Objective Tolvaptan was first approved for use for cirrhosis in Japan in September 2013. The aim of the study was to examine the effect of tolvaptan, a vasopressin V2 receptor antagonist, on the prognosis of cirrhosis.
Methods The effect of tolvaptan was evaluated in 26 patients with cirrhosis treated at our hospital from September 2013 to April 2015.
Results The primary disease was hepatitis C in 20 patients, hepatitis B in 2, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis in 2 and others in 2; and 12 had hepatocellular carcinoma. The Child-Pugh score was 9.7±1.6 and the serum albumin level was 2.53±0.44 g/dL. Body weight decreased from 55.5±11.8 kg before administration to 52.1±14.7 kg after 7 days of tolvaptan treatment. After 7 days, patients with weight loss ≥2 kg (n=16, mean decrease of 4.3±2.3 kg) had significantly lower blood urea nitrogen (24.2±14.4 vs. 36.1±11.4 mg/dL) and serum creatinine (1.1±0.5 vs. 1.5±0.7 mg/dL) levels and decreased urine osmolality 4 h after the administration of tolvaptan (236±96 vs. 364±122 mOsm/kg) compared with patients with weight loss <2 kg (n=10, mean increase of +0.7±2.1 kg) (all p<0.05). The prognosis was significantly better in the group with weight loss ≥2 kg.
Conclusion The effect of tolvaptan on the renal function is likely to improve the prognosis of patients with cirrhosis if the drug is started at a stage in which the renal function is maintained.
Objective There is little long-term data on the association between the serum albumin levels and mortality in community-based populations. We aimed to determine whether the serum albumin level is an independent risk factor for all-cause and cause-specific death in a community-based cohort study in Japan.
Methods In 1999, we performed a periodic epidemiological survey over a 15-year period in a population of 1,905 healthy subjects (783 males, 1,122 females) who were older than 40 years of age and who resided in Tanushimaru, a rural community, in Japan. Over the course of the study, we periodically examined the blood chemistry of the study subjects, including their serum albumin levels. Their baseline serum albumin levels were categorized into quartiles.
Results The baseline albumin levels were significantly associated with age (inversely), body mass index (BMI), diastolic blood pressure, lipid profiles [high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-c), low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-c) and triglycerides] and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). After adjusting for confounders, a Cox proportional hazards regression analysis demonstrated that a low serum albumin level was an independent predictor of all-cause death [hazard ratio (HR): 0.39, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.24-0.65], cancer death (HR: 0.43, 95% CI: 0.18-0.99), death from infection (HR: 0.21, 95% CI: 0.06-0.73) and cerebro-cardiovascular death (HR: 0.19, 95% CI: 0.06-0.63). The HRs for all-cause and cerebro-cardiovascular death in the highest quartile vs. the lowest quartile of albumin after adjusting for confounders were 0.59 (95%CI:0.39-0.88) and 0.15 (95%CI: 0.03-0.66), respectively.
Conclusion The serum albumin level was thus found to be a predictor of all-cause and cerebro-cardiovascular death in a general population.
Objective Detecting paroxysmal atrial fibrillation in patients with ischemic stroke presenting in sinus rhythm is difficult because such episodes are often short, and they are also frequently asymptomatic. It is possible that the ventricular repolarization dynamics may reflect atrial vulnerability and cardioembolic stroke. Hence, we compared the QT-RR relation between cardioembolic stroke and atherosclerotic stroke during sinus rhythm.
Methods The subjects comprised 62 consecutive ischemic stroke patients including 31 with cardioembolic strokes (71.8±12.7 years, 17 men) and 31 with atherosclerotic strokes (74.8±10.8 years, 23 men). The QT and RR intervals were measured from ECG waves based on a 15-sec averaged ECG during 24-hour Holter recording using an automatic QT analyzing system. The QT interval dependence on the RR interval was analyzed using a linear regression line for each subject ([QT]=A[RR]+B; where A is the slope and B is the y-intercept).
Results The mean slope of the QT-RR relation was significantly greater in cardioembolic stroke than in atherosclerotic stroke (0.187±0.044 vs. 0.142±0.045, p<0.001). The mean QT, RR, or QTc during 24-hour Holter recordings did not differ between them. An increased slope (≥0.14) of the QT-RR regression line could predict cardioembolic stroke with 97% sensitivity, 55% specificity and a positive predictive value of 64%.
