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) was examined to further investigate the immunopathological mechanism of cardiomyopathy. Methods and Results Myocardial tissue specimens were obtained from patients who underwent cardiac catheterization and a subendomyocardial biopsy for the diagnosis of cardiomyopathy. All samples were analyzed by Western blotting. NADH dehydrogenase ubiquinone flavoprotein (NDUFV1) production in the myocardium decreased significantly with DCM, in comparison to fumarate hydratase and flavoprotein SDHA. There was a significant negative-correlation between the left ventricular end-diastolic dimension and NDUFV1 production (R2=0.291, p value<0.05). Conclusion NDUFV1 may be involved in the pathogenesis of DCM. A defect of mitochondrial NDUFV1 may reduce complex I, which produces most of the superoxide, which is then scavenged by the mitochondrial enzyme Mn-superoxide dismutase to produce H2O2. Exploring the nature of the candidate protein found in the myocardium in this study will provide further insight into the immunological mechanism of DCM.
Background and objective We previously reported that baclofen, a GABAB agonist, reduces body weight in obese mice. In this clinical study, we examined the possibility that baclofen might serve as an effective therapeutic agent for obesity in humans. Methods Seven women and three men ranging from 25-51 years of age and 31.3-41.0 kg/m2 body mass index were included in the study. Baclofen, which was started at a dose of 15 mg/day and increased to 30 mg/day in 10 days, was administered for 12 weeks. Results Administration of baclofen for 12 weeks significantly decreased both body weight (baseline: 93.30 ± 9.80 kg, 12 weeks: 91.70 ± 10.30 kg) and waist circumference (baseline: 107.9 ± 9.0 cm, 12 weeks: 105.6 ± 10.0 cm). Serum leptin levels, which possibly reflect the amount of adipose stores, were also decreased significantly by the treatment. On the other hand, there were no significant changes in the blood pressure or metabolism of glucose and lipid. No adverse effects were observed. Conclusion Although the anti-obesity effects of baclofen in the present study were mild, this pilot study suggests the possibility that baclofen might serve as a new anti-obesity drug in humans.
Objective Numerous Chinese patients with IgA nephropathy (IgAN) have benefited from Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F (TwHF) from two decades ago. However, to date there is no systematic evaluation of this remedy for IgAN. Methods We conducted a meta-analysis of all eligible randomized clinical trials (RCTs) to assess the effect of TwHF on IgAN for the first time. In August 2009 a systematic search was performed among eight electronic databases. Review Manager (RevMan) version 5.0 was used. Results (i) Four eligible RCTs with 188 participants were included; (ii) The validities of included RCTs were generally acceptable; (iii) TwHF brought about a favorable increase in complete remission (CR) (RR 1.53, 95%CI 1.09 to 2.16, I2=12%) and total remission (TR) (RR 1.27, 95%CI 1.08 to 1.48, I2=0%) compared with non-TwHF treatment; and this result was further confirmed by intention-to-treat analysis; (iv) Exploiting subgroup meta-analysis, TwHF led to significantly greater improvements of IgAN with non-nephrotic proteinuria with regard to the increase of CR (RR 1.80, 95%CI 1.21 to 2.68, I2=0%) and TR (RR 1.32, 95%CI 1.11 to 1.57, I2=0%), and decrease of urinary proteinuria excretion (UPE) (MD -467.41 mg/24h, 95%CI -633.99 to -300.82, I2=0%). Meanwhile, the renal function was well preserved (MD -2.66 μmol/L, 95%CI -9.26 to 3.94, I2=0%). Conclusion Although the results of this meta-analysis should be interpreted with caution and warrant further investigation, TwHF was certainly a valuable and promising immunosuppressive remedy for IgAN, which was in accordance with the accruing evidence from numerous large clinical and experimental studies.
Background Ghrelin has a protective effect on endothelial cells. Endothelial cell dysfunction is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and CVD remains the leading cause of morbidity in hemodialysis (HD) patients. Acylated ghrelin (A-Ghr) is the functional form of ghrelin, so we hypothesized that A-Ghr is associated with the occurrence of CVD in HD patients. Methods We conducted a prospective cohort study in 412 HD patients. The cohort was sub-grouped into low and high A-Ghr groups according to the median A-Ghr level of 4.88 pg/mL. The association between the low/high A-Ghr groups and the incidence of CVD were analyzed. Results The HD patients in a low A-Ghr group had a greater risk of incidental CVD than those in a high A-Ghr ghrelin. This association remained significant after the adjustment for possible confounding factors, including age, gender, HD duration, BMI, diabetes, albumin, nPCR and Charlson's comorbidity index score. Conclusion It appears that a low serum A-Ghr level is associated with the development of CVD in HD patients.
