A close association of systemic inflammation with cardiovascular diseases and metabolic syndrome is recently a popular topic in medicine. Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease with a prevalence of approximately 0.1-0.5% in Asians. It is characterized by widespread scaly erythematous macules that cause significant physical and psychological burdens for the affected individuals. The accelerated inflammation driven by the TNF-α/IL-23/IL-17A axis is now known to be the major mechanism in the development of psoriasis. Psoriasis is not a mere skin disease; it is significantly associated with cardiovascular diseases and metabolic syndrome, which suggests that the chronic skin inflammation extends the systemic inflammation beyond the skin. In this article, we review the epidemiological and pathological aspects of psoriasis and its comorbidities.
Objective CYP2C19 metabolic activity influences the efficacy of Helicobacter pylori eradication therapies comprising PPIs. Rabeprazole (RPZ) and esomeprazole (EPZ) are PPIs not extensively metabolized by CYP2C19. The aim of this study was to elucidate whether or not first-line triple therapies using RPZ or EPZ are equally effective in Japanese patients with different CYP2C19 genotypes.
Methods Two-hundred patients infected with H. pylori were randomized to receive one of the following regimens: amoxicillin (750 mg), clarithromycin (200 mg), and either esomeprazole (20 mg) (EAC group) or rabeprazole (10 mg) (RAC group), twice a day for one week. The CYP2C19 polymorphisms were determined by polymerase chain reaction and the serum level of pepsinogens was measured.
Results The eradication rates of the EAC and RAC regimens were 79.8% (95% confidential interval: 71.7-89.0%) and 74.7% (66.0-83.4%), respectively, in a per protocol (PP) analysis (p=0.488). The eradication rates of the EAC and RAC regimens were not significantly different between patients with the homo EM genotype (p=0.999) or hetero IM or PM genotypes (p=0.286). A lower PG I/II ratio was associated with lower eradication rates (p=0.025).
Conclusion Although the eradication rate was less than 80%, the EAC and RAC regimens were equally effective in each CYP2C19 genotype group. The PG I/II ratio was associated with the results of EAC and RAC therapy in this series of patients.
Objective In symptom-dependent diseases such as functional dyspepsia (FD), matching the pattern of epigastric symptoms, including severity, kind, and perception site, between patients and physicians is critical. Additionally, a comprehensive examination of the stomach, duodenum, and pancreas is important for evaluating the origin of such symptoms.
Methods FD-specific symptoms (epigastric pain, epigastric burning, early satiety, and postprandial fullness) and other symptoms (regurgitation, nausea, belching, and abdominal bloating) as well as the perception site of the above symptoms were investigated in healthy subjects using a new questionnaire with an illustration of the human body. A total of 114 patients with treatment-resistant dyspeptic symptoms were evaluated for their pancreatic exocrine function using N-benzoyl-L-tyrosyl-p-aminobenzoic acid.
Results A total of 323 subjects (men:women, 216:107; mean age, 52.1 years old) were initially enrolled. Most of the subjects felt the FD-specific symptoms at the epigastrium, while about 20% felt them at other abdominal sites. About 30% of expressed as epigastric symptoms were FD-nonspecific symptoms. At the epigastrium, epigastric pain and epigastric burning were mainly felt at the upper part, and postprandial fullness and early satiety were felt at the lower part. The prevalence of patients with pancreatic exocrine dysfunction was 71% in the postprandial fullness group, 68% in the epigastric pain group, and 82% in the diarrhea group.
Conclusion We observed mismatch in the perception site and expression between the epigastric symptoms of healthy subjects and FD-specific symptoms. Postprandial symptoms were often felt at the lower part of the epigastrium, and pancreatic exocrine dysfunction may be involved in the FD symptoms, especially for treatment-resistant dyspepsia patients.
Objective Depression is reported to be relatively common in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) patients. Thus far, however, whether or not depression independently determines the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) has not been evaluated exclusively in IPF patients. We designed this study to identify independent determinants of the St. George' s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) score among various factors, including a depression scale, in IPF patients.
Methods We retrospectively analyzed consecutive subjects with IPF who completed a systematic evaluation including pulmonary function tests, PaO2 at rest, 6-minute walk test (6MWT), SGRQ, Baseline Dyspnea Index (BDI), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). All eligible patients in the present study had newly diagnosed IPF and had not received any prior treatments, such as antidepressants, pirfenidone, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, or long-term oxygen therapy.
