Objective The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) is an inflammation marker that can be used to detect atrial inflammatory changes, which may contribute to a reduced left atrial (LA) function and thrombosis. Our study aimed to determine whether or not the association of NLR with the LA appendage (LAA) function in relation to thrombogenesis differs from the association with the LA body function in paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) patients.
Methods A total of 183 PAF patients were studied. The LA volume index, mitral flow velocity (A), and mitral annular motion velocity (A') were examined using transthoracic echocardiography. The LAA area, LAA wall motion velocity, and presence of spontaneous echo contrast (SEC) were examined using transesophageal echocardiography.
Results The NLR of patients with cerebral embolism was significantly greater than in patients without the disorder. A cut-off point of 2.5 for the NLR had a sensitivity of 71% and a specificity of 74% in predicting cerebral embolism. The patients with an NLR ≥2.5 had a higher CHADS2 score and greater LA volume index or LAA area than those with an NLR <2.5. The NLR was an independent risk factor for SEC and was significantly correlated with the LAA wall motion velocity (r=-0.409) in 153 patients without SEC and with the LAA wall motion velocity and LAA area (r=-0.583, r=0.654, respectively) in 30 patients with SEC, but not with the LA volume index, A, or A' in either group.
Conclusion In PAF patients, a high NLR indicates thrombogenesis with a high degree of certainty and is associated with reduced LAA contraction rather than with the LA body function.
Objective We aimed to elucidate clinical characteristics, contemporary practice and outcomes of patients with takotsubo syndrome who were hospitalized in an emergency general hospital with angiography capabilities.
Methods This retrospective study included a total of 42 consecutive patients who were admitted between January 2010 and August 2014.
Results The study population included 11 men (26%) and 31 women (74%) [median age 76 years (interquartile range, 66-83)]. Physical stress and emotional stress were identified as triggers in 28 (67%) patients and 5 (12%) patients, respectively. Electrocardiographic changes were observed in 41 (98%) patients, with ST-segment elevation being the most common (71%) finding. In-hospital complications occurred in 24 (57%) patients, and acute pulmonary congestion or cardiogenic shock was seen in 21 (50%) patients. Five patients died during hospitalization (in-hospital mortality: 12%).
Conclusion Takotsubo syndrome was associated with significant morbidity and mortality among elderly patients who were treated at an emergency general hospital. Physicians and surgeons in all departments should be aware of the condition, especially in acutely ill subjects.
Objective The admission glucose level is a predictor of mortality even in patients with acute pulmonary embolism (APE). However, whether or not the admission glucose level is associated with the severity of APE itself or the underlying disease of APE is unclear.
Methods This study was a retrospective observational study. A pulmonary artery (PA) catheter was used to accurately evaluate the severity of APE. The percentage changes in the mean PA pressure (PAPm) upon placement and removal of the inferior vena cava filter (IVCF) were evaluated. We hypothesized that the admission glucose level was associated with the improvement in the PA pressure in patients with APE.
Patients A total of consecutive 22 patients with submassive APE who underwent temporary or retrievable IVCF insertion on admission and repetitive PA catheter measurements upon placement and removal of IVCFs were enrolled.
Results There was a significant positive correlation between the admission glucose levels and the percentage changes in the PAPm (r=0.543, p=0.009). A univariate linear regression analysis showed that the admission glucose level was the predictor of the percentage change in PAPm (β coefficient=0.169 per 1 mg/dL; 95% confidence interval, 0.047-0.291; p=0.009). A multivariate linear regression analysis with the forced inclusion model showed that the admission glucose level was the predictor of the percentage change in PAPm independent of diabetes mellitus, PAPm on admission, troponin positivity, and brain natriuretic peptide level (all p<0.05).
Conclusion The admission glucose level was associated with the improvement in the PAPm in patients with submassive-type APE.
Objectives Acute exacerbation of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF-AE) has been recognized as a fatal pulmonary disorder, but the exact prognostic factors are unknown. The aim of the present study was to analyze the clinical characteristics of patients with IPF-AE and identify the prognostic factors.
Methods The medical records of 59 cases of IPF-AE were retrospectively reviewed. Clinical data, laboratory data, radiographic findings, treatment, and time from the onset of symptoms to the initiation of corticosteroid pulse therapy, i.e. symptom duration, and outcome were analyzed.