Conclusion The increased slope of the QT-RR linear regression line based on 24-hour Holter ECG in patients with ischemic stroke presenting in sinus rhythm may therefore be a simple and useful marker for cardioembolic stroke.
Objective The aim of this study was to determine whether nocturnal hypoglycemia may be predicted according to morning glucose levels.
Methods We retrospectively evaluated 106 patients with type 2 diabetes who underwent continuous glucose monitoring during admission. The pre-breakfast glucose level (Pre-breakfast level), highest postprandial glucose level within 3 hours after breakfast (Highest level), time from the start of breakfast to the highest postprandial glucose level (Highest time), difference between the pre-breakfast and highest postprandial breakfast glucose levels (Increase), area under the glucose curve (≥180 mg/dL) within 3 hours after breakfast (Morning AUC), post-breakfast glucose gradient (Gradient), and the increase-to-pre-breakfast ratio (Increase/Pre-breakfast) were calculated. The subjects were divided into hypoglycemic and non-hypoglycemic patients and compared for the above parameters using the t-test. A receiver operating characteristic analysis was used to determine the optimal cut-off values to predict nocturnal hypoglycemia (Hypoglycemia).
Results Twenty-eight patients (26.4%) had hypoglycemia. The Pre-breakfast levels were significantly lower in patients with hypoglycemia than those without (p=0.03). The Increases were significantly higher in patients with hypoglycemia than those without (p=0.047). The Increase/Pre-breakfast ratio were significantly larger in patients with hypoglycemia than those without (p=0.0002). Their cut-off values were as follows (level, sensitivity, specificity, and area under the curve): 123 mg/dL, 0.89, 0.55, and 0.78 (p<0.0001); 90.5 mg/dL, 0.75, 0.64, and 0.76 (p<0.0001); and 90.2%, 0.75, 0.76, and 0.78 (p<0.0001), respectively.
Conclusion Major increases between the pre- and post-breakfast glucose levels may predict nocturnal hypoglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Objective The influence of smoking on the pathogenesis and clinical course of interstitial pneumonia has recently attracted attention. To clarify the influence of smoking on the clinical patient characteristics and therapeutic effects in patients with interstitial pneumonia presenting with a non-specific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP) pattern, we compared the clinical patient characteristics and therapeutic effects in smokers and nonsmokers in this study.
Methods We divided 31 NSIP (16 idiopathic nonspecific interstitial pneumonia and 15 collagen vascular disease-associated nonspecific interstitial pneumonia) patients into smoker and non-smoker groups for each case. The patient characteristics, pulmonary function tests, Krebs von den Lungen 6 (KL-6), surfactant protein D (SP-D), bronchoalveolar lavage fluid findings, and clinical courses for two years were compared between the smoker and non-smoker groups.
Results The smoking subgroup (n=15) of NSIP patients had a significantly lower % diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide/ alveolar ventilation (DLCO/VA) and tended to have higher SP-D values than the nonsmoking subgroup (n=16). Although no difference was observed regarding the prognosis, 5 of 6 cases with NSIP, which had worsening of lung disease were heavy smokers with a pack-year history of 40 or greater.
Conclusion Smoking is thus suggested to negatively influence the diffusing capacity caused by damage to alveolar epithelial cells. In addition, smoking may also be potentially related to resistance to therapy in NSIP cases.
For nutritional support of critically ill patients, the enteral route is preferred over the parenteral route. Although nasojejunal feeding can be superior to gastric feeding when gastrointestinal symptoms occur, it does not necessarily solve the problem of large gastric residual volumes. We report the successful use of a newly developed nasojejunal feeding tube with gastric decompression function in an 84-year-old man with severe pneumonia. After gastric feeding was considered not well tolerated, the use of this tube improved the delivery of nutrition until the patient was stable enough to undergo percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy.
A 64 year-old woman with steroid-dependent immune thrombocytopenia developed anemia. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy revealed the presence of a tumor, which was diagnosed to be diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, in the second portion of the duodenum. 18F-fluorodeoxy glucose positron emission tomography showed an increased uptake mass in the pelvic cavity as well as in the duodenum. Though the duodenal tumor disappeared after 4 cycles of chemotherapy, the pelvic mass did not shrink in size. As a result, laparoscopic resection of the pelvic tumor was performed and the tumor was histologically diagnosed to be a gastrointestinal stromal tumor. Subsequently, the patient was treated with 2 more cycles of the chemotherapy. Eventually, thrombocytopenia completely resolved.