Background Minimal-change nephrotic syndrome (MCNS) is treated by the administration of prednisolone (PSL) at high doses. Steroid-induced osteoporosis is a serious adverse effect of this drug. Methods Patients with MCNS were randomly assigned to two groups, the risedronate (2.5 mg/day) + alfacalcidol (0.25 μg/day) group (n=20) and the alfacalcidol (0.25 μg/day)-alone group (n=20). All the patients had received PSL and the clinical characteristics were compared between the two groups at baseline and at 12 months. Results A significant decrease of the mean bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar spine from 0.710±0.162 (g/cm2) to 0.588±0.125 was observed in the alfacalcidol-alone group (p=0.02), while no such decrease of the bone mineral density was found in the risedronate + alfacalcidol group (0.663±0.169 at baseline and 0.626±0.129 at 12 months). No significant differences in the results of other biochemical tests performed at the baseline and at 12 months were observed between the two groups. The likelihood of development of steroid-induced osteoporosis was influenced by the cumulative dose of PSL, the mean BMD at the baseline, occurrence of disease relapse, and risedronate therapy. Conclusion Risedronate appears to be effective in preventing steroid-induced osteoporosis. It is necessary to use bisphosphonates to maintain the BMD in patients with MCNS receiving prolonged steroid therapy.
Objective Vascular calcification is a feature of arteriosclerosis and in hemodialysis (HD) patients it may be severe, even at a relatively young age, and is closely related to the overall prognosis. We used the aortic calcification area index (ACAI), derived from the aortic calcification index (ACI), to evaluate and analyze the risk factors for abdominal aortic calcification in HD patients. Patients and Methods Subjects comprised 137 patients on maintenance HD. ACAI was measured on abdominal plain computed tomography: 10 slices of the abdominal aorta were obtained at 1-cm intervals from the bifurcation of the common iliac artery and the area of the aortic cross-section and calcification was measured using image software. The calcification area was divided by the cross-sectional area and expressed as a percentage (%). The mean value for the 10 slices was also calculated. Patients were divided into 2 groups according to ACAI being lower or higher than the mean value and the risk factors in each group were compared by multivariate analysis. Results Group comparison showed significant differences in age, systolic blood pressure, serum calcium, and lipoprotein(a). On multiple regression analysis, age, systolic blood pressure, and serum calcium were independent risk factors. On logistic regression analysis, age, duration of dialysis, systolic blood pressure, and serum calcium were independent risk factors. Conclusion Risk factors for abdominal aortic calcification in HD patients include age, systolic blood pressure, and serum calcium, according to ACAI evaluation. The ACAI was accurate and useful for evaluating abdominal calcification.
Background The efficacy of noninvasive ventilation (NIV) in acute exacerbation of pulmonary tuberculosis sequelae has not been fully studied. Methods We retrospectively reviewed 58 patients with acute exacerbation of pulmonary tuberculosis sequelae who were admitted to Tosei General Hospital and treated with NIV over a 9-year period. Results The 58 patients (mean age: 76.2±8.0) consisted of 39 males and 19 females. Arterial blood gas analysis on admission showed a mean pH of 7.28±0.07 and a mean PaCO2 of 72.6±14.2 mmHg. After the start of NIV, significant improvement occurred in pH, to 7.32±0.06 after 2 h and 7.36±0.06 after 24 h, and in PaCO2, to 66.4±11.2 mmHg after 2 h and 61.6±11.3 mmHg after 24 h. The success rate in weaning from NIV was 86.2%. There were statistically significant differences in pH, body mass index (BMI), blood leukocyte count and serum potassium between patients successfully and unsuccessfully weaned from NIV. Conclusion We conclude that patients with acute exacerbation of pulmonary tuberculosis sequelae can be treated successfully with NIV. Lower pH, BMI, and serum potassium, and higher blood leukocyte count are related to NIV failure.
