Although a domestic trial in Japan revealed that Absorb bioresorbable vascular scaffold (BVS) has no inferiority to everolimus-eluting stent (EES) cohort in the primary endpoint of the target lesion failure at 12 months, the scaffold/stent thrombosis (ST) rates with the BVS at 24 months were higher than those with the EES (Absorb BVS 3.1% vs. EES 1.5%), the ST rate of 3.1% with Absorb BVS is not an acceptable level in Japan. A cause-of-ST analysis revealed that cases in which diagnostic imaging and ensuing post-dilatation had been performed appropriately had lower ST rates than those without such management (within 1 year: 1.37% vs. 7.69%, from 1 to 2 years: 0.00% vs. 8.33%). Therefore, a further evaluation was needed to confirm that the ST rate with the Absorb BVS would be reduced by a proper implementation procedure. Regulatory approval was given conditionally to initiate rigorous post-marketing data collection in order to ensure the proper use of this device in limited facilities. The One-year Use-Result Survey in Japan for the Absorb BVS revealed no instances of ST. This approach to reducing the premarket regulatory burden of clinical trials and enhancing the post-marketing commitments of medical device regulation is useful for expediting patient access to innovative medical devices.
Abnormal hemodynamics are associated with poor clinical outcomes in patients with heart failure. Given the invasiveness and unfeasibility of routine right heart catheterization, non-invasive methodologies to monitor hemodynamics are needed. The CardioMEMS™ device is a recently developed technology that enables remote monitoring of pulmonary artery pressures via an implanted sensor located in the distal left pulmonary artery. Along with the CardioMEMS™, a remote dielectric system might be another promising device that reports indirect intra-thoracic filling pressures associated with pulmonary congestion. In patients with advanced heart failure who require left ventricular assist devices, non-invasive hemodynamic monitoring is particularly necessary, given the increased procedural risks of invasive assessments. The HeartWare ventricular assist device flow waveform is a variable under active investigation that might also provide an estimation of filling pressures. This methodology is expected to lead to the development of a smart pump that can adjust its own settings, including the pump speed, automatically by monitoring the hemodynamics.
Legionellosis is a serious bacterial infection characterized by atypical pneumonia primarily due to infection with Legionella pneumophila, and bathing can be a potential cause of this infection. Legionellosis was first identified in 1977, and it is caused by Gram-negative bacteria belonging to the genus Legionella. Legionellosis remains an important public health threat, particularly in Japan, where the population is rapidly aging, thereby becoming more at risk of developing severe disease and accompanying life-threatening pneumonia. The bacteria are most commonly transmitted via the inhalation of contaminated aerosols produced and broadcast via water sprays, jets or mists. Infection can also occur via the aspiration of contaminated water or ice, or through inhalation of contaminated dust. Because the signs and symptoms of Legionnaires' disease (LD), as well as radiographic imaging are similar to pneumonia caused by other pathogens, a specific diagnostic test is required, such as a urine antigen detection test. Six clinical and laboratory parameters, a high body temperature, a non-productive cough, low serum sodium and platelet counts, and high lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and c-reactive protein concentrations can be used to reliably predict the likelihood of LD. The first choices for chemotherapy are fluoroquinolone and macrolide antibiotic drugs. The main goals of LD prevention measures are 1) the prevention of microbial growth and biofilm formation, 2) the removal of all biofilm formed on equipment and in facilities, 3) minimizing aerosol splash and spread, and 4) minimizing bacterial contamination from external sources. It is apparent that, in Japan, where hot spring (onsen) bathing is common among aged people, strict regulations need to be in place - and enforced - to ensure that all Japanese onsens and spas provide a safe environment and undertake regular, effective infection control practices.
The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has published the Manual of Antimicrobial Stewardship (1st edition) in June 2017 to improve the prescribing practice of antimicrobials for immunocompetent adult and pediatric (both school-aged and older children) patients. Due to the increasing demand for further promoting outpatient antimicrobial stewardship, we conducted a literature and national guideline review to identify the area of need. The results of our review revealed a high antimicrobial prescription rate in the Japanese pediatric population. Furthermore, although the Japanese clinical guidelines/guidance covered the fields of almost all infectious diseases, no system exists to estimate the incidence and treatment patterns of important infectious diseases such as asymptomatic bacteriuria, skin and soft tissue infections, and dental practices in Japan. Therefore, addressing the issues of both establishing surveillance systems and the implementation of guidelines/guidance can be the next step to promote further outpatient antimicrobial stewardship.
Objective The low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) level is known to increase following the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection using direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs). This study aimed to investigate the changes in the lipid profiles, including small-dense LDL cholesterol (sdLDL), in HCV patients treated with DAAs.
