Objective Chest X-rays and plasma B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels are useful for diagnosing congestive heart failure. However, the relationship between plasma BNP levels and pulmonary congestion on chest X-rays often seems inconsistent. Extracardiac factors can directly alter plasma BNP levels, independent of cardiac function. In the present study, we examined the clinical factors that impact the diagnosis of heart failure by using chest X-rays and plasma BNP levels. Methods and Results This study comprised 459 consecutive patients who were admitted to the cardiovascular division of our hospital for any reason and in whom chest X-rays and plasma BNP levels were measured within 12 hours after admission. The approximate BNP value associated with pulmonary congestion that was detectable by chest X-rays was 143 pg/mL, but this value was influenced by renal function, age, and body mass index (BMI). Furthermore, we examined the effect of these three extracardiac factors on plasma BNP levels in each stage of pulmonary congestion. We found that renal dysfunction and advanced age increased the plasma BNP levels, whereas a high BMI decreased the levels, and that the effect of BMI on plasma BNP levels was greater for severe heart failure. Conclusion Extracardiac factors should be considered when the relationship between the plasma BNP levels and the severity of pulmonary congestion on chest X-rays seems inconsistent. In particular, low levels of plasma BNP in patients with a high BMI should be carefully considered to avoid underestimating the degree of heart failure.
Objective Bilirubin is a bile pigment with potent anti-oxidant properties; in previous studies it has been reported to be negatively associated with coronary artery disease (CAD). Although elevated serum bilirubin concentrations may protect against endothelial dysfunction, it is not clear whether higher serum bilirubin levels (SBLs) in physiological ranges may work in favor of good collateral development in patients with chronic total coronary occlusion (CTO). Methods The study population consisted of patients who underwent coronary angiography with a suspicion of CAD. Patients who had CTO in at least one major coronary artery were included. Coronary angiograms of 179 eligible patients from our database were reanalyzed and 110 of them had good collateral development and 69 had poor collateral development according to the Cohen-Rentrop method. Results Patients with good collateral development had a lower fasting plasma glucose level (FPG) (p=0.024) and higher SBLs in comparison to patients with poor collateral development (p<0.001). The number of CTO vessels (p=0.013) and left ventricular ejection fraction (EF%) were higher in good collateral group than poor collateral group (p=0.017). In multivariate analysis, FPG negatively (odds ratio [OR]: 0.981, p=0.003) and SBL (OR for per 0.1-mg/dL increase: 1.832, p<0.001) and the number of CTO vessels (OR: 5.642, p=0.007) were positively related to coronary collateral development. Conclusion This study suggests that higher bilirubin levels within relatively normal ranges were related with favorable coronary collateral growth in patients with CTO. SBL may be responsible for the difference in coronary collateral vessel development among different patients with coronary artery disease. The anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of bilirubin may mediate this effect.
Objective Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TC) mimics myocardial infarction and is well defined and known to not only Japan but also western countries. However, whether or not there are differences in the characteristics of TC between Japan and USA remains unknown. Patients Data for patients who had undergone urgent left heart catheterization for suspected acute coronary syndrome were retrospectively retrieved from Keio University School of Medicine (KUSM) database in Japan and Lahey Clinic Medical Center (LCMC) database in USA between 2002 and 2007. Results During the study period, 626 coronary angiographies were performed in KUSM and 1,880 coronary angiographies were performed in LCMC. Twelve patients in Japan and 34 patients in USA met the inclusion criteria. Mean age of patients in Japan was 75 years where 92% were women, compared to 67 years and 94% women in USA. Although the prevalence of hypertension, dyslipidemia and diabetes mellitus were similar between Japan and USA, there was a trend towards fewer patients in Japan displaying a history of coronary revascularization. Surprisingly, a family history of premature coronary artery disease (CAD) was present in 21% of USA patients, whereas no patients were present in Japan. There were no differences in the incidence of readmission for heart failure, cardiac death and TC recurrence during the follow-up period. Conclusion Patients with TC in Japan have fewer prior overt CAD and fewer family history of premature CAD, but no significant differences were found in the long-term prognosis and the recurrence rate between patients in Japan and USA.
