Objective The present study was undertaken to establish a useful range for the B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) level, with the ultimate goal of determining a cut-off BNP level that will make it possible to identify patients with clinically important organic heart disorders among patients encountered in clinical practice. Methods A total of 11,967 outpatients were evaluated for this study, and, after applying the exclusion criteria, 361 patients were finally recruited for the analysis. Compared to the factors of gender and body mass index, aging was considered to be an indispensable factor in this analysis. The 'median' plasma BNP level was found to increase slowly with age, but remained lower than 30 pg/mL, even in patients aged 60 years or older. In contrast, the overall '95th percentile' of the plasma BNP level in the patients younger than 60 years was 41 pg/mL, which increased to 139.8 pg/mL in the patients aged 60 years or older. Conclusion These findings suggest that the lower range of the BNP level allowing for identification of patients with clinically important organic heart disorders increases with age; however, it might be appropriate to adopt a level of approximately 40 pg/mL, even in elderly patients, in order to avoid any possible age-related effects of diastolic dysfunction or other factors.
Objective This study assessed factors associated with the quality of life (QoL) and investigated the influence of age in 401 Korean type 2 diabetic patients. Methods The QoL was assessed using the latest version of the Audit of Diabetes-Dependent Quality of Life (ADDQoL) instrument in order to evaluate the perceived impact of diabetes on 19 life domains. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was used to measure depressive symptoms. Logistic regression analyses were performed to assess the associations between the factors and the ADDQoL scores in the lower quartile. The interaction terms of these factors with age strata were included to evaluate the distinctive associations across age, followed by a stratified analysis. Results According to a multivariate analysis, a positive association between depressive symptoms (BDI ≥16) and lower ADDQoL scores was consistently found across all ages. In the younger group (<60 years), insulin use (odds ratio: 4.45, 95% confidence interval: 1.29-15.33, p=0.018) and the presence of a family history of diabetes (OR: 0.23, 95% CI: 0.08-0.68, p=0.008) were independently associated with lower ADDQoL scores. However, in the older group (≥60 years), insulin use and a family history of diabetes were not significantly associated with lower ADDQoL scores. Conclusion The findings suggest that insulin use, depressive symptoms and a family history of diabetes can be associated with the QoL in Korean type 2 diabetic patients; however, the associations show different patterns of age dependency.
Objective Osteosclerosis (OMIM: 144750) is a type of autosomal dominant bone disease caused by a mutation in the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5 (LRP5) gene. The case of a Chinese family with two affected individuals is reported in the present study in order to investigate the clinical characteristics and virulence genes of this sclerosing bone disorder. Methods Biochemical and radiographic examinations and bone mineral density (BMD) and genetic analyses were performed in two patients and eight other family members. Results The 40-year-old proband (II-1) and her 64-year-old mother (I-2) both had chronic lumbodorsal pain, an elongated mandible and torus palatinus in the center of the hard palate. No fractures were observed in any of the family members. Skull, mandibular and pelvic X-rays in each of the two patients revealed thickened cranial plates, an enlarged sella turcica, an elongated mandible and cortical thickening of the long bones. The BMD values of the two patients was significantly higher than the standard age- and sex-matched adult mean reference values. Both patients had higher serum sclerostin levels, while their renal function markers and serum calcium, phosphonium, parathyroid hormone (PTH) and 25(OH)D levels were within the normal ranges. The heterozygous missense mutation p.Ala242Thr in exon 4 of the LRP5 gene was detected in the two patients, while the other family members and 200 healthy donors had normal wild-type genotypes. Conclusion The A242T mutation in the LRP5 gene resulted in a high bone mass phenotype with an elongated mandible and torus palatinus in this osteosclerotic family.