Results The 121 patients with IPF included 99 men. On the SGRQ, mild to moderate disturbance was observed in the total and each component score. According to the HADS, 27 patients (22.3%) had borderline or definite depression. In a univariate regression analysis, the forced vital capacity (FVC), diffusion capacity of carbon monoxide (DLco), PaO2 at rest, BDI, HADS for Anxiety (HADS-A) and Depression (HADS-D), 6-minute walk distance (6MWD), and lowest SpO2 during the 6MWT were significantly correlated with the SGRQ total score. In a stepwise multiple regression model, BDI, 6MWD, and HADS-D were selected as independent determinants of the total SGRQ score. The total variance in this model was 59% (p<0.001).
Conclusion We concluded that depression was a significant determinant of the HRQOL or health status in patients with IPF.
Objective To assess the safety of azathioprine (AZA) in Japanese patients with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis (AAV).
Methods We retrospectively enrolled 67 consecutive AAV patients who had initiated AZA treatment from January 2006 to August 2014 at Okayama University Hospital. We evaluated the development of severe adverse events (AEs), AZA discontinuation due to total AEs (severe AEs included) within 1 year, and AZA-associated risk factors.
Results The patients' median age was 70 years old. Forty-nine women and 18 men participated at the initiation of the study. Fifty-eight (87%) patients experienced AEs, and 36 experienced severe AEs (21 hepatic and 11 cytopenic severe AEs). Thirty-one (46%) patients discontinued treatment because of AEs. Abnormal hepatic laboratory test results at the treatment initiation were more frequent in patients with hepatic severe AEs and were associated with treatment discontinuation. The leukocyte and neutrophil counts at the treatment initiation were lower in the patients who discontinued treatment because of cytopenic AEs than in those who continued treatment. Only two patients experienced flare-ups during treatment.
Conclusion The AE-associated AZA discontinuation rate in Japanese AAV patients was relatively high. AZA use warrants caution in patients with abnormal hepatic laboratory test results or low leukocyte or neutrophil counts.
Continuity is required for diet therapy, but it depends on patients. We examined the utility of a new tool, the customized online nutrition guidance system, in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Seven patients plotted their body weight (BW) and marked a customized task card on completion for 90 days on a website. The instructors encouraged them by e-mail. BW, serum transaminase levels, and system usage were evaluated. The results showed that BW and serum alanine aminotransferase levels were significantly lower than at baseline. BW and task visualization as well as encouragement by e-mails were effective in ensuring continuity. Thus, this system is effective in keeping NAFLD patients motivated to continue their diet therapy.
We report a case of a 70-year-old man with acute acalculous cholecystitis caused by Giardia lamblia. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) showed distention of the gallbladder due to a pericholecystic abscess without gallstones. Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography and drip infusion cholecystocholangiography-CT demonstrated a stricture of the hilar bile duct and cystic duct obstruction. We conducted transpapillary bile duct brush cytology and a biopsy of the hilar bile duct stricture; numerous active trophozoites of Giardia lamblia were observed without malignant findings. We considered this bile duct lesion to be biliary giardiasis. Biliary giardiasis should be taken into consideration when diagnosing acute acalculous cholecystitis.
An 88-year-old woman experienced sharp pain in the left mandible for a few minutes 3 days prior to hospital presentation. On the day of hospital presentation, the patient experienced similar pain and cold sweating for more than an hour early in the morning. On arrival, there was only mild discomfort ranging from the left mandible to the neck, without definite pain. Computed tomography revealed Stanford type A acute aortic dissection. Blood vessel prosthesis implantation was performed. Intraoperatively, the coronary arteries were confirmed to be intact. Mandibular pain is a rare but potential symptom of aortic dissection without coronary artery obstruction.
We herein present a case in which two retrievable inferior vena cava (IVC) filters, which were implanted to treat deep-vein thrombosis caused by the compression of a double IVC, were successfully removed on the 67th day after placement. The filters were individually placed in both the left and right IVCs. With a prevalence of only 0.2%, a double IVC is an extremely rare anatomical variation. The long-term effects of IVC filters are unknown, and the placement of a filter potentially introduces the risk of complications. Thus, if the patient's clinical condition allows, the endovascular retrieval of the filter should be considered within a few months after implantation.
