Background and Aims In Japan, the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection has decreased recently, but there has been little longitudinal research on the changes of symptoms and endoscopic findings over many years. The aim of this study was to evaluate the changes in endoscopic findings and symptoms over time in patients undergoing upper gastrointestinal endoscopy for assessment of upper abdominal symptoms. Methods Over a period of 25 years, between 1981 and 2005, we performed three investigations (1981-2, 1990-1 and 2004-5) on the symptoms and endoscopic findings of patients undergoing endoscopy at Kawasaki Medical School Hospital for the assessment of upper abdominal symptoms. Results The most common complaint for all ages was "discomfort and/or pain". Over time, the percentage of patients complaining of "heartburn" increased almost 5-fold. With respect to endoscopic findings, the prevalence of peptic ulcers decreased, whereas the detection of no abnormalities and the detection of erosive esophagitis increased. Conclusion In the future in Japan, there will be fewer patients with peptic ulcers and more patients with gastro-esophageal reflux disease or dyspeptic patients who display no endoscopic abnormal findings.
Purpose Most patients with pleuropulmonary paragonimiasis can be cured by the initial single set of Praziquantel (PZQ) treatment. However, several cases have been reported to have unsatisfactory responses to the initial PZQ treatment. The objective of this study was to evaluate the clinical findings of patients with pleuropulmonary paragonimiasis who needed additional PZQ treatment after the 1st set chemotherapy. Patients and Methods Thirty-two patients who were diagnosed with pleuropulmonary paragonimiasis at our institution between 2003 and 2008 were retrospectively reviewed. Results All patients were treated initially with PZQ for 3 days (1st set chemotherapy). Twenty-four patients (75.0%) showed improvement in respiratory symptoms and pulmonary involvements. However, eight patients (25.0%) suffered from relapsed respiratory symptoms and pleural effusion. For these patients, an additional 2nd set PZQ treatment resulted in the resolution of the symptoms and pulmonary involvements. The characteristics of patients who needed multi-set treatments were as follows; longer duration of respiratory symptoms (single vs multi-set treatment group; 6.67 ± 8.08 vs 17.86 ± 11.84 weeks, p=0.009), higher IgG titer (optical density, O.D.) for Pargonimus westermani (ELISA O.D. for PW, 0.54 ± 0.19 vs 0.88 ± 0.16 O.D., p=0.001) and higher frequency of multiple pulmonary lesions (% of patients with multiple lesions; 16.7% vs 50.0%, p=0.059). Conclusion The patients who had a longer duration of respiratory symptoms, higher ELISA titer for PW and/or multiple pulmonary lesions needed an additional PZQ treatment after the 1st set of chemotherapy. Close follow-up after the initial treatment is necessary especially for such patients.
Objective Iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide. However, the information concerning various causes of IDA in adult men is still insufficient. The aim of our study was to evaluate adult men with IDA. Methods We prospectively studied 206 adult men with IDA. All subjects had a direct history taken and underwent a physical examination. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy was performed in most patients, and colonoscopy was conducted if no lesion causing IDA was found or the fecal occult blood test was positive. Results The history of prior gastrectomy and blood-letting cupping therapy that probably had caused IDA were reported in 24 (11.7%) and 11 (5.3%) patients, respectively. In terms of potential causes of IDA, 68 (33.0%) patients were found to have upper gastrointestinal disorders (34 peptic ulcers, 17 erosive gastritis, 16 gastric cancers, and one gastrointestinal stromal tumor). Colonoscopy showed 42 (20.4%) clinically relevant lesions that probably caused IDA: colon cancer (five patients), colon polyps (14 patients), ulcerative colitis (one patient), and hemorrhoids (22 patients). One small bowel tumor was detected at small bowel series. Concerning malignant lesions that were responsible for IDA, 22 malignant lesions were found in patients of 50 years or older, accounting for 16.8% (22 of 131 patients), while only one (1.3%) early gastric cancer was found in the younger patients. Conclusion This study demonstrated that gastrointestinal blood loss is the main cause of IDA in adult men, and that there is a high rate of malignancy in men older than 50 years, emphasizing the need for a complete, rigorous gastrointestinal examination in this group of patients. Considering blood-letting cupping therapy, there is a need to consider culture-specific procedures as a possible cause of IDA.
Background We studied the relationship between survival prognosis and the functional outcome at discharge from acute-care hospitals in each subtype of ischemic stroke patients. Methods A total of 853 consecutive patients with first-ever ischemic stroke, recruited from December 1999 to November 2002, were followed for 725.8 ± 430.0 days. Functional outcome was scored using the modified Rankin scale (mRS). Survival analysis was performed using Kaplan-Meier curves, log rank test, and Cox regression model. Results The respective mortality of the groups with mRS scores of 0-2, 3, 4, and 5 were 13.1%, 25.0%, 47.2% (p<0.05), and 74.0% (p<0.05) in cardioembolic infarction (CEI) patients; 11.3%, 6.9%, 5.6%, and 46.7% (p<0.05) in atherothrombotic infarction (ATI) patients; 8.5%, 5.6%, 11.1%, and 0% (no patient) in lacunar infarction (LACI) patients; and 2.6%, 3.0%, 23.3% (p<0.05), and 28.9% (p<0.05) in infarction of unknown cause (IUC) patients. Multi-variate analysis showed that the mRS score was a significant predictive factor for death in CEI patients, and tended to be a predictive factor for death in ATI patients, or IUC patients. Conclusion Functional outcome at discharge from acute-care hospitals may predict the survival prognosis of each subtype of ischemic stroke.