Objective The beneficial effects of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors (RASI) and the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) on IgA nephropathy (IgAN) have been reported. However, it is unknown whether these agents have any synergistic interactions. Methods We divided 38 IgAN patients into two groups: an EPA group (n=18) treated with RASI plus EPA and a DILAZEP group (n=20) treated with RASI plus dilazep dihydrochloride. We analyzed the clinical and histological background of each patient, any relevant clinical findings obtained one year after treatment and any factors significantly related to decreases in proteinuria. Results The clinical findings were largely similar between the groups, except for body mass index (24.9±4.5 in the EPA group vs. 21.4±2.1 in the DILAZEP group, p=0.0041) and total cholesterol (median: 206.0 vs. 177.5 mg/dL, p=0.0493). The histological findings, evaluated according to the Oxford classification, were also similar between the groups. At one year after treatment, the EPA group demonstrated a significantly decreased mean blood pressure (from 94.7±9.0 to 86.4±7.2 mmHg, p=0.0007) and a significantly decreased median level of proteinuria (from 0.80 to 0.41 g/g creatinine, p<0.001). In the DILAZEP group, the mean blood pressure significantly decreased (from 95.2±13.2 to 88.1±7.7 mmHg, p<0.001) without any significant decrease in the median level of proteinuria (from 0.88 to 0.60 g/g creatinine). According to a multivariate logistic analysis, EPA was found to be the only independent factor related to decreases in proteinuria (odds ratio = 5.073, 95% CI: 1.18-26.7, p=0.0285). Conclusion We conclude that EPA accelerates the effects of RASI and thus decreases the proteinuria observed in patients with IgAN.
Objective While unexplained liver dysfunction is common, it is sometimes difficult to identify its exact cause. One cause is viral infections. The identification of viruses other than hepatitis B and C that cause liver dysfunction is difficult because no methods to simultaneously identify these viruses have been established. The aim of this study was to quickly and simultaneously identify multiple virus species. Methods A total of 49 patients with unexplained liver dysfunction and undetermined inflammation were examined. The majority of patients had hematologic malignancies, and some had undergone bone marrow transplantation. Qualitative polymerase chain reactions (PCR) were performed to detect 12 species of DNA virus in whole blood. Quantitative real-time PCR was performed when a specific virus was amplified. In addition, 6 RNA hepatitis viruses were directly assayed by real-time PCR. These 2 PCR steps were completed within 1 hour. Results The most frequently detected virus in 37 patients with liver dysfunction, was transfusion transmitted virus (38%), which was followed by human herpes virus (HHV) type 6 (35%), Epstein-Barr virus (14%), cytomegalovirus (8%), and rarely hepatitis G virus and HHV-7 (3%). Similar viremia was observed in 12 patients with mild liver dysfunction. The results of the PCR assay were mostly consistent with those of routine virus serological tests. Conclusion A multiplex viral PCR assay was a useful tool for quickly identifying viruses that possibly cause liver dysfunction. It was also important that liver dysfunction acted as a proband that led to the discovery of serious viremia.
Objective Regular physical activity is well known to play a cardioprotective role. The objective of this study was to investigate peripheral lymphocyte DNA damage and oxidative status in adult football players a three-day football tournament. Methods Twenty-five adult male football players and 25 sedentary male subjects were enrolled in the present study. Plasma total antioxidant status (TAS), total oxidant status (TOS) and the oxidative stress index (OSI) were determined. Peripheral lymphocyte DNA damage was determined using an alkaline comet assay. Results Plasma TOS, OSI and peripheral lymphocyte DNA damage were significantly lower in the adult football players than in the sedentary subjects (all: p<0.001), while TAS was significantly higher in the football players (p<0.001). The plasma TAS levels were inversely correlated with TOS, OSI and peripheral lymphocyte DNA damage (r =-0.683, p<0.001; r =-0.909, p<0.001; r =-0.608, p<0.001; respectively) in the adult football players. Conclusion These results indicate that physical activity is associated with increased antioxidant capacity and decreased oxidative stress. Such conditions are important for a healthy life. Further studies are needed to clarify the mechanisms underlying this association.
We herein present the case of a 54-year-old Japanese woman with Whipple disease diagnosed with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) specimens. The patient complained of weight loss, diarrhea and arthralgia. An endoscopic examination revealed swollen villi in the duodenum and ileum. Pathology demonstrated the presence of numerous macrophages filled with diastase-resistant PAS-positive particles. PCR using FFPE specimens amplified a fragment of 16S rDNA from Tropheryma whipplei. After the administration of ceftriaxone followed by trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, no signs of recurrence were observed for two years. The use of FFPE specimens for PCR should be considered for the prompt diagnosis and prevention of disease progression.