Patients We retrospectively assessed 67 HCV patients who achieved sustained virological response with DAA administration and were observed for more than 2 years, of whom 32 were on daclatasvir/asunaprevir, 14 were on sofosbuvir/ledipasvir, and 21 were on sofosbuvir/ribavirin.
Methods We evaluated the lipid profiles, including sdLDL, every 6 months until 2 years after the start of treatment and analyzed the factors related to changes in the sdLDL level.
Results The median sdLDL value at baseline was 12.8 mg/dL, which increased to 19.5 mg/dL at 6 months (p<0.001) and remained elevated at 25.4 mg/dL at 2 years later (p<0.001). The Kaplan-Meier curve indicated that patients with high values of LDL, albumin, muscle attenuation and visceral to subcutaneous adipose tissue area ratio were at increased risk for elevation of sdLDL over 35 mg/dL (log-rank test: p<0.001; p=0.008, p=0.002 and p=0.042, respectively). A multivariate analysis performed on the factors contributing to elevation of sdLDL 2 years after DAA treatment (≥35.0 mg/dL) revealed pretreatment LDL (≥91.0 mg/dL) and muscle attenuation (≥33.7 HU) as significant factors (p=0.007 and p=0.032, respectively).
Conclusion SdLDL increased continuously after DAA treatment, and high LDL levels and low intramuscular fat deposition before treatment contributed to elevated sdLDL levels after treatment.
Objective It has been reported that anti-mitochondrial antibodies (AMAs) recognize mitochondrial antigens and are associated with some diseases involving multiple organs, such as primary biliary cholangitis, Sjögren syndrome, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, systemic sclerosis, interstitial pneumoniae, dilated cardiomyopathy, and tubulointerstitial nephritis. In the current study, we examined the prevalence of AMAs in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and their clinical characteristics.
Methods We enrolled 270 patients with DCM. We measured serum AMAs and analyzed the associated factors. Out of the 270 patients, positive AMAs were detected in 3 patients (1.1%; mean age, 68 years old; 2 men). These three patients had a significantly higher prevalence of primary biliary cholangitis and myopathy and levels of alanine alkaline phosphatase than those who were negative for said antibodies. There were no significant differences in the levels of B-type natriuretic peptide, aspartate transaminase, and left ventricular ejection fraction between these groups of patients. During the follow-up period, two of the three patients died due to respiratory failure. The other patient survived but experienced type II respiratory failure.
Conclusion The prevalence of AMAs in 270 DCM patients was only 1.1%, and these patients suffered from respiratory failure.
Objective Recent studies suggest a significant association between sarcoidosis and malignancy, although the results have remained controversial. The aim of this study is to evaluate the clinical features of patients with sarcoidosis associated with malignant diseases in Japan.
Patients We conducted a medical record review of all sarcoidosis patients in Tohoku University Hospital between January 1, 1981, and May 31, 2017.
Methods The clinical records and pathology reports for each patient were screened, and the clinical characteristics of malignancies as well as sarcoidosis were reviewed.
Results A total of 52 (18.8%) patients with malignancy were identified among 277 patients with sarcoidosis. Among those 52 patients, we identified 62 with malignant diseases. These patients were older and more likely to be women than the remaining 225 (81.2%) sarcoidosis patients without malignancy. The most prevalent malignant disease was breast cancer (14 cases, 22.6%), followed by stomach cancer (8 cases, 12.9%) and lung cancer (7 cases, 11.3%). Among the 14 patients with both sarcoidosis and breast cancer, 8 (57.1%) were diagnosed with breast cancer before sarcoidosis. All of these eight cases had undergone surgical resection of the cancer.
Conclusion This study showed a higher incidence of patients with both sarcoidosis and malignancy in Japan than in some western countries. Breast cancer is the most prevalent malignant disease. The high frequency of sarcoidosis after surgical resection of breast cancer may suggest a causative association between malignancy and the development of sarcoidosis.
At 37 years old, a patient developed chronic watery diarrhea, generalized pain, severe hypokalemia and elevated creatine kinase levels. She was thought to have rhabdomyolysis due to hypokalemia from chronic diarrhea. No organic cause was found. Her symptoms subsided with potassium correction, but hypokalemia persisted; she visited our hospital at 44 years old. Endoscopy detected prominent atrophy of the intestinal villi. Histology indicated Marsh-Oberhuber type-3b disease. Anti-gliadin and anti-tissue transglutaminase IgA antibody tests were positive. She was diagnosed with celiac disease and started on a gluten-free diet, which improved her symptoms. This report is only the tenth of its kind worldwide.