Results The IPF Stage, Gender-Age-Physiology (GAP) Index, symptom duration, and the high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) score were significantly related to the prognosis in the univariate analysis. In the multivariate analysis, the symptom duration remained a significant prognostic factor (hazard ratio of 1-day increase, 1.11; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.15; p=0.0427). The area under the receiver operating characteristics curve of symptom duration was statistically significant for survivors versus non-survivors (area under the curve, 0.73; p=0.012). The survival period was significantly shorter in the late-treatment groups (≥5 days; n=30) than in the early-treatment groups (<5 days; n=29; log-rank test; p<0.0001).
Conclusion The time interval between the onset of symptoms and the initiation of corticosteroid pulse therapy may be an independent prognostic factor in patients with IPF-AE.
Objective This study was designed to directly compare the outcomes of tofacitinib therapy for methotrexate-refractory rheumatoid arthritis (RA) between biologic-naïve patients and patients who had experienced an inadequate response to biological agents.
Methods We prospectively enrolled and followed 113 patients who had a high or moderate clinical disease activity index (CDAI) (36 biologic-naïve patients and 77 biologic-experienced patients). Patients received 5 mg of tofacitinib twice daily. Effectiveness and adverse events were examined at month 6 of treatment.
Results At month 6, 65 patients (57.5%) reached CDAI50, which is defined as achieving ≥50% improvement. The number of previous biological agents was twice as high in CDAI50 non-responders as in responders (2.2 versus 1.1, p<0.001), but there was no significant difference in the type of previous agents or the reason for discontinuation. According to a multivariate logistic regression analysis, the previous use of biological agents [odds ratio (OR) 4.48, p=0.002] and the concurrent use of prednisolone (OR 2.40, p=0.047) were associated with a failure to achieve a CDAI 50 response. Biologic-naïve patients were more likely to achieve CDAI50 than biologic-experienced patients (80.6% versus 46.8%, p=0.001). Mean CDAI values were higher in biologic-experienced patients (11.4 versus 4.8, p=0.001), and remission rates were higher in biologic-naïve patients (41.7% versus 11.7%, p=0.001). Biologic-naïve patients more rapidly achieved remission. Rates of discontinuation resulting from adverse events were similar in both groups.
Conclusion Although tofacitinib can provide an effective treatment option for intractable RA patients, its impact on outcomes is lower in patients with previous biologic failure.
Extrapulmonary neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC) is a rare disease, and there is no standard chemotherapy. A 73-year-old man was diagnosed with advanced gastric NEC. He received chemotherapy of irinotecan plus cisplatin, and amrubicin monotherapy. After failure of second-line chemotherapy, he received ramucirumab plus paclitaxel; this treatment was chosen because vascular endothelial growth factor 2 was strongly expressed in the tumor endothelial cells. After two cycles, his NEC had markedly reduced in size, and he continued with this treatment for over eight months. In this case, the combination of an anti-angiogenic inhibitor and a cytotoxic agent was highly effective for gastric NEC.
A 39-year-old woman underwent a preoperative diagnostic colonoscopy for cervical cancer. A 3-mm neuroendocrine tumor (NET) was incidentally detected in the rectum. The NET was observed via 7 colonoscopies over 10 years while giving priority to treating the cervical cancer. Complete cervical cancer remission was confirmed at the 10-year follow-up examination; therefore, endoscopic treatment for the NET was subsequently performed. The NET showed almost no change in either size or morphology over the 10-year period. This case illustrates the possible very-slow progression of a small NET, suggesting its benign behavior.
Accessory spleen (AS) is common anomaly, and 20% of AS cases occur in the pancreatic tail. An intrapancreatic AS can be difficult to distinguish from pancreatic neoplasms. In most cases, an AS is described as a hypervascular and solitary tumor, but an AS sometimes takes other forms. We herein report a rare case of an intrapancreatic AS with temporal changes in its appearance after splenectomy, which mimicked aspects of pancreatic cancer. Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) and 99mTc sulfur colloid scintigraphy were useful for the diagnosis.
Primary hepatic angiosarcoma is a rare tumor originating from endothelial cells in the liver and accounts for approximately 1% of all hepatic malignant tumors. It is difficult to diagnose due to the lack of specific symptoms or tumor markers. No effective treatment exists, but complete surgical resection may achieve a good outcome. Since most primary hepatic angiosarcomas are already at an advanced stage at diagnosis, few reports describe tumors smaller than 2 cm. We report a case of surgery for a 1.7-cm sized primary hepatic angiosarcoma. Further studies are required to improve the preoperative diagnosis of primary hepatic angiosarcoma.
