Objective The left atrial appendage (LAA) is one of the major sources of cardiac thrombus formation. Three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) made it possible to perform a detailed evaluation of the LAA morphologies. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical implications of the LAA orifice area.
Methods A total of 149 patients who underwent TEE without significant valvular disease were studied. The LAA orifice area was measured using three-dimensional TEE. The patients were divided into two groups according to the LAA orifice area (large LAA orifice group, ≥median value, and small LAA orifice group). The clinical characteristics and echocardiographic findings were evaluated.
Results The median LAA orifice area among all patients was 4.09 cm2 (interquartile range 2.92-5.40). The large LAA orifice group were older (67.2±10.4 vs. 62.4±15.3 years, p=0.02), more often had hypertension (66.7% vs. 44.6%, p=0.007), and atrial fibrillation (70.7% vs. 39.2%, p<0.001) than the small LAA orifice group. Regarding the TEE findings, the LAA flow velocity was significantly lower (33.7±20.0 vs. 50.2±24.3, p<0.001) and spontaneous echo contrast was more often observed (21.3% vs. 8.1%, p=0.02) in the large LAA orifice group. Multivariate models demonstrated that atrial fibrillation was an independent predictor of the LAA orifice area. In the analysis of atrial fibrillation duration, the LAA orifice area tended to be larger as patients had a longer duration of atrial fibrillation.
Conclusion Our findings indicated that a larger LAA orifice area was associated with the presence of atrial fibrillation and high thromboembolic risk based on TEE findings. A continuation of the atrial fibrillation rhythm might lead to the gradual expansion of the LAA orifice.
Objective Dilatation of the pulmonary artery itself (PAD: pulmonary artery diameter) or in relation to the ascending aorta (PAD/AAD: pulmonary artery diameter to ascending aortic diameter ratio) has been reported to be associated with pulmonary hypertension and with a prognostic outcome of either heart failure or cardiovascular events. We herein aimed to assess the correlations between pulmonary hypertension-related parameters PAD (or PAD/AAD) and left ventricular (LV) remodeling and LV function.
Methods This retrospective study included 193 patients (ages: 67±12 years) who underwent both coronary CT angiography (CCTA) and echocardiography. The PAD and the AAD were measured on a transaxial non-contrast CCTA image at the level of the pulmonary artery bifurcation. Left ventricular mass (LVM), relative wall thickness ratio (RWT), left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), left atrial volume (LAV), and early mitral inflow velocity to mitral annular early diastolic velocity ratio (E/e') were evaluated by echocardiography. The relationships between PAD (or PAD/AAD) and echocardiography parameters were assessed, and adjusted for the demographic data and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors by a multivariable linear regression analysis.
Results PAD (mean±SD: 2.6±0.4 cm) was positively correlated with LVM (r=0.34, p<0.001), LAV (r=0.41, p<0.001), and E/e' (r=0.29, p<0.001). PAD/AAD (mean±SD: 0.76±0.12 cm) was positively correlated with LVM (r=0.12, p=0.09), LAV (r=0.24, p<0.001), and E/e' (r=0.15, p=0.04). These correlations remained significant after adjusting for demographic data and CVD risk factors. PAD (or PAD/AAD) did not correlate with LVEF or RWT (p>0.05).
Conclusion Greater PAD or PAD/AAD is significantly associated with LV remodeling and an impaired LV function.
Objective The severity of mitral regurgitation (MR) dynamically changes during a stress test. Isometric handgrip is a readily-available stress test in daily practice; however, little is known regarding the response to isometric handgrip in MR patients during right heart catheterization. We aimed to evaluate this issue from our case-series study.
Methods We retrospectively investigated consecutive MR patients using the isometric handgrip stress test during right heart catheterization at our institution between October 2019 and April 2021. After resting measurements were obtained, sustained maximum-effort hand dynamometer grasping was maintained for about 2-3 minutes. We investigated the differences in right heart catheterization data between at rest and during handgrip, and evaluated the individual response to the isometric handgrip stress test.
Results We investigated a total of 15 patients (mean age: 75±6 years, moderate/severe MR: 7/8, primary/secondary MR: 8/7, mean left ventricular ejection fraction: 56±16%, exertional dyspnea: 10). During the handgrip test, the pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP) significantly increased [9 (8, 13) mmHg at rest to 20 (15, 27) mmHg during handgrip; p<0.001]. PCWP changes varied among individuals (range 2-22 mmHg) and were not correlated with patients' backgrounds including age, the natriuretic peptide levels, left ventricular ejection fraction, left atrial diameter or E/e' (all p>0.05). Patients with PCWP ≥25 mmHg during handgrip had a higher prevalence of exertional dyspnea than those without [6 (100%) vs. 4 (44%); p=0.04].
Conclusion We observed dynamic and varied hemodynamic changes during isometric handgrip in MR patients, suggesting that further research is needed to evaluate the clinical value of this maneuver.
