Objective Stool cultures are expensive and time consuming, and the positive rate of enteric pathogens in cases of nosocomial diarrhea is low. The 3-day rule, whereby clinicians order a Clostridium difficile (CD) toxin test rather than a stool culture for inpatients developing diarrhea >3 days after admission, has been well studied in Western countries. The present study sought to validate the 3-day rule in an acute care hospital setting in Japan. Methods Stool bacterial and CD toxin test results for adult patients hospitalized in an acute care hospital in 2008 were retrospectively analyzed. Specimens collected after an initial positive test were excluded. The positive rate and cost-effectiveness of the tests were compared among three patient groups. Patients The adult patients were divided into three groups for comparison: outpatients, patients hospitalized for ≤3 days and patients hospitalized for ≥4 days. Results Over the 12-month period, 1,597 stool cultures were obtained from 992 patients, and 880 CD toxin tests were performed in 529 patients. In the outpatient, inpatient ≤3 days and inpatient ≥4 days groups, the rate of positive stool cultures was 14.2%, 3.6% and 1.3% and that of positive CD toxin tests was 1.9%, 7.1% and 8.5%, respectively. The medical costs required to obtain one positive result were 9,181, 36,075 and 103,600 JPY and 43,200, 11,333 and 9,410 JPY, respectively. Conclusion The 3-day rule was validated for the first time in a setting other than a Western country. Our results revealed that the "3-day rule" is also useful and cost-effective in Japan.
Objective To clarify the allergic manifestations in patients with autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP). Methods We assessed 67 AIP patients, before they received steroid therapy, for a past history of allergic disease, the peripheral eosinophil count (n=62) and the serum IgE level (n=53). Allergen-specific IgE antibody serologic assays were performed in 15 patients. Results A positive past history and/or the presence of active allergic disease were found in 24 AIP patients (36%), including 15 patients with acute allergic rhinitis and eight patients with bronchial asthma. Peripheral eosinophilia and elevation of the serum IgE level were detected in 16% (10/62) and 60% (32/53) of the patients, respectively. Allergen-specific IgE antibody serologic assays were positive in 13 patients (87%). There were no differences between the assay-positive and -negative patients regarding the clinical profiles. Conclusion In conclusion, 87% of the 15 AIP patients tested had positive allergen-specific IgE antibody serologic assays. Allergic mechanisms may be related to the occurrence of AIP.
Objective Fatty liver disease is the most commonly encountered form of chronic liver dysfunction in routine medical care and is closely associated with type 2 diabetes. We aimed to elucidate how the use of new medications affects the incidence of fatty liver disease and amount of visceral fat, both of which are associated with diabetes. Methods Abdominal ultrasonography was performed to assess the preperitoneal fat thickness (PFT) and presence of fatty liver. The PFT, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference were used to investigate the rate and development of fatty liver disease in each group. A multivariate analysis with multiple logistic regression was performed using the PFT and presence of fatty liver disease as dependent variables. Patients We evaluated 202 patients treated at the Onitsuka Clinic. The subjects were divided into three subgroups (non-diabetic and diabetic with or without treatment with antidiabetic medications). Results Positive correlations between the PFT, BMI, and waist circumference were observed. No increases in the prevalence of fatty liver disease were observed in the medicated diabetic group, even when the PFT levels were high. A multivariate analysis with multiple logistic regression revealed that visceral fat accumulation was inhibited in women and those taking statins or thiazolidines and aggravated in men and those with obesity or an increased waist circumference. Obesity was an aggravating factor for fatty liver disease, and biguanides were useful as counteractants. Conclusion Measuring the PFT is effective for screening metabolic syndrome and evaluating diabetes, dyslipidemia and hypertension associated with fatty liver disease. Clinically, fatty liver progression to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) may be prevented by tackling obesity and administering appropriate medications.
