Objective The relationship between gut microbiota and portal hypertension remains unclear. We investigated the characteristics of the gut microbiota in portal hypertension patients with esophago-gastric varices and liver cirrhosis.
Methods Thirty-six patients (12 patients with portal hypertension, 12 healthy controls, and 12 non-cirrhosis patients) were enrolled in this university hospital study. Intestinal bacteria and statistical analyses were performed up to the genus level using the terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism method targeting 16S ribosomal RNA genes, with diversified regions characterizing each bacterium.
Results Levels of Lactobacillales were significantly higher (p=0.045) and those of Clostridium cluster IV significantly lower (p=0.014) in patients with portal hypertension than in other patients. This Clostridium cluster contains many butanoic acid-producing strains, including Ruminococcace and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii. Clostridium cluster IX levels were also significantly lower (p=0.045) in portal hypertension patients than in other patients. There are many strains of Clostridium that produce propionic acid, and the effects on the host and the function of these bacterial species in the human intestine remain unknown. Regarding the Bifidobacterium genus, which is supposed to decrease as a result of cirrhosis, no significant decrease was observed in this study.
Conclusion In the present study, we provided information on the characteristics of the gut microbiota of portal hypertension patients with esophago-gastric varices due to liver cirrhosis. In the future, we aim to develop probiotic treatments following further analyses that include the species level, such as the intestinal flora analysis method and next-generation sequencers.
Objective Forward-projected Model-based Iterative Reconstruction SoluTion (FIRST) is a novel reconstruction method. We investigated the improvement in the diagnostic performance for the detection of abnormal late enhancement (LE) in left ventricular myocardium (LVM) using a new-generation 320-slice computed tomography (CT) device with FIRST.
Methods This is a retrospective study that included 100 adult patients who underwent cardiac CT including a late phase scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) within 3 months. The first 50 consecutive patients (first-generation group) underwent first-generation 320-slice CT without FIRST, and the next 50 consecutive patients (second-generation group) underwent second-generation 320-slice CT with FIRST. We compared the diagnostic performance of the first- and second-generation 320-slice CT with FIRST with MRI as a reference standard to detect LE in LVM.
Results In the patient-based analysis, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and overall accuracy of detection of LE on CT were 79%, 90%, 92%, 76%, and 84%, respectively, in the first-generation group and 97%, 84%, 91%, 94%, and 92%, respectively, in the second-generation group. The sensitivity was significantly higher in the second-generation group than in the first-generation group (p=0.049). In the segment-based analysis, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and overall accuracy of detection of LE on CT were 69%, 96%, 83%, 92%, and 90%, respectively, in the first-generation group and 87%, 94%, 84%, 95%, and 92%, respectively, in the second-generation group. The sensitivity and negative predictive value were significantly higher in the second-generation group than in the first-generation group (p<0.001 and p=0.016). The contrast-noise ratio was significantly higher in the second-generation group than in the first-generation group (5.6±1.7 vs. 2.8±1.1, p<0.001), and the radiation dose for the assessment of LE on CT was significantly higher in the first-generation group than in the second-generation group (4.7±2.7 mSv vs. 2.3±0.1 mSv, p<0.001).
Conclusion The diagnostic performance for the detection of LE in LVM significantly improved with the use of second-generation 320-slice CT and FIRST.
Objective Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) has been prescribed in Japan only relatively recently and is recommended for the treatment of skin lesions, arthritis and renal lesions according to the Japanese Guideline for the Management of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (2019). However, the associations between the efficacy and safety and the HCQ dose in Japanese SLE patients remain unclear. We investigated the efficacy and safety of different HCQ doses in Japanese SLE patients with a low disease activity who were not receiving immunosuppressants.
Methods The disease activity was evaluated using the SELENA-SLEDAI 2011 criteria, the Cutaneous Lupus Erythematous Disease Area and Severity Index (CLASI) and serum biomarkers. Safety was evaluated via the frequency of adverse events over a period of three months.
Results We enrolled 61 SLE patients treated with HCQ and no additional immunosuppressive therapy for more than 3 months. HCQ was administered to 46 patients at the usual dose and to 15 cases at a lower than usual dose. Although the CLASI activity scores decreased significantly in both groups, the magnitude of this decrease was larger in the usual-dose HCQ group than in the low-dose HCQ group. SLEDAI scores and immunological activity were significantly improved only in the usual-dose HCQ group. In addition, changes in the serum complement levels in the usual-dose HCQ group were more dramatic than in the low-dose HCQ group six months after the initiation of HCQ administration. Adverse events were more frequent in the usual-dose HCQ group than in the low-dose HCQ group (30.4% and 13.3%, respectively).