A 67-year-old woman presented with periumbilical pain. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography findings indicated intussusception of the ascending colon without ischemia or necrosis, and we performed successful colonoscopy to treat the condition. Furthermore, an edematous area caused by anisakis was detected in the ascending colon and the anisakis was removed. The patient noted that she had eaten raw fish one day before the symptoms developed. Although colonic intussusception caused by anisakiasis is extremely rare, colonoscopy should be performed in colonic intussusception patients suspected of having anisakiasis in order to avoid invasive resection.
Peritoneal serous papillary carcinoma (PSPC), a rare primary malignancy arising from the abdominal and pelvic peritoneum, is characterized by peritoneal carcinomatosis with ascites and a histological pattern similar to that of papillary serous ovarian carcinoma. We herein describe a rare case of PSPC with unusual clinical presentations involving a single primary tumor originating from the peritoneal lining of the sigmoid colon with no evidence of intraperitoneal spread, pelvic lymph node involvement or distant metastasis. Awareness of such unusual presentations of PSPC should assist in the diagnosis of this disease, thereby improving the management of patients with this condition.
Anomalous origin of the left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery (ALCAPA) is a rare congenital malformation. It is unusual for an ALCAPA patient to survive to adulthood. We present a case of an asymptomatic 54-year-old woman with this syndrome in which visualization of a markedly enlarged and tortuous right coronary artery and intercoronary collaterals by echocardiography raises suspicion for this disease and subsequently guides a step-by-step diagnosis. The patient lives well without surgery 3 years after diagnosis.
A 68-year-old woman exhibited an increasingly protruding mass on the left heart border on chest X-ray. Transthoracic echocardiography revealed an echo-free mass in the anterior pericardial space. Transesophageal echocardiography revealed blood flow from the proximal left anterior descending coronary into a large coronary artery aneurysm measuring 61 mm × 51 mm in diameter and a quadricuspid aortic valve with a small cusp between the left and right coronary cusps. Coronary angiography demonstrated the presence of a coronary aneurysm connected to the proximal left coronary anterior descending artery. A giant coronary artery aneurysm and pulmonary artery fistulas extending from the left and right coronary arteries were confirmed by surgeons and successfully treated with surgery.
We herein present the case of a 56-year-old Japanese woman who developed purulent pericarditis after undergoing chemoradiotherapy for esophageal cancer. She developed epigastralgia and a fever and was admitted to our hospital. A physical examination revealed hypotension, tachycardia and pericardial friction rub. Echocardiography revealed moderate pericardial effusion. Based on these observations, the patient was diagnosed with cardiac tamponade. Computed tomography confirmed the presence of an esophagopericardial fistula. Treatment with pericardiocentesis, drainage and short-term intrapericardial administration of antibiotics relieved the patient's symptoms. Daily rinsing through a catheter with normal saline prevented relapse of the purulent pericarditis. Esophagopericardial fistulas are so rare that their treatment is not well-established. We herein report successful palliative care of a malignant esophagopericardial fistula associated with purulent pericarditis.
Primary malignant pericardial mesothelioma is an exceptionally rare tumor, and making an antemortem diagnosis of this disease is notoriously difficult. We herein report the case of a 61-year-old woman with pericardial mesothelioma who presented with shortness of breath and peripheral edema of the lower limbs. Chest computed tomography (CT) showed an anterior mass and thickened pericardium with multiple pericardial nodules. A biopsy of the mediastinal mass was performed using right thoracotomy, and the histological findings indicated a sarcomatoid tumor. The patient was treated with chemotherapy; however, she but died three months after diagnosis. An autopsy confirmed a final diagnosis of sarcomatoid type primary malignant pericardial mesothelioma following extensive immunohistopathological examinations.
We herein report a case of Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) with sequential autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), chorea and polyserositis. The patient was a 24-year-old man who underwent subtotal thyroidectomy due to compression symptoms caused by goiter and was diagnosed with HT postoperatively based on pathological examinations two years previously. He had exhibited liver dysfunction and intermittent chorea since 2008. His liver function and polyserositis improved remarkably following the administration of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) and methylprednisolone. This is a very rare case that can be classified as autoimmune polyglandular syndrome (APS) type 3. Early and adequate UDCA and glucocorticoid treatment may lead to a favorable prognosis.