We herein present the case of a 21-year-old diabetic obese woman who developed ketoacidosis following the administration of ipragliflozin, a sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor. At the time of admission, although her serum glucose level was only 175 mg/dL, laboratory tests showed ketoacidosis. Interestingly, hyperglycosuria persisted, even after the discontinuation of ipragliflozin. This is the first report of non-hyperglycemic ketoacidosis that might have been caused by protracted hyperglycosuria after the discontinuation of ipragliflozin. The development of non-hyperglycemic ketoacidosis should be monitored following the discontinuation of SGLT2 inhibitors, especially in patients who start to feel unwell and exhibit protracted hyperglycosuria after the discontinuation of treatment.
To date, a recognized treatment for refractory membranous nephropathy (MN) has not been established. Recently, several reports have indicated the efficacy of rituximab as a novel treatment option. However, only a few published accounts exist of rituximab therapy for idiopathic MN (IMN) in the Asian population. We present the cases of three IMN patients who were treated with single-dose rituximab after they showed no response to conventional therapies, including corticosteroids, cyclosporine, cyclophosphamide, mizoribine, and mycophenolate mofetil. Although one case showed no response, a complete or incomplete remission was achieved in the other two cases. Rituximab may therefore be a beneficial treatment option for IMN.
CYP3A4-inhibitors can potentiate the hypotensive effect of calcium-channel blockers. However, insufficient attention to such drug interactions may result in serious adverse reactions. A 71-year-old hypertensive man prescribed nifedipine was hospitalized for infectious endophthalmitis. Antimicrobial therapy with voriconazole lowered the blood pressure, and then clarithromycin further lowered it through the excessively elevated nifedipine concentration, leading to ischemic acute kidney injury. After the discontinuation of clarithromycin and voriconazole, the blood pressure and renal function were recovered. The combination of CYP3A4-inhibitors such as clarithromycin plus voriconazole can synergistically potentiate calcium-channel blockers. Co-prescription of multiple CYP3A4-inhibitors with calcium-channel blockers increases the risk of hypotension and acute kidney injury.
A 71-year-old man with hypertension and diabetes mellitus presented with proteinuria. Laboratory data showed proteinuria of 3.1 g/g creatinine, serum albumin of 3.5 g/dL and serum creatinine of 1.03 mg/dL without autoantibodies. A renal biopsy revealed segmental granular IgG depositions on glomerular capillary walls. Electron microscopy showed segmentally subepithelial, intramembranous and mesangial deposits. Diffuse segmental membranous glomerulonephritis (MGN) was diagnosed with only IgG1 deposition and without M-type phospholipase A2 receptor or thrombospondin type-1 domain-containing 7A staining, suggesting secondary MGN with an unknown target antigen in immune deposits. Physicians should keep in mind the existence of segmental MGN to better understand the clinicopathological characteristics.
We herein report a 73-year-old Japanese woman with metastatic thymic carcinoma who developed diffuse alveolar hemorrhage (DAH) during irinotecan chemotherapy. She presented with a mild fever and exertional dyspnea after the second cycle of weekly irinotecan monotherapy. Chest images showed diffuse ground-glass opacities. The diagnosis of DAH was based on the findings of the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, which was bloody and contained hemosiderin-laden macrophages. The discontinuation of irinotecan and introduction of oral prednisolone improved her symptoms and chest abnormal shadows. This is the first case of DAH caused by irinotecan.
An 85-year-old, never-smoking man presented with exertional dyspnea. He had been exposed to silica dust in the work place. Chest computed tomography revealed bronchial wall thickening without emphysema. A pulmonary function test showed airflow obstruction without impaired gas transfer. Airway hyperresponsiveness and reversibility were not evident. A transbronchial lung biopsy showed findings suggestive of mineral dust exposure, such as fibrosis and slight pigmentation of bronchioles. He was diagnosed with non-smoking chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) due to occupational exposure to silica dust. His symptoms were improved using an inhaled long-acting bronchodilator. The clinical characteristics of non-smoking COPD are discussed in this report.
Less than 5% of patients with polycythemia vera (PV) show JAK2 exon 12 mutations. Although PV patients with JAK2 exon 12 mutations are known to develop post-PV myelofibrosis (MF) as well as PV with JAK2V617F, the role of JAK inhibitors in post-PV MF patients with JAK2 exon 12 mutations remains unknown. We describe how treatment with a JAK1/2 inhibitor, ruxolitinib, led to the rapid amelioration of marrow fibrosis, erythrocytosis and thrombocytopenia in a 77-year-old man with post-PV MF who carried a JAK2 exon 12 mutation (JAK2H538QK539L). This case suggests that ruxolitinib is a treatment option for post-PV MF in patients with thrombocytopenia or JAK2 exon 12 mutations.
