Objective Outcomes of endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) for early gastric neoplasms at low-volume centers have been unknown, because all previous reports have studied in advanced single centers. The aim of this study was to compare ESD outcomes between high- and low-volume centers. Methods A retrospective questionnaire survey was conducted and 30 centers (96.8%) responded. The complete en-bloc resection rate (CERR) and the incidence of complications were analyzed. Early gastric cancer (EGC) was divided into three categories on the basis of pathological diagnosis-standard indication (SI), expanded indication (EI) and out-of-indication (OI). Results A total of 703 early gastric neoplasms (586 EGCs, 117 gastric adenomas) were treated with ESD from January to December 2005. The institutions that treated more than 30 cases a year were classified as high-volume centers, and those with less than 30 cases, low-volume centers. In SI, the CERRs at high- and low-volume centers were 92.1% and 91.1%, in EI, CERRs were 86.2% and 82.6% and in OI, CERRs were 80.3% and 88.0%. The perforation rates at high- and low-volume centers were 3.6% and 4.7%. The intra-operative bleeding rates at high- and low-volume centers were 0.26% and 0%, while the delayed bleeding rates were 0% and 0.63%. Conclusion There were no significant difference in the outcomes of ESD for early gastric neoplasms between high- and low volume centers.
Objective Changes in metabolic syndrome and its components with lifestyle modification were evaluated in Japanese men. Methods We used data for 160 Japanese men (45.6±8.8 years) with a 1-year follow up. Anthropometric, blood examination and blood pressure measurements were evaluated. Metabolic syndrome was defined by using a criterion in Japan. All subjects were given instructions by well-trained medical staff on how to change their lifestyle. Results With a 1-year follow-up, anthropometric parameters, blood pressure (BP), triglyceride and HDL cholesterol were significantly improved and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome was significantly reduced. The number of subjects with abdominal obesity at baseline and at follow-up was higher (81 men) than that of subjects with other components at baseline and at follow-up. Parameters at baseline were significantly correlated with changes in parameters for one year. With lifestyle modification, the level of 163 mmHg in systolic BP (SBP), 115 mmHg in diastolic BP (DBP), 226 mg/dL in triglyceride and 33 mg/dL in HDL cholesterol at baseline was estimated to improve to the level without medications with a 1-year follow up. Conclusion Lifestyle modification is useful for improving metabolic syndrome and its components. However, items of metabolic syndrome were improved, even when the abdominal circumference was greater than the normal value for Japanese men.
Objective We undertook an investigation on the frequency and magnitude of elevated serum immunoglobulin G (IgG), and effects of treatment with L-thyroxine (T4) in patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Methods Ninety-seven consecutive cases of Hashimoto's thyroiditis, 104 patients with simple goiter, and 75 normal subjects were analyzed retrospectively. Serum total T4, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), microsomal hemagglutination antibody (MHA) titer, and IgG were determined in all subjects. Results IgG was significantly elevated in patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis as a group, and elevation above the upper limit of the normal range was found mostly in patients with hypothyroidism. There is a significant negative correlation between serum total T4 and IgG, and a significant positive correlation between TSH and IgG in patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. In addition, MHA titer was positively correlated with serum IgG. In a longitudinal analysis of hypothyroid patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, restoration of euthyroidism by L-T4 administration was associated with a consistent decrease in serum IgG. Conclusion Serum IgG concentration is increased in patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, particularly in hypothyroid patients, and treatment with L-T4 in such patients lowers IgG levels.
Background The clinical features of pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) differ according to the predisposing factors responsible for immunosuppression. Although PCP in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has been extensively described, its characteristics in non-AIDS patients, such as those with malignancies, are not thoroughly documented. Study objective To characterize and compare the clinical and imaging features of PCP in patients with malignancies with those in AIDS patients. Design A multi-center retrospective study. Patients and Measurements We evaluated the clinical and radiological features of PCP in 21 patients with malignancies and in 17 with AIDS. Clinical presentation, serum markers, oxygenation, CT findings, and outcome were examined. Results The patients with malignancies showed shorter durations of symptoms before PCP was diagnosed. The levels of serum markers and the oxygenation index did not differ. CT showed diffuse or widespread ground-glass opacity (GGO) in all of the patients evaluated. None of the AIDS patients demonstrated consolidation, whereas half of the patients with malignancy showed consolidation along with GGO. The extent of GGO scored on CT images was significantly greater in the AIDS patients. No correlation was observed between the CT findings and other clinical parameters. All of the AIDS patients recovered from PCP, whereas six patients with malignancies died within a month after the onset of PCP. Conclusion The characteristics of the CT images differed between the patient groups with different underlying disorders, although it remains to be determined whether CT findings are associated with other clinical features or are predictive of the outcome of PCP.
