Objective To assess the long-term effects of hybrid assistive limb (HAL) treatment on gait in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Methods Three courses of treatment with HAL were administered to three women with ALS. Each course had a four- to five-week duration, during which the treatment was performed nine times, with a rest period of at least two months between each course. Gait ability (2-minutes-walk and 10-m-walk tests), ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised, and respiratory function tests were performed before and after each treatment course.
Patients Patients diagnosed with ALS, according to the updated Awaji criteria, by board-certified neurologists in the Department of Neurology and Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Toho University Omori Faculty of Medicine between January and December 2019 were recruited.
Results The average time from the start to the end of the 3 courses was 319.7±33.7 days. A multiple regression analysis was performed for the 2-minutes-walk and 10-m-walk tests, using the baseline value, each participant's ID, and time point as covariates. Changes after each course were considered outcomes. Following the 3 treatment courses, the 2-minutes walk distance improved by 16.61 m (95% confidence interval, -9.33-42.54) compared with the baseline value, but this improvement was not statistically significant (p=0.21). However, cadence significantly improved by 1.30 steps (95% confidence interval, 0.17-2.42; p=0.02).
Conclusion Long-term, repetitive HAL treatments may help patients with ALS maintain their gait.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), which have anti-tumor effects, are currently approved for treatment of several kinds of advanced malignancies. However, with their increasing use, a variety of immune-related adverse events (irAEs) in administered patients have been reported. We herein report a rare case of the simultaneous onset of acute pancreatitis and colitis as irAEs during nivolumab treatment given to a patient with renal cell carcinoma, who then shown marked improvement with corticosteroid therapy.
A 66-year-old Japanese man receiving systemic chemotherapy for advanced gastric cancer presented with exertional dyspnea. D-dimer was elevated in the blood. Echocardiography revealed pulmonary hypertension, and a ventilation-perfusion scan indicated decreased perfusion in the bilateral lungs. Cardiac catheterization showed no evidence of pulmonary artery embolization and revealed cytologically confirmed adenocarcinoma. Thus, pulmonary tumor thrombotic microangiopathy (PTTM) was diagnosed. The patient died of respiratory failure on the 17th hospitalization day despite systemic chemotherapy. Retrospective serological testing revealed increased vascular endothelial growth factor in the pulmonary artery blood. This is a rare case with antemortem cytologically proven PTTM mediated by VEGF.
Paraneoplastic neurological syndrome (PNS) is a heterogeneous group of neurological disorders caused by immune-mediated inflammatory mechanisms. We herein report a 77-year-old man with CV2/CRMP5-antibody-related PNS associated with a gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). He was admitted for forgetfulness and delusional behavior. His neurological symptoms were subacute, and a whole-body examination revealed a gastric GIST. Serology showed CV2/collapsin response mediator protein (CRMP)-5 antibodies. Partial gastrectomy was performed for the GIST, and the neurological symptoms and serum CV2/CRMP5 antibodies disappeared. No relapse has occurred since the surgery. PNS should be considered in patients with subacute neurological disorders.
Panitumumab, a fully human anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibody, has been shown to be useful in treating either advanced or recurrent KRAS/NRAS/BRAF wild-type colorectal cancer. We herein report the case of a 60-year-old man with short bowel syndrome who developed hematochezia due to panitumumab-induced colitis with vitamin K deficiency during third-line chemotherapy. The cause of vitamin K deficiency was the lack of intravenous vitamin K supplementation following a change from central venous nutrition to peripheral venous nutrition. We advise clinicians to carefully check for colitis and manage the infusions of chemotherapy patients with short bowel syndrome.
We herein report a case of coagulation necrosis with granulation and eosinophilic infiltration of the liver. A 37-year-old woman was diagnosed with a new mass lesion in the liver 1 month after breast cancer surgery and admitted for a further examination. Because the tumor occurred immediately after surgery, it was considered essential to determine whether or not it was a metastatic liver tumor from breast cancer. A percutaneous liver tumor biopsy revealed eosinophilic granuloma of the liver, which is considered to have a high possibility of visceral larva migrans with suspected gnathostomiasis infection. A detailed medical history and histological diagnosis are important for making a differential diagnosis.
A series of abdominal computed tomography scans of an asymptomatic 40-year-old woman with a history of umbilical cord blood transplantation (CBT) for leukemia at 19 years old revealed the long-term gradual development of a right hepatic vein thrombus and stenosis of the inferior vena cava, leading to a diagnosis of Budd-Chiari syndrome. The Budd-Chiari syndrome in this case might have been influenced by the patient's history of multiple liver abscesses after CBT and associated thrombus formation, in addition to the hormone replacement therapy with estradiol and dydrogesterone she was taking. This case provides insight into the development of Budd-Chiari syndrome.
