Objective Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a highly prevalent disorder that negatively affects patients' quality of life and reduces their work productivity. The medical expenses associated with the treatment of GERD are the highest among all digestive diseases. Current guidelines recommend the administration of a standard dose of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) for eight weeks as an initial GERD treatment. However, there is growing concern regarding the safety of PPI treatment. Recently, a novel potassium-competitive acid blocker (P-CAB), vonoprazan (VPZ), was approved for the treatment of reflux esophagitis in Japan and may provide clinical benefits in GERD treatment. This study was conducted to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a P-CAB, VPZ vs. a PPI, lansoprazole (LPZ), for the acute medical treatment of reflux esophagitis.
Methods A clinical decision analysis was performed using a Markov chain approach to compare VPZ to LPZ in the acute treatment of reflux esophagitis in Japan.
Results The P-CAB strategy was superior to the PPI strategy in terms of cost-effectiveness (direct cost per patient to achieve clinical success) and the number of days for which medication was required. Sensitivity analyses revealed that this superiority was robust within the plausible range of probabilities. This remained true even when the healing rates in cases of mild esophagitis were applied.
Conclusion The P-CAB strategy was consistently superior to the conventional PPI strategy using the original LPZ in terms of cost-effectiveness and the number of days for which medication was required. Thus, VPZ appears to be the drug of choice for the acute medical treatment of reflux esophagitis.
Objective To assess the impact of the duration of diabetes mellitus (DM) on the outcomes of pancreatic cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Methods We reviewed the medical records of patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer who received gemcitabine monotherapy as the standard therapy before the introduction of combination regimens. The treatment outcomes of gemcitabine were compared among three groups classified according to the duration of DM: no DM, short DM (<4 years), and long DM (≥4 years).
Results Among 350 patients, 218, 87, and 45 patients were classified into the no DM, short DM, and long DM groups, respectively. In comparison to the no DM group, the univariate hazard ratios (HRs) for progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 1.44 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.02-2.02; p=0.027] and 1.33 (95% CI, 0.93-1.89; p=0.081), respectively, in the long DM group, and 1.12 (95% CI, 0.85-1.46; p=0.426) and 1.06 (95% CI, 0.81-1.40; p=0.678), respectively, in the short DM group; the multivariate-adjusted HRs were 1.33 (95% CI, 0.94-1.89; p=0.103) and 1.37 (95% CI, 0.95-1.98; p=0.095) in the long DM group and 1.12 (95% CI, 0.85-1.47; p=0.410) and 1.10 (95% CI, 0.82-1.46; p=0.533) in the short DM group. The survival outcomes of the long DM group tended to remain poorer in analyses using different cutoffs of DM duration as, well as in hospital-specific analyses.
Conclusion Long-standing DM may be associated with shorter PFS and OS in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer.
Objective Although rare, pulmonary tuberculosis occasionally develops in patients with interstitial pneumonia (IP). In this study, we aimed to evaluate the clinicoradiological features of pulmonary tuberculosis associated with IP.
Methods In this retrospective, observational, single-center study, the medical charts, high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) findings, and bacteriological test results of patients with IP who also tested positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis were reviewed.
Patients The study included 20 patients with IP out of 329 who tested positive for M. tuberculosis in sputum or bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cultures at Toranomon Hospital between January 2006 and December 2017.
Results The HRCT patterns were usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) in 11 patients and non-UIP in 9 patients. Consolidations (80%) were the most frequent HRCT findings, followed by cavities (60%) and nodules (45%), which are generally characteristic of pulmonary tuberculosis. Consolidations often developed in relation to fibrotic or emphysematous lesions. Tuberculosis lesions could not be identified in one patient. All patients were treated with anti-tuberculosis drugs according to WHO guidelines, and 13 patients achieved a WHO category of "Treatment success." No patient died of tuberculosis, and the median survival time for the 20 patients was 1,196 days.
Conclusion Although the HRCT findings for pulmonary tuberculosis associated with IP are atypical, appropriate tuberculosis treatments can lead to favorable outcomes.
Objectives To investigate the sensitivity and specificity of a temporal artery biopsy (TAB) in the diagnosis of giant cell arteritis (GCA) in a single-center retrospective cohort in Japan.
Methods A retrospective chart review was performed on consecutive patients who visited our hospital between April 2009 and October 2018 and underwent a TAB. The sensitivity and specificity were calculated for the three pathological standards for a TAB, predetermined according to the pathological criterion of the 1990 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria: A) vasculitis characterized by predominant mononuclear cell infiltration; B) vasculitis with granulomatous inflammation; and C) vasculitis with multinucleated giant cells. We also analyzed the clinical parameters predicting the diagnosis of GCA and the impact of a diagnostic delay of ≥3 months on cardiovascular complications of GCA.