Objective Patients with liver disease usually have an imbalanced nutrient and energy metabolism that leads to malnutrition and seriously affects their prognosis. Therefore, it is of great clinical interest to understand the resting energy expenditure (REE) and oxidation rates of glucose, fat, and protein in these patients. Methods A total of 315 patients with liver diseases caused by hepatitis B virus were categorized into three groups: 20 acute hepatitis patients, 142 chronic hepatitis patients and 153 liver cirrhosis patients. The REE and the oxidation rates of glucose, fat and protein were assessed by indirect heat measurement. Energy intake data were also collected which were compared with the REE results. Results The REE per kg (REE/kg) were 27.34 ± 5.46 kJ/kg, 21.67 ± 5.01 kJ/kg and 19.07 ± 4.45 kJ/kg in acute, chronic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis patients (p=0.000), respectively. Respiratory quotient (RQ) tended to be lower in patients with chronic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis than that in acute hepatitis patients (p=0.023). Energy, protein and carbohydrate intakes were lower in liver cirrhosis patients. Conclusion These data demonstrated that Chinese patients with chronic hepatitis B and liver cirrhosis had lower energy expenditure and abnormal substrate metabolism. Patients with chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis had a higher protein oxidation rate and a lower carbohydrate oxidation rate compared with acute hepatitis patients.
Background The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the association between airflow obstruction and the metabolic syndrome (MS) or its components in Japanese men. Methods The study included 7,189 male subjects, aged 45-88 years, who underwent spirometric lung function tests at a medical check-up. The spirometric criteria for diagnosis of airflow obstruction were forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1)/forced vital capacity (FVC) <70%. The severity of airflow obstruction was defined according to the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guideline. Results The prevalence of airflow obstruction was 9.0% and the frequency of MS was 25.6%. In logistic regression models adjusting for age, body mass index, smoking, and alcohol, the risk of MS was higher in subjects with airflow obstruction of GOLD stage II-IV compared to those with normal lung function [odds radio (OR), 1.33; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.01-1.76)]. Of the MS components, waist circumference (OR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.24-2.50) and blood pressure (OR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.08-1.74) were associated with airflow obstruction of GOLD stage II-IV, after controlling for potential confounders. Conclusion Airflow obstruction of GOLD stage II-IV might be associated with MS, waist circumference and blood pressure components in Japanese men.
Infectious mononucleosis is a self-limiting clinical syndrome caused by primary Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. EBV-associated gastritis, however, has rarely been documented. We report a case of a 17-year-old woman who presented with fever, sore throat, and epigastric pain. Upper endoscopy revealed diffuse granular mucosae and elevated lesions in the stomach. Histologically, the biopsied mucosa was infiltrated by numerous atypical lymphocytes. From clinical, histopathologic, immunohistochemical, and in situ hybridization analyses, we diagnosed EBV-associated gastritis. Her symptoms spontaneously resolved, and follow-up endoscopy revealed improvement and no atypical lymphocytes. To prevent misdiagnosis and unnecessary treatment, the possibility of EBV-associated gastritis should be considered.
A 62-year-old man presented newly developed tachyarrhythmia diagnosed as paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) and was treated with flecainide and enalapril. He underwent a whole-body F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) scan for cancer screening. The FDG-PET images showed a FDG non-avid lesion in the mid mediastinum. He was referred to our hospital for further examination under suspicion of a cardiac tumor in the left atrium. A chest computed tomography scan and magnetic resonance imaging revealed a bronchogenic cyst just under the carina and also compressed left atrium and pulmonary vein from its cranial portion. The cyst was completely excised. After the operation, PAF was stopped and sinus rhythm was preserved. PAF was thought to be due to compression by the bronchogenic cyst.
A 73-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital because of persistent fever, headache and fatigue for several weeks. On admission, she was diagnosed as having meningitis due to Mycobacterium intracellulare (M. intracellulare) detected in her cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) by polymerase chain reaction. Even though anti-tuberculous therapy improved her CSF findings, her condition was not restored. Brain MRI showed multifocal and asymmetrical increases in T2 signals involving white matter and cortical gray-white junction of cerebral hemispheres, cerebellum and brainstem. Based on the progression of clinical symptoms and radiological features, we diagnosed her illness as acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) associated with meningitis due to M. intracellulare. Steroid therapy dramatically improved her condition. This is the first report of ADEM following meningitis due to M. intracellulare in a non-immunocompromized host.