Objective To examine the relationship between the severity of depressive symptoms and the burden through diabetes care, or diagnosed diabetes in patients with type 2 diabetes, irrespective of the diabetic complications and glycemic control. Patients and Methods Subjects were 126 outpatients with type 2 diabetes who completed the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), Problem Areas in Diabetes (PAID) scale, and Short Form-36 (SF-36). Results The factor with a significant impact on the BDI-II score in the multiple regression model was the PAID score (standardized coefficient =0.17, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.12-0.21). The factors having a significant impact on the physical component summary of SF-36 (PCS) in the multiple regression model were BDI-II score (-0.95; 95% CI, -1.32 - -0.58), age (-0.43; 95% CI, -0.61 - -0.25), and the number of complicated macroangiopathies (-8.90; 95% CI, -12.71 - -5.08). The factors with a significant impact on the mental component summary of SF-36 (MCS) in the multiple regression model were BDI-II score (-0.90; 95% CI, -1.16 - -0.65) and age (0.13; 95% CI, 0.00-0.25). Conclusion These findings show that diabetes-related emotional distress is significantly related to the severity of depressive symptoms in patients with type 2 diabetes, independent of the severity of complications and glycemic control. Moreover, the severity of depressive symptoms is negatively correlated with comprehensive health-related QOL in patients with type 2 diabetes. Clinicians need to consider factors other than indices of metabolic control and diabetic complications, in determining the adverse effects of depressive symptoms on the physical QOL of patients with type 2 diabetes.
Background Diffuse panbronchiolitis (DPB) is a progressive inflammatory pulmonary disease that predominately affects East Asians. Genetic susceptibility to DPB is correlated with the human leukocyte antigens HLA-B54 in Japanese and HLA-A11 in Koreans. However, no systematic genetic study of DPB pathogenesis has been conducted in the Chinese population. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible association between HLA and disease susceptibility in Chinese patients with DPB. Methods A literature review of both Chinese and English language studies on Chinese DPB patients, published between 1983 and 2010, was conducted. Seventy subjects met the inclusion criteria and were retrospectively analyzed for HLA gene frequency according to geographic region. Results HLA-B54 frequency was significantly greater in DPB patients than in controls in the Northern Chinese group (35.7% vs. 4.6%, p=7.5×10-7). Although the HLA-B54 frequency was slightly increased in the Southern Chinese patients, the difference was not significant compared with control subjects (14.3% vs. 5.7%, p=0.28). The HLA-A11 frequency was significantly greater in DPB patients than controls in the Southern Chinese group (54.8% vs. 26.4%, p=0.009). Despite an increase of HLA-A11 frequency in the Northern Chinese group, no significant variation in HLA-A11 frequency was found compared with control subjects (42.9% vs. 30.8%, p=0.535). The HLA-A2 frequency was significantly decreased in DPB patients than in controls in the Southern Chinese group (22.9% vs. 66.0%, p=0.001). However, no significant difference in HLA-A2 frequency was found in the Northern Chinese group (50.0% vs. 46.9%, p=0.872). Conclusion HLA-B54 and HLA-A11 were positively associated with DPB in Northern and Southern Chinese, respectively. Population substructure may impact the genetic predisposition of DPB in China.
A 56-year-old man was admitted because of palpitations and dyspnea. A 12-lead electrocardiogram showed irregular wide QRS complex tachycardia with a slur at the initial portion of the QRS complex. He had preexisting long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation, but early excitation syndrome had never been noted. Chest X-ray showed heart enlargement and pulmonary congestion. He was diagnosed with late onset of Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, and congestive heart failure was probably caused by rapid ventricular response of atrial fibrillation through the accessory pathway. Emergency catheter ablation for the accessory pathway was undertaken, and heart failure was dramatically improved.
A 68-year-old man died a few days after catheter ablation of drug-resistant, monomorphic ventricular tachycardia (VT) complicated with cardiac sarcoidosis. The diagnosis of mitral isthmus VT was made from electrophysiological observations, including electro-anatomical activation and voltage map, pace-mapping, entrainment mapping and ablation outcome. On autopsy of the heart, sarcoidic lesion with scattered fibrous tissue in the mitral isthmus was non-transmural, and the surviving myocardium serving as the reentry circuit in the endomyocardium was isolated from the adjacent viable epimyocardium, enabling the sustenance of macroreentry across the mitral isthmus. Non-transmural lesions produced by RF delivery created a barrier sufficient to interrupt the myocardial bundles located in the mitral isthmus, eliminating the mitral isthmus VT.
Nafcillin is an antibiotic used for infections due to penicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. In general, the adverse reactions to nafcillin have not been frequent and serious. We report here a new type of adverse reaction to nafcillin in a patient with end-stage renal disease in whom nafcillin caused the unexpected complication of bullous drug eruption and subseqent neutropenia. Three weeks after the start of intravenous nafcillin for the treatment of peritoneal dialysis peritonitis, the patient developed blisters on his right ankle. These became progressive and widespread, with bullae affecting most of the body surface. In addition, neutropenia developed three days after the appearance of bullous skin lesions. Spontaneous recovery of skin lesions and neutropenia was observed after the withdrawal of naficillin. When treating patients with chronic renal failure, physicians should be aware of these rare but potentially severe adverse reactions.