Conclusion HCQ therapy is effective for maintenance therapy of SLE patients. The usual dose of HCQ may have some advantage in ameliorating low complement levels.
A 68-year-old woman presented with a 2-year history of worsening unsteady gait. Her neurological examination revealed peripheral neuropathy with lower limb sensory dominance. T2-weighted imaging revealed a disorder of the posterior cervical cord. Blood test findings revealed vitamin B12 deficiency, and gastroscopy revealed typical findings of autoimmune gastritis. She received vitamin B12 supplementation, but some peripheral neuropathy symptoms persisted due to longstanding vitamin B12 deficiency. Asymptomatic patients should undergo gastroscopy to detect autoimmune gastritis, as chronic vitamin B12 deficiency causes irreversible peripheral neuropathy.
A 44-year-old woman presented to our hospital with abdominal pain. Abdominal ultrasonography and computed tomography showed a mass-like change in the lesser omentum between the liver and stomach. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy revealed a submucosal tumor-like change, and endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) revealed that the mass was located outside of the stomach wall. We performed EUS fine-needle aspiration and diagnosed panniculitis of the lesser omentum. Based on these findings, we suggest that mass-like lesions in the lesser omentum and submucosal tumor-like changes in the anterior wall on the lesser curvature side of the stomach be evaluated for the possibility of panniculitis of the lesser omentum.
We experienced a case of follicular cholangitis that was positive on fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (18F-FDG-PET). A 70-year-old man was admitted for jaundice. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiography showed stenosis of the middle to upper choledocus. 18F-FDG-PET depicted a localized hot spot at the stenotic lesion (maximum standardized uptake value = 8.2). Although no malignant findings were found in the cytology or on a bile duct biopsy, malignancy could not be excluded, so surgical treatment was performed. Follicular cholangitis is a new, rare disease that causes severe biliary stricture. Only 11 cases of follicular cholangitis have been reported, including the present case.
A 69-year-old man was referred to our hospital because of appetite loss. Imaging showed a nodular tumor in the perihilar bile duct and a second flat lesion in the distal bile duct. Right hepatopancreaticoduodenectomy was performed, and the histopathological findings demonstrated that the perihilar and distal lesions were moderately and poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma, respectively, and anatomically separated. Furthermore, the resected specimens showed no pancreaticobiliary maljunction. Histological and TP53 gene analyses in a rare case of synchronous double bile duct cancers suggest that there are various genetic pathways through which bile duct cancer develops, highlighting the complexity of its pathogenesis.
Management of hemosuccus pancreaticus (HP) due to pancreatic adenocarcinoma is problematic. This is the first report of the successful management of HP caused by pancreatic adenocarcinoma by chemoradiotherapy, which is a treatment option for cases with a high surgical risk that are not suitable for interventional radiology. In the present case, bloody pancreatic juice was detected in the main pancreatic duct, and anemia worsened without repeated blood transfusions. The patient ultimately underwent chemoradiotherapy comprising radiation of 3 Gy in 15 fractions concomitant with systemic chemotherapy of S-1. After the treatments, the anemia improved, and the patient was discharged on day 45.
Superior mesenteric venous thrombosis (SMVT), which results from various etiologies, including coagulation disorders, can be diagnosed early using advanced imaging technology. However, few reports have described the nonsurgical treatment of acute peritonitis caused by SMVT. We encountered a young woman whose history included abdominal pain and daily oral contraceptives and who presented with acute peritonitis caused by SMVT. We administered nonsurgical treatment that included thrombolysis and anticoagulation for the peritonitis (without mesenteric ischemia as confirmed by contrast-enhanced computed tomography). In addition, we showed the importance of investigating persistent risk factors for thromboembolism in young patients to determine the duration of anticoagulation.
We herein report a case of pulmonary artery sarcoma (PAS) in a 64-year-old woman. She was admitted to our hospital because of massive genital bleeding from endometrial cancer. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) revealed a left pulmonary artery mass and deep vein thrombosis. She underwent anticoagulant therapy for one year. However, the mass lesion gradually expanded. 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET)/CT showed a positive uptake of FDG by the mass. An endovascular catheter biopsy was performed for the differentiation of endometrial cancer metastasis or primary sarcoma. The biopsy specimen tissue comprised spindle-shaped cells. Thus, the patient was diagnosed with PAS.
Epirubicin-based chemotherapy carries a risk of inducing heart failure, although the frequency is rare. Bevacizumab, an anti-vascular endothelial growth factor monoclonal antibody, has recently been widely used in patients with recurrent breast cancer as a first-line chemotherapeutic agent. Heart failure or arterial thromboembolism has been reported as a rare cardiovascular complication of bevacizumab. We herein report a breast cancer patient with reversible cancer therapeutics-related cardiac dysfunction associated with bevacizumab and epirubicin complicating intracardiac thrombi in the left atrium and left ventricle. This case underscores the importance of tailored medical planning according to the individual status in patients receiving anti-cancer therapies.