We report the case of a 71-year-old woman diagnosed with recent inferior myocardial infarction complicated with right ventricular infarction and a right ventricular thrombus. Three-dimensional transthoracic echocardiography, contrast-enhanced computed tomography, and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging clearly detected a thrombus. We consider cases with a recent right ventricular infarction to require assessment for thrombus formations in the right ventricle. Fortunately, vigorous anticoagulation therapy resolved the thrombi in both the right ventricle and right coronary artery.
We herein report a case of a 20-year-old woman who experienced hypoglycemia in parallel with acute weight loss confirmed by continuous glucose motoring (CGM). When she recovered from the acute weight loss, CGM revealed nocturnal and postprandial hypoglycemia. Six months were required to resolve the hypoglycemia and hyperinsulinemia after the recovery of her weight. Our case suggests that the adaption of insulin secretion to the rapid loss of weight and to the recovery of weight may require a long period of time, leading to the excessive secretion of insulin relative to the glucose level and repeated hypoglycemic episodes with postprandial hyperinsulinemia.
A 55-year-old man was admitted to our institute to undergo evaluation for proteinuria (5.4 g/day) with lambda-type Bence-Jones protein (BJP). Primary amyloid light chain (AL) amyloidosis and acquired factor X deficiency were diagnosed. High-dose melphalan combined with autologous stem cell transplantation was performed. After three years, the patient's proteinuria normalized, he was negative for urinary BJP, and his factor X activity improved to 105%. Serial renal biopsy showed no progression of amyloid deposition at a biopsy after 5 years, but showed a slight increase in the amyloid deposition after 11 years. This therapy can improve the prognosis of AL amyloidosis; however, there are limitations to the strategy.
A 39-year-old woman received a seasonal influenza vaccine in November 2015 and subsequently experienced malaise, low-grade fever, and chest discomfort. A chest X-ray performed 2 weeks after vaccination showed multiple nodular shadows in both lungs and ground-glass shadows in both lower lung fields. Her bronchoalveolar lavage fluid contained an unusually high number of lymphocytes, and a drug-induced lymphocyte stimulation test for seasonal influenza vaccine was positive. Transbronchial lung biopsy revealed the presence of granulomatous inflammation. Thereafter her abnormal chest shadow spontaneously improved. Based on these findings, the patient was diagnosed with drug-induced pneumonitis due to an influenza vaccine.
Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) rearrangement is most commonly observed in lung adenocarcinoma in a subset of lung cancer. Large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNEC) harboring an ALK rearrangement is very rare. Based on the findings from a transbronchial lung biopsy, a 75-year-old non-smoking woman was diagnosed with LCNEC with multiple liver and bone metastases. After seven cycles of cytotoxic chemotherapy, her genotype testing demonstrated ALK rearrangement. Subsequently, she was administered alectinib and exhibited a partial response.
Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory granulomatous disease that is systemic, but bone involvement is uncommon. A 68-year-old man was referred to our hospital complaining of right shoulder pain with numbness. Computed tomography revealed systemic lymphadenopathy and multiple bone lesions. Because malignant lymphoma with a mass lesion protruding into the vertebral canal was considered, he underwent urgent radiotherapy. Thereafter, a needle biopsy of the left parasternal node was performed and showed epithelioid granulomas, confirming a diagnosis of sarcoidosis. Since his neurologic symptoms improved, the patient was not given systemic corticosteroids. Radiotherapy may be useful for local control of bone sarcoidosis.
Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is a rare cancer, and there are no standard-of-care treatments for patients with metastatic ACC. We herein report a patient with lung metastasis of ACC who achieved a favorable response to levetiracetam. A 52-year-old Japanese man was admitted to our hospital because of multiple lung metastases of ACC. We performed first-line chemotherapy with cisplatin plus gemcitabine, and subsequently oral S-1 as second-line chemotherapy, which resulted in disease progression. The patient developed symptomatic epilepsy and received levetiracetam (250 mg twice daily). At five months after the initiation of levetiracetam, chest computed tomography showed regression of the metastatic lung lesions.
Ascites is a rare complication of multiple myeloma (MM); in most cases, the direct invasion of myeloma cells to the peritoneal cavity has been assumed to be the etiology because the effusion is usually exudative and contains a high proportion of myeloma cells. We herein report a case of MM with massive ascites containing only a small amount of myeloma cells. Instead, high levels of serum and ascitic vascular endothelial growth factor were detected. This was suggested to be a potential mechanism underlying the development of ascites.