Results Our study population was 16 cases in the GCA group and 13 in the non-GCA group. The sensitivity and specificity for Standard A of a TAB were 81% and 85%, respectively, while those for stricter Standards B or C were identical, at 75% and 100%, respectively. These pathological standards, but not any other parameters, significantly predicted the diagnosis. A diagnostic delay tended to cause cardiovascular complications (p=0.057).
Conclusion The sensitivity and specificity of the pathological standards of a TAB were favorable in our cohort and were the only predictors for the diagnosis of GCA. Considering the possible impact of a diagnostic delay on cardiovascular complications, the early recognition and prompt initiation of glucocorticoid therapy is needed, even in Japan, where GCA is uncommon.
Objective Kikyo-to (KKT) is a fixed combination of glycyrrhiza root and platycodon root extracts. It is an herbal medicine traditionally used in Japan for relieving sore throat associated with acute upper respiratory tract infection (URTI). No controlled studies have yet demonstrated its effect, however. We investigated the efficacy of KKT on sore throat associated with acute URTI.
Methods Patients with sore throat who were diagnosed with URTI at the General Medicine Department Office, Akashi Medical Center Hospital, between December 2017 and May 2018 were enrolled. Participants were randomly assigned to two groups at a 1:1 ratio, with stratification by age and sore throat score on a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), to receive 2.5 g of either KKT or a placebo. Participants and investigators were blinded to group allocation. The primary outcome was the change in sore throat score on VAS 10 minutes after KKT administration. Secondary outcomes were the impact of the sore throat on daily life (none, mild, moderate, and severe) at 10 minutes after administration.
Results Thirty-five participants were assigned to each group (n=70, total). The difference in the mean change of sore throat score according to VAS within 10 minutes between the two groups was not statistically significant (KKT 14.40 vs. placebo 17.00; p=0.39). The proportion of patients with a moderate or greater impact of their sore throat on their daily life was also not significantly different between the groups (KKT 22.9% vs. placebo 40.0%; p=0.20). Patients reported no side effects.
Conclusion KKT did not significantly relieve sore throat associated with acute URTI compared with placebo.
The present report describes an extremely rare case of Barrett's adenocarcinoma (BAC) with a squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) component. A 55-year-old man was diagnosed with esophageal adenocarcinoma on Barrett's esophagus. The patient underwent endoscopic submucosal dissection, but the pathology revealed deep submucosal invasive, moderately differentiated tubular adenocarcinoma and focal SCC with vascular invasion. In addition, morphological transition between adenocarcinoma and SCC components was confirmed. The patient underwent additional surgery, which revealed lymph node metastasis, and then received S-1 adjuvant chemotherapy. Based on the pathological findings, the transdifferentiation process may have a role in the histogenesis of this tumor.
An 87-year-old bedridden woman developed intestinal obstruction caused by an enterolith or bezoar. Since the patient refused surgery, we administered 1,000 mL/day of cola via an ileus tube to dissolve the stone. Occlusion of the small intestine disappeared on day 6. The excreted stones contained calcium phosphate, which is typical of enteroliths. We later confirmed that the retrieved stones could be dissolved in cola (Coca-Cola®, pH 1.9) as well as 0.10 and 0.010 mol/L hydrochloric acid (pH 1.0 and 2.0, respectively) and food-grade vinegar (pH 2.6). These findings suggest that the enteroliths were dissolved by an acid-base reaction.
Esophageal leiomyosarcomas are rare. We herein present the case of an 82-year-old patient who underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, which revealed a submucosal tumor of 30 mm in diameter that was in contact with the esophagus. Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration biopsy was performed and the histopathological findings indicated esophageal leiomyosarcoma. Surgical resection was performed. On histopathological examination, the tumor was found to consist of spindle cells with deep chromatin nuclei. The tumor was finally diagnosed as esophageal leiomyosarcoma. We were able to diagnose early-stage esophageal leiomyosarcoma using endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsy (EUS-FNA). EUS-FNA is mostly recommended as a diagnostic tool for esophageal submucosal tumors.
As a rarely recognized foreign body in the upper gastrointestinal tract, rice cake frequently requires endoscopic removal. We herein report six patients with characteristic sonography, computed tomography (CT), spectroscopy, endoscopy, and histological findings. A review of all published cases, including ours, revealed that retained rice cake in the stomach typically shows the following: abdominal pain (93.3%), mucosal injury (93.3%) with bleeding (42.9%); high-density (120-206 Hounsfield units) CT findings; and indication for endoscopy (80%). In the esophagus, hot, toasted rice cake causes thermal injury. Primary physicians should be aware of this popular-food-induced, but rare, disorder.