We herein report the case of a 37-year-old type 1 diabetic pregnant woman treated with an insulin pump. Although the patient's glycemic control deteriorated following progesterone treatment for the prevention of preterm delivery and miscarriage, it was improved by adjusting the basal insulin rate on the days of progesterone treatment. Excess progesterone is known to impair both insulin sensitivity and secretion. The present case is the first report to evaluate deterioration of glycemic control induced by progesterone treatment and to determine the dose of insulin required in a type 1 diabetic pregnant woman whose insulin secretion was completely depleted.
We experienced a case of interstitial lung disease (ILD) that occurred one year after the start of everolimus therapy for renal cell carcinoma. The pathological features included interstitial pneumonia with granuloma formation. Everolimus is known to cause ILD; however, its pathology is unclear. Granuloma-forming interstitial pneumonia associated with everolimus is uncommon, although it may be one of the pathological patterns associated with everolimus-induced ILD. This is a slow-onset case of everolimus-induced ILD in a patient with renal cell carcinoma. Physicians should thus be aware of the potential for the development of ILD at any time during the administration of everolimus therapy.
One hundred and eleven patients with antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) were diagnosed at Mie University Hospital during the past 17 years. Two of these patients developed disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). The first patient twice developed DIC complicated by pancreatitis and pregnancy, while in the second case, no specific causative complications for DIC were identified. The details of these cases imply that aPL is associated with DIC and/or is a potent triggering factor for DIC.
A 32-year-old woman was referred to our hospital due to systemic lymphadenopathy. The patient's peripheral blood showed expansion of CD5+CD20+CD38+CD23- mature lymphocytes. However, the axillary lymph nodes were infiltrated by both CD23+ large lymphocytes and CD23- small lymphocytes. Because the pattern of the rearranged immunoglobulin heavy chain gene was different between the peripheral blood and lymph node samples in a Southern blot analysis, the patient was diagnosed with Richter syndrome, in which diffuse large B-cell lymphoma develops from a clone distinct from B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia. After undergoing rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisolone (R-CHOP) therapy, the patient was successfully treated with allogeneic hematopoietic transplantation, and no relapse was observed for three years.
We herein report the case of a 32-year-old woman with sudden onset ataxia, limb dysmetria and somnolence. Emergency radiological findings showed bilateral cerebellar and thalamic infarctions as a result of a basilar artery occlusion. The patient was treated with intra-arterial (IA) and mechanical thrombolysis 12 hours after symptom onset and showed an excellent recovery. A diagnostic workup revealed a tumor mass on the mitral valve that was surgically removed, while a histological analysis confirmed a diagnosis of cardiac papillary fibroelastoma.
It is insufficient to distinguish benign tumors from malignant pheochromocytoma using histological analyses of resected tissue alone. We experienced an 18-year-old woman who complained of severe headaches in whom hypertension was revealed. She was suspected of having a malignant tumor based on her clinical characteristics, despite showing no evidence of metastatic lesions. The patient was diagnosed with an aggressive form of hereditary pheochromocytoma-paraganglioma syndrome (HPPS) based on immunohistochemical analyses and genetic testing. The present case indicates that conducting genetic testing, including SDHB mutation analyses, is required to determine the prognosis in patients highly suspected of having HPPS.
A 37-year-old woman presented with fever and rigor after experiencing respiratory symptoms the previous week that had resolved within a few days. On presentation, her neck was swollen along the right sternocleidomastoid muscle, and chest CT showed pulmonary septic embolisms. Lemierre's syndrome was strongly suspected based on the patient's medical history and physical findings. Further examination revealed venous thrombus, and Fusobacterium necrophorum was later isolated from blood cultures. Antibiotics for anaerobes were administered before a final diagnosis was made, and the patient's symptoms thereafter improved. A rapid diagnosis is essential, since Lemierre's syndrome can be fatal with a diagnostic delay.