A 56-year-old man was diagnosed with aplastic anemia and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria at 43 years of age and treatment with cyclosporin A was started. Liver cirrhosis, ascites, and thrombus in the hepatic veins were found at 56 years of age and Budd-Chiari syndrome (BCS) was diagnosed according to angiography findings. He was treated with diuretics and paracentesis was performed several times, but with limited efficacy. A Denver® peritoneovenous shunt (PVS) was inserted into the right jugular vein; his ascites and renal function improved immediately and his general condition has remained good for 12 months since starting the above treatment regimen. A PVS is a treatment option for ascites due to BCS.
Variegate porphyria (VP) is an autosomal dominant disease caused by mutations of the protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPOX) gene. This porphyria has unique characteristics which can induce acute neurovisceral attacks and cutaneous lesions that may occur separately or together. We herin report a 58-years-old VP patient complicated with cholelithiasis. A sequencing analysis indicated a novel c.40G>C mutation (p.G14R) in the PPOX gene. His cutaneous photosensitivity had been worsening for 3 years before the emergence of cholecystitis and it then gradually improved after cholecystectomy and ursodeoxycholic acid treatment with a slight decline in the porphyrin levels in his blood, urine and stool. In VP patients, a worsening of photosensitivity can thus be induced due to complications associated with some other disease, thereby affecting their porphyrin-heme biosynthesis.
A healthy teenage Japanese girl was admitted to our hospital after experiencing out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. She had attempted to commit suicide by taking 4,950 mg of disopyramide and 12 mg of flunitrazepam. Mechanical cardiopulmonary support was started with percutaneous cannulation of the femoral vessels. Several days later, a blood culture tested positive for Staphylococcus aureus. Transthoracic echocardiography showed a large mobile and solid mass attached to the apical part of the left ventricle. To the best of our knowledge, the anatomical location of a pedunculated mass originating from the apex is a rare condition.
Isolated adrenocorticotropic hormone deficiency (IAD) is a rare disorder with diverse clinical presentations. A 79-year-old man was bedridden for six months due to flexion contractures of the bilateral hips and knees, along with hyponatremia. He was diagnosed with IAD based on the results of endocrine tests. After one month of corticosteroid replacement, he recovered and was able to stand up by himself. Although flexion contracture is a rare symptom of IAD, steroid replacement therapy may be effective, even for seemingly irreversibly bedridden elderly patients. In bedridden elderly patients with flexion contractures, we should consider and look for any signs of adrenal insufficiency.
The patient was a 61-year-old woman who had a well-differentiated pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (PNET) with lymph node metastasis. After 15 months of octreotide treatment, glucose control deteriorated and pigmentation of the tongue and moon face developed, leading to the diagnosis of ectopic adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) syndrome. An abnormal secretion of growth hormone (GH) was identified, and the plasma growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) level was elevated. A tumor biopsy specimen positively immunostained for ACTH and GHRH. Ectopic hormone secretion seems to have evolved along with the progression of the PNET.
We herein present the findings of a 42-year-old woman with either adrenal pheochromocytoma or intraadrenal paraganglioma that simultaneously secreted somatostatin, thus mimicking insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Pheochromocytoma was clinically diagnosed based on scintigraphy, elevated catecholamine levels, and finally a histopathological analysis of resected specimens. The patient had diabetic ketosis, requiring 40 U insulin for treatment. Following laparoscopic adrenalectomy, insulin therapy was discontinued and the urinary c-peptide levels changed from 5.5-9.0 to 81.3-87.0 μg/day. Histologically, somatostatin immunoreactivity was detected and the somatostatin levels were elevated in the serum-like fluid obtained from the tumor. Clinicians should be aware of the possible occurrence of simultaneous ectopic hormone secretion in patients with pheochromocytoma.