Objective A low level of serum albumin is common in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients with heart failure (HF). Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), a novel therapeutic option, improves cardiac performance in patients with severe HF. In addition, CKD has recently been found to be associated with outcomes after CRT; however, the associations of the serum albumin levels with adverse events and the long-term prognosis in CKD patients who have undergone CRT are unknown. In this study, we investigated whether the albumin levels can be used to the predict mortality rate and incidence of cardiovascular events in CKD patients treated with CRT. Methods A retrospective chart review was conducted in 102 consecutive CKD patients receiving a CRT device for the treatment of advanced HF. The long-term outcomes following device implantation were assessed according to the albumin levels. Results During a median follow-up of 2.6 years, 34 patients (33.3%) died and 66 patients (64.7%) experienced cardiovascular events. A Kaplan-Meier survival analysis revealed that the CKD patients with decreased albumin levels exhibited significantly higher rates of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events, including hospitalization for progressive HF, than the CKD patients without hypoalbuminemia. Importantly, a multivariate Cox regression analysis of confounding factors showed a low serum albumin level to independently predict all-cause death and cardiovascular events. Conclusion Hypoalbuminemia independently predicts cardiac morbidity and mortality in CKD patients receiving CRT. Assessing the albumin levels provides valuable information regarding the long-term prognosis in CKD patients who undergo CRT.
A 78-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital complaining of anorexia and purpura of the extremities. She presented with prominent peripheral eosinophilia and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Despite receiving intensive therapy for DIC, her illness worsened. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy revealed advanced gastric cancer (AGC), and a bone marrow biopsy led to a diagnosis of disseminated carcinomatosis of the bone marrow caused by AGC. We initiated combination chemotherapy with S-1 and cisplatin, which lead to a significant improvement of the DIC and eosinophilia, and the patient was finally discharged. The primary symptoms of DIC and eosinophilia were both considered to be caused by AGC, and we successfully treated the patient's critical condition.
Eradication of H. pylori in patients allergic to penicillin should be performed using regimens without penicillin derivatives. We treated a total of 28 patients allergic to penicillin with a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), metronidazole (250 mg bid) and sitafloxacin (100 mg bid) for one to two weeks. At four to eight weeks after the treatment, the patients underwent the [13C]-urea breath test. The overall eradication rate was 100.0%. Mild adverse events were observed. Triple therapy with a PPI, metronidazole and sitafloxacin is well tolerated and effective for the eradication of H. pylori in patients allergic to penicillin.
Esophageal anthracosis with tuberculous lymphadenitis is a very rare disease. Almost all reported cases are diagnosed using multiple endoscopic biopsies or thoracic esophagectomy. The present case report describes a case of esophageal anthracosis with tuberculous lymphadenitis that was diagnosed using transesophageal endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) alone. After taking antituberculosis drugs, the patient's chest pain was relieved and she recovered. The patient achieved an excellent outcome following the use of less invasive methods than mediastinoscopy. If no esophageal anthracotic lesions are found on the mucous membrane layer of the esophagus, transesophageal endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration is a suitable approach for diagnosing esophageal anthracosis.
A 57-year-old Japanese man was admitted to our hospital with diarrhea, weight loss and malabsorption. Due to a high serum IgA level, we suspected α-heavy chain disease (α-HCD). However, no monoclonal IgA was detected on protein electrophoresis or immunofixation. Immunohistochemical staining of intestinal biopsy specimens showed proliferation of CD138+IgA+ cells, compatible with a diagnosis of α-HCD. Most α-HCD patients exhibit M-proteins in the serum on electrophoresis or immunoelectrophoresis; however, some patients lack detectable M-proteins, similar to our patient. Therefore, when α-HCD is suspected based on the clinical features, immunohistochemistry is required to make a diagnosis.
Hepatic intravascular large B-cell lymphoma (IVL) is a rare disease entity that involves invasion into various organs. Due to the aggressive behavior and poor prognosis of the disease and the difficulty in making an early diagnosis, some cases are diagnosed at autopsy. Early suspicion and the use of imaging studies and liver biopsies are key for diagnosing IVL; however, no reports have described the results of imaging studies due to the limited number of cases. We herein report the results of imaging studies of hepatic IVL, including the findings PET-CT, dynamic-CT, EOB-MRI and CEUS. These results may help physicians to make an early diagnosis and improve the prognosis.