Objective As the pathophysiology of alcohol-related dementia (ARD) is unclear, we examined a patient with reversible ARD using neuropsychological tests and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET). Methods Design: A five-year follow-up case study with neuropsychological tests and FDG-PET. Setting: Kyoto University Hospital. Patients A 42-year-old patient who was unable to perform his office duties because of slowly progressive amnesia with executive dysfunction. Results The initial evaluation with neuropsychological tests showed severe verbal memory disturbance. The patient did not discuss his excessive alcohol consumption in the initial history-taking session and thiamine deficiency was absent; therefore, early-stage Alzheimer's disease was suspected. Later, the patient revealed prior excessive alcohol intake and his cognitive function improved markedly after a period of abstinence. Retrospective analysis of initial FDG-PET images using a voxel-wise statistical method revealed glucose hypometabolism in the diencephalon and basal forebrain. Follow-up for 5 years after the initial evaluation showed improved cognitive function and recovery of glucose metabolism in the two brain regions. Conclusion Hypofunction in the diencephalon and basal forebrain was associated with cognitive decline in our patient. This case may provide evidence for the etiopathic brain regions in reversible type ARD.
Objective Our study was undertaken to determine the location of the tortuous intercostal artery in elderly patients by using 3D-CT angiography in order to prevent laceration during thoracentesis. Methods We evaluated the data of 3D-CT angiography of the intercostal artery in consecutive patients who had undergone contrast chest CT scan in our hospital from December 2007 to April 2008. We considered the "percent safe space" (the shortest lower rib-to-intercostal artery distance/the upper rib-to-lower rib distance) to be an index of safety that can be used to prevent laceration of the intercostal artery during thoracentesis. We measured this index at 3 points: the total site (5-10 cm lateral to the spine), the lateral site (9-10 cm lateral to the spine), and the medial site (5-6 cm lateral to the spine). Results We evaluated 33 cases (25 males and 8 females; mean age, 74.2 years). The mean percent safe space at the total site was 58.6%. The percent safe space at the total site tended to decrease with advancing age, but the correlation was low (p=0.0378, r=-0.3631). The percent safe space at the lateral site (mean, 79.8%) was significantly higher than that at the medial site (61.2%, p<0.0001). Conclusion We showed that the intercostal artery is tortuous and does not always lie along the inferior edge of the rib and that the percent safe space at the lateral site is significantly higher than that at the medial site in elderly patients.
We describe laparoscopic findings of tuberculous peritonitis in a 68-year-old man and those at follow-up 8 months later. The initial laparoscopic findings revealed typical yellowish-white nodules on the liver surface, and histological findings showed granulomas with caseous necrosis. Laparoscopy 8 months later showed that anti-tubercular drugs had diminished the nodules and adhesions with a fibrin net appearance were evident. Laparoscopy and biopsy are useful for a rapid diagnosis of tuberculous peritonitis.
Objective High molecular weight adiponectin (HMW ADPN) plays an important role in the regulation of insulin resistance and atherogenic processes. However, the role of HMW ADPN remains to be determined in hemodialysis (HD) patients. Patients and Methods We measured serum HMW ADPN in 49 HD patients (age: 62.4±12.0 years, time on HD: 8.4±6.4 years, male/female=30/19), and examined the association between HMW ADPN and visceral fat area (VFA) estimated by abdominal CT scans. Results Serum HMW ADPN concentrations were weakly and inversely correlated with serum TG (r=-0.271, p=0.0598), but significantly and positively correlated with HDL cholesterol (r=0.392, p=0.0050). Serum HMW ADPN levels were positively correlated with BMI (r=0.472, p=0.0084) in male patients, and the HMW ADPN levels were positively correlated with serum levels of HDL cholesterol (r=0.514, p=0.0243) and TG (r=0.605, p=0.0061).The regression coefficient between VFA and HMW ADPN was -0.491 (p<0.003). Multiple stepwise regression analyses showed that VFA was the most significant and independent determinant of serum HMW ADPN concentration. Conclusion These findings suggest that HMW ADPN may be inversely associated with visceral fat accumulation in HD patients.
A bedridden 85-year-old woman had hyperpotassemia (7.7 mEq/L) and bradycardia (30/min). Endocrinologic findings revealed a decrease in the renin-aldosterone system and normal adrenoglucocorticoid function. The results were consistent with the abnormalities seen in selective hypoaldosteronism with low renin activity. In addition, 9 of 11 patients, selected randomly from 72 bedridden elderly patients with normal serum sodium and potassium levels in our hospital, had diminished plasma renin activity (PRA) and plasma aldosterone concentration (PAC). The present patient was prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). NSAID reduces renal potassium excretion through the inhibition of renal prostaglandin synthesis. Therefore, the use of NSAID in bedridden elderly patients might intensify the underlying asymptomatic hypoaldosteronism and cause life-threatening hyperpotassemia.
A 65-year-old woman presented with pain in her throat and neck. Thin-section computed tomography (CT) revealed an air-filled lesion at the right paratracheal region and two narrow connections to the trachea. Flexible bronchoscopy showed four diverticula 4-5 cm below the vocal cords in the right lateral part of the trachea. Consistent with the CT findings, two of the diverticula were deep. A radiological barium swallow study and an esopagogastroduodenal endoscopic examination revealed no abnormalities. We therefore believe that her right paratracheal air cyst is an extension of a tracheal diverticulum. Right-sided paratracheal air cysts at the level of the thoracic inlet are a common finding on CT and should not be confused with pneumomediastinum in order to avoid unnecessary examinations or treatments.