A 58-year-old man was referred to our institution for an evaluation of nephrotic range proteinuria. Renal biopsy showed a marked expansion of the mesangial matrix and thickening of glomerular basement membrane (GBM) in periodic acid-silver methenamine (PAM). Immunofluorescence (IF) revealed strong staining for the monoclonal kappa light chain. EM demonstrated massive subendothelial and mesangial dense deposits. As a result, light chain deposition disease (LCDD) was diagnosed. Melphalan and prednisolone (MP) therapy was started, which was continued for 10 years with minimal complications. Serial evaluations of renal histology revealed the resolution of nodular lesions and the glomeruli became nearly normal. MP therapy can therefore be an effective therapeutic option for LCDD if it is continued over the long term.
Medullary cystic kidney disease (MCKD) is a hereditary disease associated with bilateral medullary polycysts and interstitial fibrosis. MCKD is typically associated with slowly progressive renal dysfunction. We herein report two rare elderly cases with enlarged kidneys and rapidly progressive renal dysfunction without myeloperoxidase anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (MPO-ANCA), PR3-ANCA, or anti-glomerular basement membrane (GBM) antibodies. Renal biopsies revealed extensive tubular dilatation and atrophy with interstitial fibrosis consistent with MCKD. Both patients began hemodialysis therapy a few months later. Our cases suggest a MCKD subgroup among elderly patients with an undefined genetic background, rapidly progressive renal dysfunction, and enlarged kidneys.
We herein present a rare case of an autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) patient with Caroli's disease, a congenital embryonic biliary tree ductal plate abnormality often associated with autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease. A 76-year-old woman with ADPKD on hemodialysis was admitted to our hospital with recurrent cholangitis and hepatobiliary stones. Caroli's disease was diagnosed according to typical imaging findings of cystic intrahepatic bile duct dilatation and the central dot sign. Hepatobiliary system abnormalities such as Caroli's disease should be considered in febrile ADPKD patients, even in the absence of typical clinical signs or symptoms.
We performed a bone histomorphometric analysis in two patients demonstrating Fanconi syndrome with hypophosphatemia, adefovir-related bone disease and chronic hepatitis B infection. Both patients had osteomalacia, but showed two different histological patterns. The osteoid volume of the patient without risedronate increased with [(osteoid volume/ bone volume)×100=18.6%]. However, the osteoid volume of the patient receiving risedronate without vitamin D analogue showed a greater increase of 53.8%. In both patients bone pain and hypophosphatemia subsided soon after the discontinuation of adefovir and the administration of phosphate derivative. These findings show that bisphosphonate may worsen this disease when this drug is administered without a vitamin D analogue.
A 39-year-old man presented to our hospital with a four-week history of headache and a two-week history of low-grade fever. Chest X-rays showed a tumor of approximately 50 mm in size in the right lower field. A histopathological examination of a transbronchial lung biopsy specimen from the right S9/10 revealed numerous fungal elements that appeared as encapsulated yeast with clear halos. Gadolinium-enhanced brain magnetic resonance images showed multiple cerebral nodules. Cryptococcus gattii (Genotype VGIIa) was isolated from the bronchial lavage and cerebrospinal fluid specimens. The patient was an immunocompetent Japanese man who had not recently traveled to a C. gattii-endemic area.
Five cases were treated by adding daily low-dose thalidomide (50 mg) to bortezomib and dexamethasone therapy for refractory multiple myeloma. This therapy was effective in four cases, with an improvement of bone pain and regression of M-protein. One case was treated with cyclophosphamide, thalidomide, and dexamethasone, adding bortezomib after starting the three-drug combination therapy. This patient has remained in a stable disease state since the beginning of this therapy. Regarding the other four cases, a partial response and a prolonged survival for approximately one year were noted. Peripheral neuropathy did not increase after thalidomide addition. Adding low-dose thalidomide may safely improve the responses for multiple myeloma refractory to bortezomib and dexamethasone.
Tumor lysis syndrome (TLS) is a metabolic disorder that is generally associated with a malignancy leading to hyperuricemia, hyperphosphatemia, and acute kidney injury. On the other hand, we sometimes encounter these phenomena in nonmalignant disease, which has been referred to as tumor lysis-like syndrome in some studies. We herein experienced a case in which tumor lysis-like syndrome occurred in the course of therapy for eosinophilic disease of the lung, a nonmalignant disease. Even in nonmalignant disease, massive cell lysis induced by therapy can cause phenomena such as TLS or tumor lysis-like syndrome.