Objective We aimed to evaluate whether serum lipid levels can influence the clinicoradiological recovery of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) in prior statin users. Patients and Methods Medical records were reviewed retrospectively in 381 ICH patients (253 men and 128 women). Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, blood pressure at admission and the first in-hospital day, admission and 30-day scores of National Institute Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) and modified Rankin scale (mRS), hematoma volume (HV), serum lipid levels were compared between prior statin users and non-users. Results Statins were pretreated in 56 patients (31 men and 25 women). Statin users were older age, and had higher frequencies of dyslipidemia, diabetes mellitus, atrial fibrillation, prior stroke history and large HV compared to non-users. Serum levels of total cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) were significantly decreased in the statin group compared to the non-statin group. There were no statistical differences in the other CVD risk factors, functional scores and other serum lipid levels between the two groups. HV was correlated inversely with serum levels of TC and LDL-C in both groups. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that serum TC levels ≤150 mg/dL were associated with statin use [Odds ratio (OR)=5.5, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.55-19.58], worsening of NIHSS score (OR=1.4, 95% CI=1.21-1.63) and HV (OR=1.1, 95% CI=1.07-1.13) in ICH patients. A significant association was found between worsening of NIHSS score (OR=2.0, 95% CI=1.32-3.12) and worsening of mRS score (OR=3.3, 95% CI=1.33-8.00), HV (OR=1.3, 95% CI=1.01-1.76), and serum TC levels ≤150 mg/dL in statin users. Conclusion Prior statin users with serum TC levels ≤150 mg/dL had worsening of outcome and HV. Excessive lowering of serum TC levels due to statin pretreatment may cause unfavorable clinicoradiological recovery of ICH. Physicians should monitor serum lipid levels carefully in statin users.
Objective To study the utility of CT for detection of small bone lesions in POEMS (polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, M-protein, and skin changes) syndrome. For patients with a solitary bone lesion, irradiation is a first-line treatment, whereas systemic chemotherapy is indicated for patients with multiple bone lesions. Therefore it is important to correctly identify the number of bone lesions. Methods We studied the sensitivity of chest/abdomen/pelvic CT to detect bone lesions in 28 patients with POEMS syndrome. 99mTc-HMDP bone scintigraphy was performed in 14 patients, and the results were compared with CT. Results CT showed multiple bone lesions in 68% of the 28 patients, and 71% of the lesions had a diameter <10 mm. In 14 patients who underwent both CT and scintigraphy, bone lesions were detected in 57% by CT and in 79% by scintigraphy, but the location and nature of the identified lesions were considerably different; CT frequently showed small lesions (diameter <10 mm) in the vertebrae and pelvis, which were not detected by scintigraphy, whereas scintigraphy could show lesions in the skull and long bones. Overall, by using both examinations, multiple bone lesions were found for 86% of patients. Conclusion CT is particularly useful to detect small bone lesions. CT and bone scintigraphy are complementary, and therefore both should be performed for bone survey in POEMS syndrome.
Objective Serum β-D-glucan has been demonstrated as a reliable, adjunct diagnostic marker for PCP, but its kinetics after PCP treatment are poorly understood. To evaluate the correlation between the levels of β-D-glucan and the clinical response, we investigated the individual transition of serum β-D-glucan levels after the initiation of PCP treatment. Methods Retrospective study Patients Seventeen PCP patients with AIDS who were admitted to our hospital were analyzed. Results All subjects showed the serum β-D-glucan levels above the cut-off value, and the median level was 224 pg/mL [IQR: 78-597] at the time of PCP diagnosis. There were no correlations between serum β-D-glucan levels and CRP, LDH, or AaDO2 at room air. Although there was a downward trend in serum β-D-glucan level as PCP treatment was initiated, a significant number of subjects showed a marked increase in the serum β-D-glucan levels despite their evident clinical improvement. Conclusion The serum β-D-glucan level does not reflect the severity and prognosis of PCP infection, and thus it may not be suitable for monitoring the response to treatment.