Schistosomiasis infection is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in endemic areas. Developed countries have declared that schistosomiasis has been eradicated; however, residents of these countries may travel and stay in endemic areas and the number of foreign travelers is increasing in the recent years. Thus, schistosomiasis is regarded as an imported infection. Ultrasonography and serum antibody titer tests are well established as diagnostic methods for schistosomiasis. However, a definitive diagnosis cannot be obtained using these tests in some cases. We herein report a case in which schistosomiasis was confirmed based on laparoscopic liver biopsy without a definitive diagnosis by blood test, fecal examination, or imaging.
We herein report the first case of immune-mediated drug-induced liver injury that may have been caused by laninamivir. A 15-year-old girl was diagnosed with influenza and prescribed 40 mg laninamivir. Six weeks later, she was admitted to our hospital because of jaundice and fatigue. Laboratory examinations revealed elevated levels of hepatobiliary enzymes, and acute liver injury was suspected. Laboratory examinations and histological findings were characteristic of autoimmune hepatitis. Steroid treatment was ineffective, and azathioprine was added to the treatment. Twenty-two months after the onset, a second biopsy revealed the absence of inflammatory infiltrations, and the drugs were withdrawn. Liver function tests remained normal nine months after withdrawal.
We report 2 cases of endogenous endophthalmitis associated with pyogenic liver abscess caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae. Case 1 involved a 70-year-old woman and case 2 involved a 50-year-old man who were admitted to our hospital with diagnoses of liver abscess and endogenous endophthalmitis, respectively. The liver abscess resolved with antibiotics and percutaneous transhepatic drainage in case 1 and with antibiotics alone in case 2. Even though both cases underwent ophthalmic surgery, they were discharged from our hospital without the recovery of their eyesight. An earlier diagnosis and treatment are needed to improve the prognosis of endophthalmitis.
We herein report a 49-year-old woman with a perivascular epithelial cell tumor (PEComa) of the pancreas. Imaging studies demonstrated a relatively well-demarcated mass, measuring approximately 40 mm in diameter, located in the pancreatic tail. It was heterogeneously enhanced almost to the same degree as the surrounding pancreatic tissue in both the arterial and portal venous phases. We performed endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) using the Acquire® 22-gauge needle and preoperatively obtained a definitive diagnosis with a sufficient sample. Clinicians should consider pancreatic PEComa in their differential diagnosis of patients with a pancreatic mass.
The characteristic finding of sausage-shaped pancreas or capsule-like rim facilitates the diagnosis of autoimmune pancreatitis. We herein report a case of a 67-year-old man showing a sausage-shaped, enlarged pancreas with a capsule-like rim on computed tomography. Furthermore, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography demonstrated diffuse narrowing of the main pancreatic duct, in addition to stenosis of the lower bile duct. Finally, we were able to diagnose pancreatic cancer in this patient by an endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsy following peroral cholangioscopy and bile cytology. This report emphasizes the significance of pathological confirmation before starting treatment, even in cases with diffuse pancreatic enlargement.
Severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) is a risk factor for candidemia. We report a case of candida endophthalmitis in a 67-year-old man who was admitted to a hospital due to SAP with poorly controlled diabetes. After treatment for SAP, he was diagnosed with candidemia and candida endophthalmitis. We chose appropriate antifungal agents based on the results of a bacterial culture test. After treatment, the disappearance of Candida albicans (C. albicans) from the blood stream was confirmed in blood cultures. In addition, exudative plaques consistent with a fungal infection disappeared. After a diagnosis of candidemia is made, it is important to administer appropriate antifungal therapy and perform frequent ophthalmologic examinations.
A 79-year-old man with dilated cardiomyopathy and severe functional mitral regurgitation presented with general fatigue and dyspnea. Auscultation revealed a systolic regurgitant murmur with a minimized second heart sound due to a low output. On the other hand, the third heart sound was ultimately enhanced, being visible and palpable as a pulsatile knock of the precordium. Phonocardiography and echocardiography successfully confirmed early-diastolic rapid distension of the left ventricle along with rapid ventricular filling and abrupt deceleration of the atrioventricular blood flow to be the precise etiology of the ultimate third heart sound, indicating critically deteriorated hemodynamics due to massive mitral regurgitation combined with a low output.