Vancomycin-induced thrombocytopenia is a rare adverse reaction that may be overlooked because no specific diagnostic test is currently available. We herein report a patient with vancomycin-induced immune thrombocytopenia who was diagnosed by the detection of vancomycin-dependent anti-platelet antibody with flow cytometry. An IgG antibody in the patient's serum reacted with platelets only in the presence of vancomycin. Severe thrombocytopenia gave rise to life-threatening gastrointestinal bleeding, which was quickly resolved after effective platelet transfusion following the cessation of vancomycin administration. This report suggests that the flow cytometric test is useful for the differential diagnosis of thrombocytopenia and platelet transfusion should be performed after the cessation of vancomycin administration.
Inhibitors directed against factor V rarely occur, and the clinical symptoms vary. We herein report the case of a patient who presented with a decreased factor V activity that had decreased to <3 %. We administered vitamin K and 6 units of fresh frozen plasma, but she thereafter developed an intracerebral hemorrhage. It is unclear whether surgery >10 years earlier might have caused the development of a factor V inhibitor. The treatment of acquired factor V inhibitors is mainly the transfusion of platelet concentrates and corticosteroids. Both early detection and the early initiation of the treatment of factor V inhibitor are thus considered to be important.
Acute acalculous cholecystitis (AAC) is a severe disease seen in critically ill patients, including those with autoimmune diseases. We herein report the case of a 41-year-old female who developed macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) accompanied by a recurrence of Kikuchi disease. Abdominal imaging revealed marked thickening of the gallbladder wall and pericholecystic fluid, typically found in AAC. Treatment with intravenous pulse methylprednisolone induced in a significant improvement in the gallbladder wall, resulting in no need for surgical intervention. We should consider that patients with MAS may therefore sometimes develop AAC and that early immunosuppressive therapy can be effective in AAC cases associated with rheumatic or autoimmune diseases.
Purpura fulminans (PF) is a life-threatening syndrome comprising progressive hemorrhagic necrosis due to disseminated intravascular coagulation and dermal vascular thrombosis that leads to purpura and tissue necrosis. Various therapies have been used to arrest the progression of this disease, however, there is no established treatment because of the variety of underlying causes. We herein present an adult case of PF associated with leukocytoclastic vasculitis triggered by antibiotic (levofloxacin) intake. As a result of our rapid and accurate identification of the underlying cause, corticosteroid therapy successfully repressed the inflammatory process. As far as we know, this is the first report of levofloxacin-associated PF.
We herein report a case of disseminated Mycobacterium avium infection that involved both optic nerves, the conjunctiva, the right lower lung, and multiple skin lesions, including a thoracic nodule. The patient was a 65-year-old man without any significant medical history. The pathogen was detected in the patient's eye discharge, sputum, bronchial lavage fluid, and thoracic nodule. Anti-mycobacterial chemotherapy, including clarithromycin, rifampicin, and ethambutol, was administered, and the thoracic nodule was resected. An autoantibody to interferon-γ was detected in the patient's serum. Bilateral swelling of his optic nerves and facial dermatitis improved after initiating anti-mycobacterial chemotherapy.
An elderly woman with human immunodeficiency virus-1 infection developed short bowel syndrome as a result of extensive intestinal resection. Considering the possibility of poor absorption of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) was performed. A single-dose test of 6 ARVs (darunavir, ritonavir, lopinavir, etravirine, maraviroc, and raltegravir) did not provide information on the appropriate ARV, and repeated TDM under continuous antiretroviral therapy resulted in viral suppression below 50 copies/mL, which was considered to be treatment success. These assessments suggest the importance of TDM in the steady state for the successful treatment of individuals with impaired gastrointestinal function using ARVs.
A 65-year-old Japanese man was admitted with a 4-month history of fatigue and exertional dyspnea. Transthoracic echocardiography revealed a vegetation on the aortic valve and severe aortic regurgitation. Accordingly, infective endocarditis and heart failure were diagnosed. Although a blood culture was negative on day 7 after admission, a prolonged blood culture with subculture was performed according to the patient's history of contact with cats. Consequently, Bartonella henselae was isolated. Bartonella species are fastidious bacteria that cause blood culture-negative infective endocarditis. This case demonstrates that B. henselae may be detected by prolonged incubation of blood cultures.