A 78-year-old woman presenting with severe acute liver failure was admitted to our hospital. On screening for the etiology of acute liver failure, it was diagnosed as being due to idiopathic hypereosinophilic syndrome (eosinophil count reported as 4766/μL; 33.8% of the white blood cells). Her medical history included marked eosinophilia, as observed six months prior to this admission. Corticosteroid therapy was initiated. During the clinical course, duodenal perforation occurred but was managed promptly by appropriate surgery. A liver biopsy, following the initiation of corticosteroid therapy, revealed degenerating hepatic cells with mild eosinophilic infiltration. With corticosteroid therapy, the liver function improved.
Primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients <30 years old is extremely rare. In younger patients, HCC develops against a background of persistent hepatitis B virus infection. We herein report a 23-year-old woman with HCC with all-negative hepatitis virus markers developing in an apparently healthy liver. Imaging studies showed a 50-mm hypervascular mass in segment 4 of the left liver lobe, compatible with HCC. The patient underwent surgical resection. A histological examination showed the presence of poorly differentiated HCC. The patient was diagnosed with HCC developing in a healthy liver. This is an extremely rare case of non-B non-C HCC.
A 66-year-old man, who had undergone plasma exchange 30 years previously in Egypt for the treatment of falciparum malaria, was referred to our hospital for treatment of chronic hepatitis C (HCV). An analysis of the 655-nucleotide 5′-untranslated region-core region sequence revealed infection with HCV subtype 1g. A phylogenetic analysis of the full-length HCV genome confirmed that the patient's HCV was subtype 1g, which was the first case identified in Japan. Although his HCV possessed several naturally occurring resistance-associated substitutions in the nonstructural (NS) 3 and NS5A regions, he was successfully treated by combination therapy with glecaprevir/pibrentasvir.
A 95-year-old woman with no cardiac history presented with symptomatic complete atrioventricular block. She underwent temporary cardiac pacing via the cervical vein, but a pacing lead could not be introduced via the usual route because of a mediastinal tumor. A leadless pacemaker (Micra™; Medtronic, Minneapolis, USA) was implanted at the right ventricular septum via the right femoral vein. The procedure time was 40 minutes, with no complications noted. Over the two-year follow-up period, the threshold and impedance remained stable. The implantation of a leadless pacemaker was useful for improving the symptoms of a super-elderly woman with a mediastinal tumor.
Mid-aortic syndrome (MAS) is a rare vascular disorder that causes refractory hypertension. A 76-year-old woman was hospitalized for acute heart failure (HF) with drug-resistant hypertension; other comorbidities included epigastric artery rupture, old myocardial infarction, an intraventricular thrombus, and a cerebral artery aneurysm. Angiography revealed severe narrowing of the descending aorta, which led to the diagnosis of MAS. Although intensive medical treatment improved her HF, optimal blood pressure (BP) could not be achieved. Percutaneous coronary intervention and surgical bypass for diseased aorta was then performed in two stages, resulting in the achievement of optimal BP and alleviation of HF.
A 35-year-old man experienced general fatigue and could not eat solid food because of nausea and vomiting. His weight abruptly decreased from 49 to 45 kg after 2 weeks. A detailed examination indicated superior mesenteric artery syndrome (SMAS) accompanied by acute-onset type 1 diabetes complicated by Graves' disease, referred to as autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 3A (APS3A). Although SMAS has a good prognosis, some cases require emergency surgery, especially when complicated by gastric perforation. In our case, APS3A and SMAS developed rapidly and at approximately the same time, resulting in a cycle of mutual exacerbation.
Although there is a great demand for increased coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination worldwide, rare side effects of the vaccine in susceptible individuals are attracting attention. We recently treated a patient with type 1 diabetes who had HLA-A*240201/A*020101, B*5401/B*5601, DRB1*0405/DRB1*0405, DPB1*0501/DPB1*0501 and DQB1*0401/DQB1*040 and developed Graves' disease soon after the administration of a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine. While causal relationships between vaccinations and adverse events are difficult to discern due to both confounding and masking factors, our findings suggest that attention to possible adjuvant-related endocrinological diseases in certain individuals receiving SARS-CoV-2 vaccines is appropriate.
Serum tonicity is defined by the serum concentrations of sodium (sNa) and glucose, which can promote free water movement across intra/extracellular compartments. Rapid changes in serum tonicity can cause brain damage. We herein report an educational case of a patient with hyponatremia (sNa: 112 mEq/L) concomitant with acute alcoholic pancreatitis. The cause of hyponatremia was considered complex. Pseudo- and trans-locational natremia was secondary to hyperglycemia (721 mg/dL) and hypertriglyceridemia (1,768 mg/dL), respectively, and true hypotonic hyponatremia. Regarding sNa correction, rapid correction was suspected. However, this was safely managed by monitoring tonicity (not sNa or osmolarity), thereby avoiding brain damage.