A 68-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital due to sudden onset of dyspnea. On admission, electrocardiogram (ECG) showed T-wave inversion and QRS prolongation (120 msec) that were not found in her previous ECG. Chest X-ray showed pulmonary edema and cardiac enlargement. Left ventriculogram showed akinesis of the left ventricle except in the basal region. No significant coronary stenosis was found on angiogram. She was diagnosed as having tako-tsubo cardiomyopathy complicated by QRS prolongation. Intraaortic balloon pumping (IABP) was subsequently initiated for the treatment of acute heart failure. QRS prolongation was resolved immediately after the initiation of IABP, and left ventricular dysfunction was resolved within 9 days. She was discharged 14 days later.
We report an autopsy case of a patient with Sjögren's syndrome (SjS) who presented with rapid progressive pulmonary fibrosis following the onset of diffuse alveolar hemorrhage (DAH) without cryoglobulinemia. Despite early and aggressive immunosuppressive therapy, pulmonary fibrosis progressed and the patient succumbed to his illness. An autopsy was performed and revealed DAH and interstitial pneumonia with a fibrotic nonspecific interstitial pneumonia pattern. We could not find any previously-reported underlying causes of DAH. The findings from this case suggest that DAH can occur as a pulmonary manifestation of SjS as well as other connective tissue diseases or vasculitis.
We report a case of Churg-Strauss syndrome (CSS) in a patient with multiple cerebral infarctions and psychotic symptoms. A 67-year-old man presented a high-grade fever and delirium. He was clinically diagnosed with Churg-Strauss syndrome on the basis of the presence of asthma, neuropathy, blood eosinophilia, and increased myeloperoxidase-specific anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (MPO-ANCA) activities. Though multiple cerebral infarctions are irreversible, this patient's psychiatric symptoms improved with steroid treatment. Psychiatric symptoms associated with CSS are very rare.
A 60-year-old man was diagnosed as multiple hepatic abscesses. Failure in the first empiric therapy led to extension into the pericardium, causing acute cardiac tamponade. Actinomyces species were not cultured from the pericardial effusion. The definitive diagnosis was acquired by ultrasound guided needle biopsy.
The hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES) is a subcategory of idiopathic eosinophilia which is characterized by marked unexplained eosinophilia and evidence of tissue eosinophilia which leads to eosinophil-mediated organ damage. Cardiac and thromboembolic complications of HES are the common causes of mortality and morbidity. Here, we report a 54-year-old woman with HES who presented with simultaneously occurring cardiac thrombi, pulmonary embolism, and cerebrovascular thromboembolism.
We report the case of a 17-year-old man with precursor B-lymphoblastic lymphoma involving an intracardiac mass and myocardial infiltration. Intensified chemotherapy followed by autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation resulted in long-term complete remission for over 5 years. As the most frequent sites of B-lymphoblastic lymphoma involvement are the skin, soft tissue, bone, and lymph nodes, reports of cases harboring cardiac involvement are relatively few. This is a rare case of B-lymphoblastic lymphoma displaying cardiac involvement, in which cardiac infiltration was one of the initial manifestations.
We describe the clinical features of limbic encephalitis that developed after palliative spinal cordotomy in 2 patients with malignant thoracic astrocytoma. Both patients showed short-term memory loss, hallucinations of smells and psychiatric symptoms. Brain MRI on T2-weighted and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery sequences revealed high intensity lesions in bilateral temporal lobe areas. We considered that both patients had paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis associated with astrocytoma because of various clinical and radiological features. But the possibility of intracranial dissemination of astrocytoma could not be fully excluded. The differential diagnosis between intracranial dissemination of spinal cord astrocytoma and paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis may be sometimes difficult.
A 58-year-old woman with a three-year progressive history of chronic arthritis, had become disabled due to general malaise and fever. Her laboratory data revealed hyperuricemia and elevated levels of C-reactive protein. Neither rheumatoid factor nor anti-citrullinated peptide antibodies were present. We diagnosed her with tophaceous gout with uric crystalline revealed by the arthrocentesis of the elbow. 99mTc scintigraphy also disclosed a significant uptake in the cervical spine. The CT of the patient's cervical spine revealed significant bone erosion and destruction. We diagnosed the cervical involvement of gout based on the exclusion of infections and sarcoidosis. Rheumatologists should be aware of this rare association.