Objective The purpose of this study was to show the difference in consultation satisfaction between patient and physician in rural settings, and identify the variables affecting their satisfaction regarding these encounters. Methods We collected data by administering questionnaires that included questions regarding satisfaction for a patient-centered approach to patients and physicians, transcribing data from medical records, and observing consultations in person. We then modeled cumulative logits of patient and physician satisfaction scores by performing ordered logistic regression using the proportional odds model. Patients Seven physicians and 122 patients participated in the study. Results Both patients and physicians expressed high satisfaction with their consultation sessions. Patient satisfaction tended to be higher than physician satisfaction. Physicians were satisfied with longer consultations but patients were not. Moreover, the long waiting times dissatisfied patients. In cases of multiple healthcare episodes (courses of treatment for a different condition) during a single visit, patient satisfaction decreased, while physician satisfaction increased. Physician satisfaction for interactions in general was less when they checked the same patient who had previously visited them. Conclusion Our findings suggest that if physicians feel satisfied with their consultation, patients also feel satisfied regardless of the physician's opinion. The variables that affect patient and physician satisfaction include prior visits with the same physician, consultation length, longer waiting times, and number of episodes. These findings from Japanese clinics are consistent with those previously reported for other countries.
We describe a case of a 69-year-old woman who developed rapidly progressive hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) associated with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) after a 7-year follow-up. Markers for viral hepatitis were negative. Serum tumor markers including alpha-fetoprotein and prothrombin induced by vitamin K absence II rose suddenly, and a large tumor was detected in spite of regular surveillance for HCC. Surgical treatment was performed. The resected liver specimen revealed well to moderately differentiated HCC. Ki67 staining showed rapid proliferation of the HCC. Although the incidence of HCC in patients with AIH has been unclarified, the possible complication by HCC must not be overlooked.
A 52-year-old Japanese woman being treated for type 1 diabetes showed forgetfulness and microcytic anemia with a high serum ferritin concentration. Serum and brain radiological examinations revealed aceruloplasminemia, which was confirmed by genetic testing. Aceruloplasminemia is characterized by the triad of retinal degeneration, diabetes mellitus, and adult-onset disorder of the extrapyramidal system. Though physicians should treat such patients earlier, it is difficult to diagnose the disease before the presentation of neurological symptoms. Despite the presence of microcytic anemia, aceruloplasminemia patients usually have a high serum ferritin concentration due to the complete absence of ceruloplasmin ferroxidase activity. Thus, physicians should consider aceruloplasminemia when diabetic patients present with microcytic anemia and a high serum ferritin concentration.
We report a 61-year-old male with gynecomastia, poor libido and erectile dysfunction. Endocrinological studies showed high levels of estradiol and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate. Although luteinizing hormone (LH) level was within the normal limit, the concentration of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) was under the normal limit. Delayed response of LH and poor response of FSH to gonadotropin-releasing hormone administration were detected. Magnetic resonance imaging of the abdomen revealed a left adrenal tumor. Although the surgically-resected tumor was diagnosed as a high grade ACC based on Weiss's criteria of adrenocortical malignancy, no metastasis was detected. Since estrogen levels normalized after resection, feminizing ACC was confirmed. While LH concentration increased slightly after operation, FSH level became transiently elevated over the normal limit, and finally reached the normal range. These data may suggest that FSH was suppressed selectively by hormone produced by ACC different from estrogen.
A 23-year-old man was admitted to our hospital due to loss of consciousness and a generalized convulsive seizure. He was diagnosed as having primary epilepsy and treated with antiepileptic drugs. Emergency CT scan of the head showed no abnormality. However, MRI scan of the head several days after admission revealed fresh infarctions caused by occlusion of the basilar artery, i.e., "top of the basilar" syndrome. This case indicates the need for precise differential diagnosis of convulsive seizure in an emergency situation. It should also be borne in mind that basilar occlusion with 'onset seizure' can occur even in young adults who have no risk factors for stroke.
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) represents a family of dominant neurodegenerative disorders that results from CAG expansion repeat mutations. The phenotype consists of some common features, most notably progressive ataxia. We describe three siblings with SCA2, manifesting parkinsonism and ataxia in the first sibling, juvenile parkinsonism in the second and motor neuronopathy in the third. Genetic examination revealed expansion to 42, 43, and 42 CAG repeats. There was no relationship between the number of repeats and phenotype. The SCA2 gene should be studied in families with heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorders, including motor neuron disease.
A 37-year-old Japanese man was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis due to Wilson's disease in 2001 and treated with D-penicillamine. Thereafter, he was admitted to our hospital for further examination of a space occupying lesion in the liver. The patient was diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) (7th segment, 2.5 cm in diameter) in May 2010 and treated with radiofrequency ablation therapy. Biopsy findings from a non-cancerous area revealed a fatty liver, though cirrhotic nodules were not found. Long-term treatment for Wilson's disease may improve hepatic fibrosis, and careful screening for HCC by abdominal imaging is needed in such cases.
Edwardsiella tarda, a member of the Enterobacteriaceae family, is found in freshwater and marine environments. Extraintestinal infections of Edwardsiella tarda have been rarely reported. We describe a 70-year-old Japanese woman suffering from autoimmune hemolytic anemia, with liver abscess caused by Edwardsiella tarda. She had a history of cholecystectomy for gallbladder stone 10 years prior to this admission. She was successfully treated with percutaneous transhepatic abscess aspiration and meropenem. This is the first report of liver abscess caused by Edwardsiella tarda in Japan.