Sacubitril/valsartan, an angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitor (ARNI), significantly reduces mortality and morbidity in patients with chronic heart failure with a reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). However, a considerable number of patients treated with sacubitril/valsartan experience hypotension, oliguria, progressive azotemia, and renal failure as adverse events. These issues have been linked to significant gaps in the usage and dosing of guideline-directed medical therapy with ARNI in patients with HFrEF. We herein report a relevant case of pathologically proven acute tubular necrosis after the first dose of sacubitril/valsartan, highlighting the importance of optimizing the medical therapy in an outpatient with HFrEF.
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are common therapeutic agents for EGFR mutation-positive advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. There has been no report of rhabdomyolysis caused by an overdose of EGFR-TKIs. We herein review the existing literature on the subject and report a rare case of rhabdomyolysis due to an overdose of gefitinib, an EGFR-TKI.
We herein report two cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine-induced immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). A 69-year-old Japanese man developed severe thrombocytopenia after COVID-19 vaccination. He had oral bleeding and hemoptysis but no thrombotic symptoms. He improved rapidly with oral prednisolone therapy. A 34-year-old Japanese woman had generalized purpura after COVID-19 vaccination. Her platelet count improved rapidly after treatment with prednisolone and eltrombopag. The occurrence of two cases of ITP after COVID-19 vaccination at a single institution suggests that there could be more such undiagnosed cases, especially cases of mild secondary ITP.
Hereditary myopathy with early respiratory failure (HMERF) is caused by titin A-band mutations in exon 344 and is considered quite rare. Respiratory insufficiency can be the sole symptom in the disease course. We herein report the first Japanese HMERF patient with a p.P31732L mutation in titin. The patient manifested respiratory failure and mild weakness of the neck flexor muscle at 69 years old and showed fatty replacement of the bilateral semitendinosus muscles on muscle imaging. Our case indicates that HMERF with a heterozygous p.P31732L mutation should be included in the differential diagnosis of muscular diseases presenting with early respiratory failure.
We herein report a 46-year-old man presenting with locked-in syndrome secondary to meningovascular syphilis. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) demonstrated multiple acute infarctions in the left ventromedial pons, right basis pontis, and left basal ganglia. His locked-in syndrome was hypothesized to have been caused by thrombosis of the small paramedian branches of the basilar artery due to syphilitic arteritis. This is a unique case of bilateral ventromedial pontine infarction caused by meningovascular syphilis that presented as locked-in syndrome. Meningovascular syphilis should be included in the differential diagnosis of uncommon stroke, particularly in young men.
A 70-year-old woman undergoing glucocorticoid therapy for cardiac sarcoidosis was brought to our hospital with the sudden onset of right hemiplegia and aphasia. Brain magnetic resonance imaging showed a high diffusion-weighted imaging signal in the left frontotemporal lobe and disruption of blood flow in the M1 segment of the left middle cerebral artery. Hence, she underwent thrombolysis and mechanical thrombectomy, resulting in marked improvement in her neurological symptoms. A pathologic evaluation of the thrombus suggested its cardiogenicity, and the absence of any obvious abnormality other than a left ventricular aneurysm indicated stroke due to a cardioembolic etiology secondary to cardiac sarcoidosis.
A 41-year-old woman was diagnosed with polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, M-protein, and skin changes (POEMS) syndrome based on polyneuropathy, hepatosplenomegaly, sclerotic bone lesions, IgA-λ M-protein, and an elevated level of serum vascular endothelial growth factor. One month after the initiation of lenalidomide-dexamethasone with prophylactic aspirin, she developed facial paralysis, dysarthria, and left hemiplegia. Multiple cerebral infarctions and internal carotid artery stenosis were detected. Five months after switching to pomalidomide-dexamethasone, she again developed cerebral infarction. Progressed stenotic lesions in the bilateral internal carotid artery terminal portions were detected, showing a moyamoya disease-like appearance. Quasi-moyamoya disease can be an important phenotype of systemic vasculopathies of POEMS syndrome.
We herein report a 72-year-old woman with rheumatoid vasculitis who exhibited a depressed level of consciousness after receiving the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA BNT162b COVID-19 vaccine and was diagnosed with meningoencephalitis. Although there was no confirmatory examination, the diagnosis was based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings and etiological assessments, including microbiological and autoimmune investigations. Both intravenous steroid pulse and gammaglobulin therapies alleviated the patient's symptoms, and the MRI findings improved. Although the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination has been widely accepted, such neurologic complications might occur in patients with rheumatoid diseases or vasculitis syndromes.
A 69-year-old woman who had undergone renal transplantation and was receiving sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (ST) developed pulmonary nocardiosis. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the identification of Nocardia elegans using nanopore sequencing, supported by 16S rDNA capillary sequencing findings. Chest computed tomography performed after ST initiation revealed significant improvement of the pulmonary shadows compared to previous findings. We herein report the value of nanopore sequencing for rapid identification of rare pathogens, such as Nocardia elegans. Furthermore, our findings suggest that Nocardia may infect even patients receiving ST, which is currently the most effective prophylactic drug.