We report a case of secondary diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) after azacitidine (AZA) treatment in a 63-years-old man with myelodysplastic syndrome. The patient suffered from febrile neutropenia after 10 cycles of AZA treatment. Despite the performance of a whole-body CT scan, which showed a multifocal low-density area in the liver and a multifocal nodular shadow in the lung, no malignant neoplasms could be detected. An autopsy was performed 6 months later, and a histopathological examination of the lesions of the liver and lung revealed the infiltration of large round-shaped tumor cells with necrotizing lesions. Immunohistochemically, the tumor cells were positive for CD20 and EBER, indicating EBV-positive DLBCL as a secondary malignancy.
An 87-year-old woman presented with a 3-month history of fever, edema of the lower legs, and gait disturbance. A laboratory examination revealed high serum levels of myeloperoxidase-specific antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (MPO-ANCA). Although microscopic polyangiitis was initially suspected and treated, the patient subsequently developed transient hemiparesis and disturbed consciousness. Brain magnetic resonance imaging/angiography revealed infarct-like lesions, pachymeningeal involvement, and diffuse cerebral vasoconstriction. A random skin biopsy confirmed the histological diagnosis of intravascular lymphoma. Diffuse cerebral vasoconstriction and a high serum MPO-ANCA level have rarely been reported in patients with intravascular lymphoma. Endothelial damage due to immune-mediated mechanisms, tumor derived factors, or the direct interaction of lymphoma cells with endothelial cells may commonly predispose patients to both cerebral vasoconstriction and the development of ANCAs.
A 53-year-old man, who had been diagnosed with mild hemophilia A (HA) at 35 years of age, was hospitalized with a thigh hematoma. His bleeding continued despite the administration of recombinant factor VIII (FVIII). The results of an FVIII/von Willebrand factor binding assay were normal. The patient's FVIII coagulant activity (FVIII:C) was low, but his FVIII antigen levels were within the normal limits, suggesting FVIII protein dysfunction. The FVIII:C measurements obtained by one-stage clotting and chromogenic assays were different. An FVIII gene analysis revealed a missense mutation p.Ser308Leu, which is rare in Japan. This case highlights that gene analyses and chromogenic assays are necessary to interpret the discrepancies between FVIII:C and the bleeding phenotype of patients with mild HA.
A 60-year-old man was referred to us with high levels of aspartate aminotransferase and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). He did not complain of any symptoms; however, he had been diagnosed with lumbar disc herniation, even though his back pain improved only to half of its previous level with pregabalin. Thus, we asked about the red flag of back pain and confirmed that he had involuntary body weight loss, which led us to diagnose truly non-secretory multiple myeloma, a variant of multiple myeloma that is associated with M-protein negativity and a normal serum free light chain level.
The patient was a woman without hypertension who had previously experienced intracranial hemorrhage twice at 48 and 56 years of age. At 59 years of age, she was diagnosed with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) based on the presence of a brain stem lesion and the detection of anti-aquaporin 4 (AQP4) antibodies. After 5 months of continuous treatment with prednisolone (15 mg/day), she presented with optic neuritis and intracranial bleeding. A recurrent attack of NMOSD and intracranial hemorrhage were concurrently diagnosed. We herein report a case of NMOSD with recurrent intracranial hemorrhage, which indicates an association between NMOSD and cerebellar vascular dysfunction.
We report a case of a 72-year-old woman who initially presented with symptoms of bulbar myasthenia and was positive for anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies. She subsequently developed painful muscle spasms, myoclonus, and stiffness. Thymoma was detected, and both anti-glycine receptor and anti-glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies were found. She was diagnosed with thymoma-associated progressive encephalomyelitis with rigidity and myoclonus (PERM). She experienced marked improvement after thymectomy followed by plasma exchange and intravenous immunoglobulin and prednisolone. This case suggests that thymectomy followed by sufficient immunosuppression may be useful in the treatment of thymoma-associated PERM. Myasthenia gravis may develop in thymoma-associated PERM patients.
Venous thrombus was recognized in the upper extremity of a 53-year-old man after blood donation. The patient presented with a 15-day history of swelling in the left upper-extremity that started 6 hours after apheresis. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography revealed clots in the deep veins of the left arm and the peripheral pulmonary artery. Blood donation had proceeded smoothly, and the patient had no thrombotic predisposition, except for a smoking habit. The thrombus resolved following anticoagulant therapy, and the patient' s clinical course was uncomplicated. Despite a thorough investigation, the cause of this thrombus remains unknown.