Objective Evaluating the rate of decline in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) may help identify patients with occult chronic kidney disease (CKD). We herein report that eGFR fluctuation complicates the assessment of the rate of decline and propose a long-term eGFR plot analysis as a solution.
Methods In 142 patients with persistent eGFR decline in a single hospital, we evaluated the factors influencing the rate of eGFR decline, calculated over the long term (≥3 years) and short term (<3 years) using eGFR plots, taking into account eGFR fluctuation between visits.
Results The difference between the rate of eGFR decline calculated using short- and long-term plots increased as the time period considered in the short-term plots became shorter. A regression analysis revealed that eGFR fluctuation was the only factor that explained the difference and that the fluctuation exceeded the annual eGFR decline in all participants. Furthermore, the larger the eGFR fluctuation, the more difficult it became to detect eGFR decline using a short-term eGFR analysis. Obesity, a high eGFR at baseline, and faster eGFR decline were associated with larger eGFR fluctuations. To circumvent the issue of eGFR fluctuation in the assessment of the rate of eGFR decline, we developed a system that generates a long-term eGFR plot using all eGFR values for a participant, which enabled the detection of occult CKD, facilitating early therapeutic intervention.
Conclusion The construction of long-term eGFR plots is useful for identifying patients with progressive eGFR decline, as it minimizes the effect of eGFR fluctuation.
Wilson disease is an inherited copper metabolism disorder. We herein report a novel endoscopic finding in three men with Wilson disease. These patients underwent upper endoscopy due to gastrointestinal symptoms or during follow-up. In each case, endoscopy revealed lustrous white erosions surrounded by an erythematous mucosa in the greater curvature of the gastric body. A biopsy of the lesions showed orcein-positive tissue, indicating copper deposition, in the interstitial stroma and fundic glands of the mucosa. All patients had been receiving treatment with zinc acetate. These endoscopic findings might have been related to the cytotoxicity of the accumulated copper and zinc acetate.
We herein report two cases of hemorrhagic ampullary lesions in which endoscopic papillotomy was performed to control bleeding and resulted in successful treatment. Both patients were pathologically diagnosed with an underlying pathology characterized by inflammatory cell infiltration and capillary proliferation. They also had disposing factors for bleeding, such as antithrombotic therapy and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. Endoscopic treatment was selected because the risk of surgical resection was high due to the patients' hemorrhagic condition. Both patients were successfully treated without any serious adverse events and had an uneventful postoperative course with no relapse of bleeding.
Hepatic hemangiomas are benign liver tumors, and most of them progress asymptomatically. We report a case of hepatic hemangioma considered the cause of fever. A 53-year-old woman had a fever of 40°C for about 3 months without infection. Hepatic hemangiomas with internal bleeding of 10 cm in size on liver S8/7 and S3/2 were observed. These were resected laparoscopically for diagnostic treatment. She was afebrile after the operation. The pathological diagnosis was hematoma inside cavernous hemangioma. It should be noted that a bleeding hepatic hemangioma may cause fever of unknown origin and be indicated for resection.
Patients with constrictive pericarditis (CP) typically present with symptoms related to right-sided heart failure, such as cardiac ascites. Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) usually arises in association with ascites secondary to hepatic cirrhosis. We herein report a rare case of CP in which SBP developed due to cardiac ascites, even in the absence of cirrhosis. In this case, pericardiectomy improved both the hemodynamics and the ascites, while therapy with diuretics alone was insufficient. It is important to consider SBP in the differential diagnosis when any abdominal symptoms or an inflammatory response is found in patients with heart failure and cardiac ascites.
A 39-year-old woman was hospitalized for nephrotic syndrome. Laboratory test results showed increased serum creatinine levels and urinary excretions of beta-2-microglobulin, and N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase. A renal biopsy revealed collapsing focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and acute interstitial nephritis. Despite treatment with pulse steroid followed by oral high-dose glucocorticoids and cyclosporines, heavy proteinuria persisted. After low-density lipoprotein apheresis (LDL-A) therapy was initiated, her proteinuria gradually decreased, leading to complete remission. A repeat renal biopsy after treatment revealed no collapsing glomeruli. Immediate LDL-A should be performed to treat cases of collapsing FSGS poorly responding to other treatments.
A 73-year-old man receiving hemodialysis and antiplatelets was admitted with a mild case of COVID-19. Heparin was added, and iliopsoas hemorrhage developed. He was successfully treated by interventional radiology. A 76-year-old man receiving hemodialysis and antiplatelets was admitted with mild COVID-19. Heparin was added, and iliacus hemorrhage developed. Despite heparin discontinuation, he died of worsening pneumonia. A 74-year-old man undergoing hemodialysis was admitted with severe COVID-19. Gastrointestinal bleeding developed during continuous hemodiafiltration with heparin. Upon switching to nafamostat and increasing the dose, iliopsoas hemorrhage developed. Despite interventional radiology, he died of infectious complications. Attention to hemorrhagic complications is therefore needed in patients with COVID-19.