A 36-year-old man presented with near-syncope. He was found to have massive pericardial effusion with a giant pericardial tumorous lesion. The pericardial effusion exhibited a bloody nature; however, neither malignant cells nor infectious organisms were detected. 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) showed an increased uptake of FDG in the pericardial tumor only. Although the tumor was not resectable, thoracotomy and tissue sampling were performed. A histological analysis showed CD99 positivity and SYT gene rearrangement, leading to a diagnosis of synovial sarcoma arising from the left lateral pericardial surface. The patient is now receiving chemotherapy.
A 43-year-old man presented with dyspnea on exertion. Right heart catheterization demonstrated pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). He was treated with bosentan, sildenafil and intravenous epoprostenol. Despite the administration of such intensive therapy, the patient's condition deteriorated to a World Health Organization functional class (WHO-FC) of IV. He participated in a clinical trial of imatinib for PAH. After three months of treatment with imatinib, the chest X-ray and echocardiography findings improved, and the WHO-FC class was III. One year after, however, the PAH worsened again, and the patient died 2.6 years after the first diagnosis. At autopsy, patchy capillary proliferation was observed in the lungs. The definitive diagnosis was pulmonary capillary hemangiomatosis.
Gouty arthritis is a metabolic disorder associated with hyperuricemia. Despite the development of novel pharmacotherapies, some hyperuricemia patients are drug refractory and develop gout. A 74-year-old man with frequent gouty attacks and chronic renal failure presented with asymmetrical polyarthritis affecting multiple joints. The diagnosis of gout was confirmed based on the presence of monosodium urate crystals in the patient's right wrist. The administration of systemic corticosteroids relieved the joint inflammation and pain; however, the urate level increased to 28 mg/dL and the gout attacks recurred. Combined allopurinol, febuxostat, and benzbromarone therapy reduced the urate level to <6 mg/dL, and the attacks gradually declined. This is the first report of two xanthine oxidase inhibitors being used to treat refractory gout.
Small cell carcinoma (SCC) predominantly spreading over the pleura is exceedingly rare and difficult to diagnose without proof of malignant effusion. A 65-year-old man presented with right pleural thickening and effusion and was diagnosed with SCC based on a thoracoscopic pleural biopsy. He received combined chemotherapy consisting of cisplatin and irinotecan hydrochloride, which resulted in a complete response. Seven months later, local relapse was observed. Thereafter, he received second-, third- and fourth-line chemotherapies and died of tumor progression 21 months after the diagnosis. Considering the possibility of SCC with pleural spread, performing early invasive procedures is important for diagnosing pleural malignancies.
A 79-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital for an investigation of a large 13-cm tumor in the chest and treatment for dyspnea in January 2010. The tumor had been observed on chest X-rays since 1992. It had measured 7 cm in 2008, then started to grow rapidly. Further investigations revealed that it was a malignant solitary fibrous tumor that was strongly suspected to have transformed from a benign to malignant state. Resection was not possible, and the patient died one month later. Benign solitary fibrous tumors of the pleura may become malignant during long-term follow-up. All suspected or proven solitary fibrous tumors of the pleura should be resected.
A 71-year-old woman on warfarin (2.5 mg daily) developed severe low back pain with reduced touch sensation and weakness of the lower limbs that progressed to complete paralysis within 28 to 30 hours. Imaging revealed bleeding at the D4 through D11 level, however the patient refused emergency laminectomy. No recovery was observed and the patient was discharged to a rehabilitation facility. Only few other cases of hematomyelia linked to anticoagulant therapy have been reported. Early diagnosis, appropriate management and immediate intervention are needed to prevent irreversible neurological sequelae. The elusive clinical features at presentation may cause an important diagnostic delay.
A 59-year-old woman who had been diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) was admitted to our hospital due to paralysis in all of her limbs. The patient presented with dysarthria, cerebellar ataxia and hypoxia. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed vasogenic edema in the brain stem and the cerebellum. She was diagnosed with neuropsychiatric lupus syndrome (NPSLE) and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), and was successfully treated using immunosuppressive therapy. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of simultaneously developing NPSLE and PAH.