Pneumococcal endocarditis is a very serious and rare clinical entity that results in significant morbidity and high mortality rates. It causes severe disease and is typically seen in alcoholics and immunocompromised patients. Antimicrobial therapy and timely surgery are warranted for optimal management and improving outcomes. We present a case of a previously healthy 31-year-old Hispanic man with bicuspid aortic valve who developed severe bivalvular pneumococcal endocarditis complicated by suppurative pericarditis that was promptly treated with antimicrobial therapy and subsequent aortic valve replacement with initial favorable clinical and hemodynamic improvement.
An 88-year-old man with autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) who had been treated with low dose prednisolone developed a sudden worsening of his anemia accompanied by reactivation of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). We established EBV-infected spontaneous lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCL), performed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay, and confirmed a significantly suppressed EBV-specific cytotoxic T-cell (CTL) response to the LCL. EBV reactivation might have been brought about by suppressed CTL activity which could have been due to low dose PSL administration or aging. Since the EBV-DNA titer decreased as AIHA improved, we concluded that EBV might have played a role in the development of anemia.
The clinical features of a Japanese family with autosomal dominant adult-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are reported. Weakness initially affected the bulbar musculature, with later involvement of the extremities. Genetic studies failed to detect any mutations of the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) and Dynactin1 (DCTN1) genes, but revealed a single base pair change from wild-type adenine to guanine at position 1009 in TAR-DNA-binding protein (TDP-43), resulting in a methionine-to-valine substitution at position 337. The immunohistochemical study on autopsied brain of the proband's aunt showed TDP-43-positive cytoplasmic inclusions in the anterior horn cells of the spinal cord and in the hypoglossal nucleus, as well as glial cytoplasmic inclusions in the precentral gyrus, suggesting that a neuroglial proteinopathy was related to TDP-43. In conclusion, a characteristic clinical phenotype of familial ALS with initial bulbar symptoms occurred in this family with TDP-43 M337V substitution, the pathomechanism of which should be elucidated.
Methylephedrine is generally harmless and is contained in many cough and cold preparations. Likewise, Chinese herbal drugs are considered to be effective and to have few side effects. A 32-year-old woman experienced ischemic stroke attributed to concomitant administration of a cough and cold preparation containing methylephedrine and a supplement containing Chinese herbal drugs. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging of the brain showed acute infarctions bilaterally in the cerebellum. Conventional angiography and magnetic resonance angiography showed transient stenosis of the left vertebral artery. These findings suggested vasospasm or dissection, presumably related to hypertension and/or angiitis or vasoconstriction of large cerebral arteries leading to local thrombosis as a result of stasis and sympathomimetic-induced platelet activation. Combining methylephedrine and Chinese herbal drugs might carry a risk of stroke.
Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker Syndrome (GSS) is an inherited prion disease characterized by midlife onset and slowly progression of cerebellar ataxia and dementia. We report a distinct phenotype of leg hyperreflexia in a Japanese family with GSS. A 38-year-old woman noticed unsteady gait at 33 years of age. Afterwards, dysarthria and writing difficulty were appeared. Her family history revealed that her grandfather and her mother had a clinical history of unsteadiness and mental changes. At 1 year after clinical onset, neurological examination showed cerebellar ataxia and leg hyperreflexia. At 4 years after onset, she suddenly developed insomnia and nocturnal howling. Her mental status disclosed marked disorientation, anxiety and irritability. Muscle stretch reflexes were increased in four extremities with Babinski's signs. Remarkable dysarthria and cerebellar ataxia were presented. Brain diffusion weighted imaging showed extensive hyperintensity signal areas in the cerebral cortex. A point mutation of the prion protein gene (PRNP) at codon 102 resulting in the substitution of proline by leucine (P102L) was identified. PRNP polymorphism exhibited homozygous methionine at codon 129 and homozygous glutamate at codon 219. She had verbal perseveration, somnolence and myoclonus of lower limbs, leading to akinetic mutism at 4 months after neuropsychiatric events. Phenotypic hallmark of our patient indicates leg hyperreflexia from an early disease course. This neurological sign differs from the previously reported clinical expression of Japanese and foreign patients with GSS (P102L). Thus, physicians should pay more attention to phenotypic heterogeneity in this prion disease.
In neuro-Behcet's disease (NBD), myelitis is a rare clinical form. We report the case of a woman with NBD presenting with unsteady gait and generalized spasticity. Spinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed multiple and confluent hyperintensities extending throughout the entire spinal cord on a T2-weighted image with some contrast enhancement. High-dose steroid therapy was so effective that the myelitis was markedly improved, as shown in the follow-up MRI. Longitudinal myelitis involving the entire spinal cord, as seen in our patient, has never been described before. This case suggests that NBD could be one of the important differential diagnoses of longitudinal myelitis.