Although cardiac involvement is rare in polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, M protein, and skin changes (POEMS) syndrome, the clinical course becomes considerably worse on complication with cardiac lesions. The increased release of various cytokines has been observed in the pathogenesis of POEMS syndrome, and serum vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels are known to be associated with the disease activity. We herein report a patient with POEMS syndrome who showed left ventricular systolic dysfunction and was treated with lenalidmide therapy. Of note, the reduction in extracellular edema in the left ventricular wall was clearly visualized by changes in the native T1 values and extracellular volumes on cardiac magnetic resonance imaging.
Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) carriers are at risk to developing cardiac dysfunction. The prevalence of female BMD carriers remains underestimated, and the disease progression varies. We herein report the case of a young female BMD carrier who developed dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and heart failure without any skeletal muscle signs. Her cardiac dysfunction progressed over a mere two months, resulting in the need for left ventricular assist device implantation. Her case demonstrates that progressive cardiomyopathy can be the only clinical manifestation in some BMD carriers, suggesting the need for a more aggressive implementation of genetic testing in female DCM patients.
Renal disease is a common complication of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and can occur secondary to RA or be induced by therapeutic agents. Recently, glomerular deposition of galactose-deficient IgA1 (Gd-IgA1) was identified as a feature of primary IgA vasculitis with nephritis (IgA-VN). We herein report a case of IgA-VN in an RA patient whose disease activity was controlled by treatment with etanercept. To distinguish between primary IgA-VN and secondary IgA-VN caused by RA or etanercept, we performed immunostaining of renal biopsy sections with the Gd-IgA1-specific antibody KM55. Positive KM55 staining confirmed the diagnosis of primary IgA-VN in a patient with RA.
A 73-year-old man was referred to our hospital with a persistent fever, anemia, and a mass in the left pubic region. The findings of biopsy evaluations of the mass and a left inguinal lymph node were consistent with Castleman disease (CD) of plasma cell type. His serum interleukin 6 (IL-6) level was remarkably elevated, supporting the diagnosis of CD. However, imaging analyses revealed destruction of the pubic bone by the mass, which was atypical for CD. Therefore, another deeper biopsy was performed, which finally led to the diagnosis of IL-6-producing osteosarcoma. We conclude that clinicians should carefully exclude malignancies prior to making a CD diagnosis.
Metastasis of cancer cells to the bone marrow is relatively rare, despite being one of the most important causes of myelosuppression in patients with solid tumours. A bone marrow examination via a biopsy is the standard method of diagnosing cancer cell invasion into the bone marrow. However, it is sometimes challenging to distinguish neuroendocrine carcinoma cells from haematopoietic cells due to their small, round shape and chromosomal abnormalities resembling haematological malignancies. We herein report a case of bone marrow invasion of small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma of the endometrium mimicking therapy-related myeloid malignancy.
Postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS) can cause orthostatic headache. However, it is difficult to differentiate POTS from spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) caused by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks. We herein report a 53-year-old woman who presented with SIH associated with POTS. A cervicothoracic and lumbar epidural blood patch rapidly improved not only the headache but also the orthostatic tachycardia, suggesting POTS secondary to SIH. This case suggests that a CSF leak can cause secondary POTS. Therefore, POTS should be considered in patients with orthostatic headaches, even in the presence of a CSF leak.
Sphingobacterium species rarely cause human infection. We herein report two cases of cellulitis complicated with bacteremia due to this genus. The patients, both in their 70s and receiving corticosteroid therapy for their underlying diseases, had antecedent skin injuries in their affected limbs. The patients' symptoms improved promptly and completely with the administration of cefazolin, which did not inhibit the growth of isolated organisms at a concentration of 4 μg/mL.
Pleuritis caused by nontuberculous mycobacteria is uncommon and difficult to diagnose. We herein report a case of Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) pleuritis with elevated anti-glycopeptidolipid (GPL)-core IgA antibody levels in the pleural effusion. A 73-year-old woman with MAC pulmonary disease presented with massive left pleural effusion. A pleural biopsy by video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery was performed, revealing many noncaseating epithelioid cell granulomas. MAC was not identified by culture of the pleural effusion or specimens, but the anti-GPL-core IgA antibody level was markedly elevated in the pleural effusion. Measurement of anti-GPL-core IgA levels in the pleural fluid may be useful for diagnosing MAC pleuritis.
A 74-year-old Japanese man who was taking antacids presented with profuse diarrhea. Stool culture revealed Vibrio cholerae O1 strain, serogroup Ogawa, biotype El tor. He recalled he had consumed some sashimi but denied any history of travelling abroad, and another cholera case with almost the same strain was reported at the same time in a remote prefecture in the Kanto area. This is a rare case of travel-unrelated cholera in Japan, and it illustrates the importance of suspecting cholera in all patients presenting with large volumes of watery diarrhea in Japan, especially in those who are taking antacids, regardless of their international travel history.