Meningitis retention syndrome (MRS), a rare complication of aseptic meningitis, can present with acute urinary retention. The rupture of a dermoid cyst, which is a benign intracranial tumor, can sometimes induce chemical meningitis. We herein present a case of chemical meningitis and acute urinary retention that was induced by the rupture of a dermoid cyst. The patient experienced urinary retention for approximately 60 days, and then made a complete recovery thereafter. This is the first reported case of acute urinary retention due to the rupture of a dermoid cyst.
Carotid stump syndrome is a well-documented embolic source for ischemic stroke. However, few cases have been reported of a similar condition - termed vertebral artery stump syndrome - which affects the posterior circulation after vertebral artery origin occlusion. We herein report a case of infarction of the right superior cerebellar artery and left posterior inferior cerebellar artery territories due to vertebral artery stump syndrome. In this interesting case, a turbulent flow at the distal side of the vertebral artery occlusion was captured on ultrasonography, and was identified as the probable mechanism of vertebral artery stump syndrome.
We report a case of eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA; formerly known as Churg-Strauss syndrome) complicated by perforation of the small intestine and necrotizing cholecystitis. A 69-year-old man with a history of bronchial asthma was admitted with mononeuritis multiplex. The laboratory findings included remarkable eosinophilia. He was treated with corticosteroids and his laboratory indices showed improvement; however, his functional deficits remained. His neuropathy gradually improved after the addition of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). He was subsequently treated with oral prednisolone (40 mg/day) as maintenance therapy. Within a month after finishing IVIG, he developed perforation of the small intestine and necrotizing cholecystitis. Intestinal perforation has often been reported as a gastrointestinal complication of EGPA. In contrast, cholecystitis is a rare complication. We report this case because the manifestation of more than one complication is extremely rare. Gastrointestinal symptoms may be a complication of EGPA itself and/or immunosuppressive treatment.
Thrombotic microangiopathies (TMAs) are systemic microvascular occlusive disorders. The present report describes a patient with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis who had been treated with interferon (IFN)-β1b therapy for eight years and developed TMA. The patient presented with headache, thrombocytopenia, renal dysfunction, severe hypertension, posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome, and gastrointestinal involvement. After discontinuation of the medication and initiation of antihypertensive treatment, the patient rapidly improved. This is the first report of TMA with gastrointestinal involvement (intestinal TMA) induced by IFN-β. The new onset of hypertension or headache requires careful attention in cases of long-term administration of IFN-β1b.
Japanese people born before World War II learned Japanese kana (Japanese syllabograms) writing in a style that is not currently used. These individuals had to learn the current style of kana orthography after the war. An 85-year-old man was taken to our hospital by his family who were surprised by his diary. It was written with kanji (Japanese ideograms) and katakana using the prewar style. A neuropsychological examination revealed impaired recall of hiragana. Neuroimaging studies revealed atrophy of the left fronto-parietal lobe and hypoperfusion of the left frontal lobe. His allographic agraphia might have resulted from the disturbance of the current style of kana orthography.
The patient was a 38-year-old Japanese woman who had been diagnosed with hereditary angioedema type I at 7 years of age based on her family history. She had undergone four pregnancies. She gave birth to a healthy baby girl after her first pregnancy and had reported few episodes of angioedema. However, she subsequently required abortions due to frequent angioedema episodes that occurred during her three subsequent pregnancies. Thus, our patient showed two clinical pregnancy courses. After treating her with C1-inhibitor concentrate, her symptoms of angioedema disappeared. The preventive use of C1 inhibitor concentrates should be considered in hereditary angioedema (HAE) patients with frequent angioedema attacks during pregnancy.
A 70-year-old man with malignant lymphoma was subjected to a fourth course of chemotherapy using gemcitabine and cisplatin. During the intravenous infusion of anticancer agents, pain and redness was observed at the site of insertion. The patient was subsequently treated with the strongest topical steroids and topical cooling agents. However, 2 weeks later, the affected area turned yellow, and the histopathological findings revealed skin necrosis of the entire dermis layer. It took two and a half months to cure the lesion. Close attention should be paid to the development of skin necrosis even when irritant anticancer agents such as gemcitabine and cisplatin are administered.