We herein report two cases of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) rhinorrhea associated with lung infiltrates. One patient presented with symptomatic non-resolving pneumonia, while the other was asymptomatic. In both cases, the lung infiltrates completely resolved when CSF leakage had subsided. Pulmonary involvement in CSF rhinorrhea is under-recognized, and despite being the definitive treatment, surgery for CSF rhinorrhea is typically postponed due to the presence of lung infiltrates. However, meningitis is a serious complication due to a delay in surgical management. Physicians should be made aware that CSF rhinorrhea is a potential cause of intractable lung infiltrates.
An 82-year-old Japanese man with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) experienced dyspnea after using a waterproofing spray in a closed room. He presented with hypoxemia and his chest computed tomography showed additive bilateral diffuse ground-glass attenuation on fibrosis, which was diagnostic of an acute exacerbation of IPF (AE-IPF). Combined treatment with high-dose corticosteroids and immunosuppressants were ineffective, and he later died of respiratory failure. Autopsy findings showed diffuse alveolar damage with honeycombing. His medical history and autopsy histopathology suggested AE-IPF caused by the inhalation of a waterproofing spray.
In general, the recipient's ABO blood type changes to the donor's ABO blood type after ABO-incompatible allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). However, we experienced a 26-year-old male with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) who underwent ABO-incompatible HSCT twice and persistently showed his original blood type even after demonstrating complete donor-type chimerism. Based on the results of various examinations, we considered that the antigen of the recipient's original blood type persistently synthesized in the recipient's non-hematopoietic organs was secreted and adsorbed on the surface of donor-derived RBCs. We should therefore perform detailed examinations to determine the precise blood type after ABO-incompatible HSCT.
Several vaccines have been developed for coronavirus disease 2019 - caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) - in record time. A few cases of immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) following SARS-CoV-2 vaccination have been reported. We herein report a 90-year-old man who received the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (BNT162b2) and developed severe thrombocytopenia with intracranial hemorrhaging and duodenal bleeding, consistent with vaccine-related ITP. He was successfully treated with intravenous immunoglobulin, prednisolone, and eltrombopag and discharged without cytopenia. Vaccine-related ITP should be suspected in patients presenting with abnormal bleeding or purpura after vaccination.
Nemaline myopathy (NM) is a rare muscle disease with various clinical types. In some cases, NM can lead to type 2 respiratory failure and right heart failure. We herein report a patient with congenital NM with nebulin gene mutation who presented with acute right heart failure and type 2 respiratory failure due to respiratory muscle paralysis after upper respiratory tract infection, needing a permanent ventilator for assistance. However, the limb and trunk muscle strengths were within normal limits. This case showed that NM should be considered as a cause of right heart failure and type 2 respiratory failure.
We herein report a 73-year-old man with isolated hypertrophic pachymeningitis (HP) showing serological and pathological characteristics of both IgG4-related disorders and granulomatosis with polyangiitis. The patient presented with chronic onset headaches and ophthalmalgia. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed a hypertrophic enhanced dura mater. Serum IgG4 and myeloperoxidase anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (MPO-ANCA) levels were elevated. A dura mater biopsy showed infiltration of numerous IgG4-positive plasma cells and granulomatous inflammation without apparent vasculitic lesions, storiform fibrosis, or obstructive phlebitis. Corticosteroid treatments improved his clinical symptoms and MRI findings. There have been reports of MPO-ANCA-positive IgG4-related HP presenting as granulomatous inflammation in the dura mater.
Pure white cell aplasia (PWCA) is a rare neutropenic disorder caused by absence of neutrophil-lineage cells. A 49-year-old man was diagnosed with scleroderma renal crisis 2 months prior to admission to Ohta-Nishinouchi Hospital after experiencing a fever and abdominal pain. Blood tests revealed severe neutropenia, and bone marrow aspirate showed the absence of neutrophil-lineage cells. He was diagnosed with PWCA. Steroids alone were not effective, but adding cyclosporine A and high-dose immunoglobulin recovered his neutropenia and improved his condition. Cyclosporine A and high-dose immunoglobulin are thus considered effective for treating PWCA in autoimmune diseases.
Prolonged vitamin C deficiency can result in numerous metabolic abnormalities like impaired tissue repair and defective collagen synthesis. This case report describes a middle-age Japanese man presenting painful purpura on his lower limbs, severe anemia, and altered consciousness. The patient had been eating a selective diet lacking in vegetables and fruits since childhood. A serum analysis demonstrated a low level of vitamin C. The patient was treated with vitamin supplementation and psychological intervention. Scurvy is an under-considered illness with a favorable prognosis if diagnosed early while it is still sporadically encountered in some patients with malabsorption or malnutrition even in modern times.