Acromegaly is characterized by chronic hypersecretion of growth hormone (GH) and is associated with increased mortality rate because of the potential complications such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, or malignancy, which are probably caused by the long-term exposure of tissues to excess GH, for at least 10 years, before diagnosis and treatment. A 22-year-old man with a 2-month history of fatigue was admitted to our hospital because of chest discomfort, dyspnea, and pitting edema of the lower limbs experienced over a 1-month period. On admission, his height and body weight were 186 cm and 138.5 kg, respectively, with a BMI of 39.8 kg/m2. He showed acromegalic features and elevated serum GH and IGF-1 levels, which were 11.5 ng/mL and 960 ng/mL, respectively. There was no GH suppression in the 75-g oral glucose tolerance test. Pituitary magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed microadenoma. Chest X-ray revealed cardiomegaly, and echocardiogram showed dilated left ventricular (LV) cavity and diffuse hypokinesis with extremely decreased ejection fraction (EF). He was diagnosed as having acromegaly with congestive heart failure from diastolic cardiomyopathy. After the successful transsphenoidal resection of the pituitary adenoma, the level of GH was normalized. However, the cardiac dysfunction did not show any improvement even after the administration of β-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACE-I), or diuretics. The patient was re-hospitalized, and he died of cardiac failure at the age of 25 years. Patients with acromegaly have been reported to have about 30% higher mortality rate, and cardiovascular disease accounts for 60% of the deaths. We report a case of a patient with juvenile acromegaly who was diagnosed with severe cardiac failure at the time of diagnosis and failed to recover cardiac function even after the successful resection of the pituitary adenoma. Immediate diagnosis and treatment are required for better control of acromegalic cardiomyopathy.
We report the case of an obese 79-year-old woman who experienced postprandial hypoglycemia in the morning. The serum immunoreactive insulin (IRI) and C-peptide levels responded in parallel with her serum glucose level during a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test. A prolonged fast test lowered her serum glucose level to 30 mg/dL, but serum IRI was not fully suppressed. Abdominal computed tomography revealed a tumor in the uncinate process of the pancreas. The tumor was histologically diagnosed as benign insulinoma after surgery. Therefore, glucose-responsive insulinoma as well as reactive hypoglycemia should be considered in patients who exhibit postprandial hypoglycemia.
We report a 59-year-old woman with AL amyloidosis who presented with massive bleeding from the right kidney, in whom emergency surgery proved to be life saving. The patient had been diagnosed as having AL amyloidosis 16 years previously. After 5 years, hemodialysis had been initiated. In 2007, a large right-sided perinephric, intracapsular hematoma was detected. Right nephrectomy was performed and the patient recovered with no sequelae. Histopathological examination revealed a greater degree of amyloid deposition in the resected kidney than that at the time of diagnosis. Amyloid angiopathy may promote bleeding.
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a neoplasm of B cell lineage characterized by excessive proliferation of abnormal plasma cells which produce immunglobulins. If a monoclonal spike is not found in serum or urine but the patient has clinical findings and bone marrow plasma cell infiltration suggestive of MM, then the patient may have a rare subtype known as nonsecretory multiple myeloma (NSMM). Here, we describe a rare case of NSMM with plasmacytoma of bone who presented with severe hypercalcemia, acute kidney injury and a large thoracal mass on chest X-ray masquerading as lung cancer.
A 39-year-old woman presented with right-sided pneumothorax. Partial lung resection was done via thoracoscopy. Five years later, left-sided pneumothorax occurred, and she underwent thoracoscopy again. However, air leakage continued, and pleurodesis was performed. Although she had no skin eruptions or renal tumors, Birt-Hogg-Dubé (BHD) syndrome was suggested by radiographic findings. BHD gene analysis was performed, which revealed the BHD gene mutation. Reevaluation of pathological findings showed elastic fibers in the alveolar walls with fine granular changes and accumulation of macrophages. BHD syndrome should be considered in patients presenting with multiple pulmonary cysts with or without skin eruption, or kidney tumor.
We present a 54-year-old man employed in the field of hard metal manufacturing who complained of progressive dyspnea and weight loss. His chest radiograph showed bilateral fibrosis predominantly distributed in the upper lobes with bilateral pleural effusions, and a strong reduction in lung volume. Lung histopathology showed apical cap-like fibrosis but no giant cell interstitial pneumonia. Electron probe microanalysis detected tungsten deposits in the fibrotic region: we therefore considered this to be a case of hard metal disease. Hard metal disease should be considered as one possibility in the differential diagnosis of upper lobe-dominant pulmonary fibrosis.
Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) has been developed as a useful tool for the diagnosis of diseases adjacent to the airway to be used in place of open surgery or mediastinoscopy. In this report, we present a 46-year-old man with a solid tumor in the mediastinum. Since no other pathological sites were identified, EBUS-TBNA was employed for tumor sampling. Sufficient tissue specimens were collected and the diagnosis of follicular lymphoma was established based on the combination of immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry and FISH analysis. This report demonstrates the advantage of EBUS-TBNA even for the diagnosis of hematological disease.
We present a case of a 78-year-old woman who visited our hospital for chronic atrial fibrillation. She consulted an orthopedic surgeon for lumbar pain in August 2009 and has been followed up for osteoporosis. However, her lumbar pain became exacerbated. In December 2009, clinical examination revealed that the pain was caused by tuberculous spondylitis and iliopsoas abscess. Diffuse miliary shadow, which was undetected earlier, was noted on chest roentgenogram; she was diagnosed with miliary tuberculosis. Lumbar pain is common in elderly individuals and should be regarded as one of the tuberculosis symptoms, considering its atypical course in elderly patients.
A 65-year-old woman presented with a 6-month history of abdominal pain and watery diarrhea. Type II enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma (EATL) was diagnosed based on the clinical presentation and pathological examination of the tumor. The patient received combination chemotherapy but did not achieve remission. Subsequently, high-dose therapy (HDT) and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) were performed. After these therapies, she achieved complete remission, which has been sustained for 18 months. Although the role of HDT-ASCT for EATL is still controversial, the clinical course of this patient suggests that ASCT can improve the prognosis in some patients with EATL.
We report a case of primary cardiac lymphoma (PCL) occurring in a 76-year-old man during maintenance hemodialysis. Chest computed tomography (CT) revealed a tumor with pericardial effusion in the left ventricular posterior wall. Cytological examination of the pericardial fluid revealed monotonous lymphoid cells positive for B-cell markers, and clonal immunoglobulin heavy chain gene rearrangement was detected, indicating B-cell lymphoma. Rituximab monotherapy was administered biweekly at the therapeutic level on hemodialysis. The follow-up chest CT showed tumor disappearance with pericardial fluid after two courses of therapy. Rituximab monotherapy was effective for an elderly hemodialysis patient with PCL.
A 21-year-old woman developed psychiatric symptoms, progressive unresponsiveness, generalized seizures, severe dyskinesia, marked fluctuation of blood pressure, and hypersalivation after a flu-like episode. Anti-glutamate receptor (GluR)ε2 and anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antibodies were positive in both her serum and CSF. After she recovered five months later she underwent surgery to remove a right ovarian teratoma. Immunohistochemical examinations of her teratoma disclosed abundant expression of various GluRs including NR2B subunit of NMDAR, GluR1, and GluR2/3. These immunoreactivities of GluRs were seen not only in small areas of neural tissue identified as anti-glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-immunoreactive areas but also in other large areas of undifferentiated neuroepithelial tissue without GFAP immunoreactivity. Our findings strongly support the recent idea that neural elements in ovarian teratoma play an important role in the production of antibodies to NMDARs in anti-NMDAR encephalitis. Additionally, the study of control ovaries clearly showed NR2B-related immunoreactivity in the cytoplasm of oocytes, indicating that the normal ovary itself has expression of NMDARs. This finding might provide a clue to understand the pathogenesis of this disease in female patients without ovarian teratoma.
We report a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) who developed progressive emaciation and postprandial abdominal pain with a 27-year history of corticosteroid treatment. The patient was diagnosed as having intestinal angina based on computed tomography that showed severe stenosis of the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) in addition to complete occlusion of the celiac and inferior mesenteric arteries. Histopathology of the SMA and abdominal aorta showed atherosclerosis with no vasculitis or thrombus formation. Intestinal angina should actively be considered as a possible cause of recurrent abdominal pain in SLE patients, particularly in those with a long history of disease.
We treated three cases of fungemia in HIV-infected patients. These cases were caused by Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Penicillium marneffei, respectively, and all were diagnosed through the use of mycobacterial blood culture bottles. Although the detection of the etiologic agents of fungal infection is difficult, it has been shown that blood culture media for mycobacteria are more effective for the detection of fungemia than media for aerobes and anaerobes. Some reports have shown that Bactec Myco/F lytic bottles were useful for the diagnosis of fungemia in clinical samples. Here, we report the successful use of BacT MB bottles.