Some patients discontinue receiving osimertinib for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) Thr790Met (T790M) mutation due to adverse its effects. We report a case of successful desensitization therapy after osimertinib-induced urticaria. An 85-year-old Japanese woman received osimertinib as third-line therapy for NSCLC with the EGFR T790M mutation. After two days, she developed urticaria of the lower extremities. We started osimertinib desensitization therapy at 0.1 mg/day, which was gradually increased to 40 mg/day. She continued osimertinib for >12 months without adverse effects. Desensitization therapy with osimertinib could be useful for patients experiencing osimertinib-induced urticaria.
A 53-year-old woman had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in X-6. She was started on methotrexate (MTX) in X-1. She developed a cough, and chest computed tomography showed abnormalities. In X, MTX was discontinued, but the cough persisted. A lung biopsy revealed a diagnosis of nodular sclerosis classic Hodgkin lymphoma (CHL-NS). She was considered to have "other iatrogenic immunodeficiency-associated lymphoproliferative disorders" (OIIA-LPD), MTX-associated Hodgkin lymphoma (MTX-HL). She received six courses of brentuximab vedotin (BV) in addition to AVD (BV+AVD). A complete metabolic response was obtained, and the RA went into remission. This is the fourth reported case of BV+AVD for MTX-HL.
We herein report a 56-year-old Japanese woman who had been diagnosed with hereditary angioedema. She experienced progressing muscle weakness and pain in the upper and lower extremities. Blood tests revealed a marked increase in creatine kinase levels; however, myositis-specific autoantibodies were not detected. Serum C1-inhibitor activity and C4 levels were low. A muscle biopsy showed mild muscle fiber necrosis and C5b-9 deposition in the endomysial capillary vessel walls and sarcolemma, mimicking necrotizing myopathy. These results suggest that C1-inhibitor deficiency induces myositis-like symptoms through the activation of the complement pathway and deposition of the membrane attack complex in the muscles.
This article describes the first reported case of myasthenia gravis (MG) seropositive for both acetylcholine receptor antibody and low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 antibody, complicated by autoimmune polyglandular syndrome (APS) type 3. The patient exhibited myasthenic weakness restricted to the ocular muscles and ptosis. Severe clinical deterioration ensued with predominant bulbar symptoms. MG rapidly worsened, the patient was intubated, and agranulocytosis due to thiamazole was also present, so it was necessary to perform thyroidectomy with tracheostomy and thymectomy in two phases. Both the double-seropositive MG and the APS were involved in the patient's rapid deterioration.
An 86-year-old man, who had undergone a lumboperitoneal shunt for idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) implanted 4 years earlier showed progressive parkinsonism for the past year. His clinical symptoms, including resting tremor and rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, responsiveness to levodopa, and abnormal findings on 123I-meta-iodobenzylguanidine myocardial scintigraphy and dopamine transporter imaging, indicated that his pathological background of parkinsonism included concomitant synucleinopathy, such as Parkinson's disease or dementia with Lewy bodies, in addition to iNPH. Clinicians should consider the possibility of concomitant proteinopathies and their treatments when clinical symptoms become evident after shunt operations in patients with iNPH.
A 69-year-old man was admitted to our hospital under diagnosis of pneumonia due to severe acute respiratory syndrome-corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Day 0). He underwent endotracheal intubation from Day 3. Although his respiratory condition improved and anesthetic drugs were discontinued, no cough reflex was observed despite intubation having been performed until Day 17. His tendon reflexes were also diminished. We suspected that he had developed Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), and administered intravenous immunoglobulin from Day 18. The absence of cough reflex improved and extubation was successfully performed on Day 23. Neurological disorders including GBS should be considered when intubated SARS-CoV-2 patients present with a loss of cough reflex during the treatment period.
A 72-year-old lady with atrial fibrillation and chronic renal failure was hospitalized due to bradycardic shock with electrocardiographic QRS prolongation. She had experienced limb shaking two days before hospitalization, and additionally developed hallucinations one day before admission. Pilsicainide intoxication was diagnosed from a review of her medications and electrocardiographic findings. Consequently, continuous hemodiafiltration was performed resulting in a resolution of the hallucinations and the QRS prolongation.
This is a rare case of psychiatric symptoms caused by pilsicainide intoxication. It is important to know the mode of excretion of a drug and to adjust its dose, so that such drug-related incidents can be avoided.