A 65-year-old man diagnosed with locally advanced pancreatic cancer underwent distal pancreatectomy and combined portal vein resection. One month after surgery, contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging revealed multiple liver metastases. We administered two courses of gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel combination therapy followed by 17 modified FOLFIRINOX courses. However, the response was insufficient, and the patient thereafter developed grade 3 neutropenia, which made it difficult to continue the treatment regimen. As a result, we administered hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy comprising gemcitabine plus 5-fluorouracil because the residual tumor was limited to liver metastases. The progression-free survival period was 7 months, and no drug-related adverse effects were noted during the treatment.
Cancer patients are regarded as highly vulnerable to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-2. However, little is known regarding how cancer treatments should be restarted for cancer patients after coronavirus disease (COVID)-19. We herein report a pancreatic cancer case in which chemotherapy was able to be reinstituted after COVID-19. The patient was a 67-year-old man diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. On day 7 after first chemotherapy, he was infected with COVID-19. A SARS-CoV-2 test was negative after one month of treatment, and we reinstituted chemotherapy. The patient has received three cycles of chemotherapy without recurrence of COVID-19. It may be feasible to reinstitute chemotherapy for cancer patients after a negative SARS-CoV-2 test.
A 45-year-old woman with abdominal pain after minor trauma was referred to our hospital. Computed tomography (CT) showed a hypovascular tumor in the left liver lobe. A tumor biopsy revealed granuloma, although no findings indicated malignancy or infection. A follow-up imaging study showed spread of the hepatic tumor. Her abdominal pain worsened after a second minor trauma. CT revealed an intratumor abscess, and pus overflowed from the patient's umbilicus. The abscess was improved by antibiotics and drainage therapy. In this case, unusual imaging findings and an atypical disease course of a hepatic inflammatory pseudotumor were observed.
A 72-year-old man with intractable left shoulder pain due to bone metastasis from cholangiocellular carcinoma was admitted to our hospital. Computed tomography showed an osteoblastic metastatic lesion of the left scapula. Since the pain persisted even after the administration of opioids and external irradiation, microspheres were injected through a catheter; the catheter tip was placed at the arteries feeding the metastatic lesion. After the intervention, the shoulder pain was alleviated without any procedure-related complications, leading to a reduction in the opioid dose. This case suggests the efficacy of transcatheter arterial embolization using microspheres for palliating pain from bone metastasis.
We herein report a case of recurrence of epithelial ovarian carcinoma 41 years after the primary surgery that was diagnosed by an endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle biopsy (EUS-FNB). The differential diagnosis based on the imaging findings was difficult. We performed an EUS-FNB and compared the EUS-FNB specimen to the surgical specimen that had been resected in the primary surgery for ovarian carcinoma 41 years earlier, including immunohistochemical staining. Finally, we made a definitive diagnosis of extremely late recurrence of ovarian carcinoma of the retroperitoneum. An EUS-FNB enables an accurate histological diagnosis by obtaining a sample that is large enough to perform immunohistochemical staining.
We herein describe an 82-year-old patient who presented with proteinuria and systemic edema. He was diagnosed with minimal change disease (MCD) and was found to have stage III pancreatic cancer. He could not undergo surgical resection due to invasion to the celiac artery and he was thus treated with chemotherapy. After a month of chemotherapy, his proteinuria improved to a normal level. After two months of chemotherapy, computed tomography indicated a partial response to the therapy. MCD can occur as paraneoplastic syndrome in patients with malignant disease, and chemotherapy can be effective for MCD associated with paraneoplastic syndrome.
We report an unusual case of acute myocardial infarction in a high school girl. The patient was 17 years of age and had multiple coronary risk factors, including marked obesity with a body mass index (BMI) of 42.7 kg/m2, dyslipidemia and glucose intolerance. She had been an on and off smoker since she was 13 years of age. Due to the recent Westernization of the lifestyle, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in the young generation has been increasing in Japan. Cardiovascular disease based on lifestyle-related diseases may become more common in young people.
A 53-year-old woman was admitted to another hospital because of a 2-month history of repeated chest pain and breathlessness. Laboratory examinations demonstrated the presence of hypereosinophilia (absolute count of 6,500/μL). An endomyocardial biopsy confirmed eosinophilic infiltration with myocardial destruction. On cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, late gadolinium enhancement was clearly observed along the visceral pericardium as well as on the endocardial layer. Based on the multimodal imaging and histopathological findings, the final diagnosis of "Löffler pancarditis" was made. After the introduction of steroid therapy, the left ventricular contractile function significantly recovered. Furthermore, the late gadolinium enhancement of the visceral pericardium had attenuated.
We herein report a unique case of aortic rupture due to co-localization of aortic intimal myofibroblastic sarcoma (IMFS) and urothelial carcinoma (UC). A 76-year-old man who was being followed up after surgery for UC 5 years earlier developed aortic rupture and underwent emergency surgery. Intraoperatively, a tumorous mass on the luminal side of the aortic arch was found near the rupture. A histopathological analysis of the mass revealed aortic IMFS. Furthermore, co-localization of IMFS and UC cells was found near the rupture. The fragility of the aortic wall due to co-localization of IMFS and UC was believed to contribute to the aortic rupture.
A 55-year-old man treated with polycythemia vera visited our hospital, complaining of left abdominal pain and dyspnea. He had received minocycline infusions three weeks earlier for mycoplasma pneumonia. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography revealed pulmonary embolism and splenic infarction. Ultrasonography of the vein in the forearm revealed a thrombus filling the distal brachial veins to the radial veins on both sides. His condition improved after anticoagulant therapy, and right and left shunts were detected on transesophageal echocardiography. This suggested that thrombus in the forearm may have been the source of the embolism.
A 19-year-old-man was admitted to our hospital with intermittent chest pain. The day before admission, he had been diagnosed with enteritis and prescribed clarithromycin. He had experienced severe chest pain three times after taking clarithromycin; thus, acute coronary syndrome (ACS) was suspected. Emergent coronary angiography showed normal coronary arteries; however, the result of a subsequent acetylcholine provocation test was positive. We diagnosed him to have ACS caused by coronary vasospasms and suspected clarithromycin-induced Kounis syndrome. Although more common in older patients, Kounis syndrome must be suspected and a thorough medication history should be taken whenever a patient complains of chest pain.
Angioplasty for cases of chronic total occlusion of renal artery with/without atrophic kidney is generally not recommended. We herein report a 57-year-old man who presented with renin-mediated refractory hypertension caused by occlusion of a unilateral renal artery leading to kidney atrophy (length: 69 mm). Angioplasty favorably achieved blood pressure control with normalized renin secretion and enlargement of the atrophic kidney to 85 mm. Timely angioplasty can be beneficial in select patients, even with an atrophic kidney and total occlusion, especially in cases with deterioration of hypertension within six months and the presence of collateral perfusion to the affected kidney.
The patient was a 38-year-old man who had experienced nausea and fever for a few days and presented with back pain, oliguria, and pyuria, suggesting acute pyelonephritis (APN). He showed acute kidney injury (AKI) with bilateral kidney enlargement and was using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). AKI-induced by APN was confirmed by kidney biopsy. The AKI was successfully treated with antibiotic therapy. A search of the relevant literature for reports on histopathologically-proven APN-induced severe AKI revealed that the key characteristics were bilateral kidney enlargement with pyuria without casts. Oligoanuria was frequently associated with APN-induced severe AKI, and NSAID use may be a possible risk factor. Prompt antibiotic treatment based on the clinical characteristics of APN-induced AKI can improve the renal outcome.
A 54-year-old man was admitted to our institute with a diagnosis of infective endocarditis (IE) with vegetation on the mitral valve and severe regurgitation due to Gemella morbillorum infection together with renal dysfunction, which was eventually diagnosed as infection-related pauci-immune necrotizing crescentic glomerulonephritis. Given the refractoriness to antibiotics, the persistent activity of nephritis, and repeated cerebral hemorrhaging, we prioritized steroid therapy over early surgical mitral valve replacement. Following steroid therapy, the glomerulonephritis completely improved. Although the administration of steroid therapy in the active phase of IE remains controversial, it might be indicated if comorbid glomerulonephritis is critical.
Combined central and peripheral demyelination (CCPD) causes demyelination in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Anti-neurofascin 155 antibody plays an important pathogenic role in CCPD, but evidence concerning an association between this antibody and CCPD remains inconclusive. Although there have been no reports of precedent optic neuritis developing into CCPD, we herein report a Japanese man in whom optic neuritis recurred four times over nine years and who developed CCPD without positive anti-neurofascin 155 antibody. This case suggests the possibility of developing CCPD after optic nerve neuritis and the existence of an unknown antibody that induces CCPD.
A 24-year-old female patient was admitted for a right frontal intracranial hematoma with an uncal herniation due to a ruptured arteriovenous malformation and therefore underwent emergency surgery. Neuroimaging revealed left-sided midbrain notching against the tentorium, indicating Kernohan's notch phenomenon. She denied experiencing any short-term neurological deficits but right-sided delayed hemiparkinsonism developed 18 months later. Dopamine transporter tracer uptake was severely reduced in the left striatum, suggesting nigrostriatal degeneration secondary to Kernohan's notch. Uncal herniations are potentially fatal, but surgery can save the patient's life and improve the functional outcomes. Clinicians should therefore be aware of delayed hemiparkinsonism as a rare complication of Kernohan's notch phenomenon.