We developed a transplantable tissue-engineered skin equivalent composed of autologous cultured keratinocytes, fibroblasts, and a decellularized allogeneic dermis (acellular allogeneic dermal matrix; ADM) obtained from cadavers. In a process taking 3 weeks, cultured autologous keratinocytes from burn patients were expanded and then grown on ADMs. The tissue-engineered autologous skin equivalents (TESEs) were then transplanted in a one-stage procedure to the debrided third-degree burn wounds of 4 patients. The mean graft survival rate was 96%. Delayed graft loss and graft fragility were not observed. Histological and immunohistological findings indicated that the transplanted TESE had similar characteristics to normal human split-thickness skin grafts. These results suggest that the TESE using ADM can be used for permanent repair of full-thickness skin defects.
Backgrounds: Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) itself and is also induced by biological and non-biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. The glycoprotein Krebs von den Lungen-6 (KL-6) is reported to be a marker for the activity of ILD. Objectives: To elucidate the relationship between serum KL-6 levels in patients with RA treated with biological agents and pulmonary involvement on computed tomography of the chest. Methods: The subjects were 307 patients with RA treated with infliximab, etanercept, adalimumab, or tocilizumab. Medical records were reviewed to investigate serum KL-6 levels, disease activity, and pulmonary imaging findings. Results: Levels of KL-6 were abnormally elevated in 25 patients (8.1%): 15 patients (11.2%) treated with infliximab, 6 patients (4.4%) treated with etanercept, and 4 patients (22.2%) treated with adalimumab, but in no patients treated with tocilizumab. However, no clinical pulmonary events developed. Computed tomography of the chest showed the start or progression of interstitial fibrotic change in 5 of 25 (20%) patients with abnormal KL-6 values. The changes in disease activity did not differ significantly between patients who showed elevated KL-6 values and those who did not. Conclusions: Serum KL-6 levels were elevated in 8.1% of patients with RA treated with biological agents. Careful observation is necessary for these patients regarding lung fibrosis.
Background: The status of the axillary lymph nodes is an important factor in the prognosis and treatment of breast cancer. Extracapsular extension (ECE) is the spread of lymphatic tumor cells beyond the capsule of an axillary lymph node. Recent studies have demonstrated that ECE is a strongly unfavorable prognostic factor. Objective: In the present study, we investigated whether the rate of metastasis among examined lymph nodes can be used to predict ECE in patients with axillary node-positive breast cancer. Methods: The subjects were 95 women with axillary node-positive breast cancer. The numbers of lymph nodes removed (examined) and lymph nodes involved were recorded. The cut-off values, area under the curve, sensitivity, and specificity were calculated with the receiver operating characteristic curve technique for ability of the rate of metastasis to examined lymph nodes to predict ECE. Results: The rate of metastasis to examined lymph nodes was significantly greater in patients with ECE than in patients without ECE [0.57 (0.03-1.00) vs. 0.22 (0.04-1.00), respectively, p: 0.001]. Similarly, the presence of vascular infiltration was significantly higher in patients with ECE than in those without ECE [30 (73.2%) vs. 25 (47.2%) respectively, p: 0.010]. On the other hand, other variables did not differ between the groups (p>0.05). When the cut-off value was ≥0.23, the sensitivity and specificity of the rate of metastasis to examined lymph nodes were 80.49% and 55.56%, respectively. The area under the curve was 0.697 (95% confidence interval: 0.594-0.787, p: 0.004). Conclusion: Our results suggest that rate of metastasis among examined lymph nodes is a predictor of ECE in patients with axillary node-positive breast cancer.
International accreditation of medical education was introduced in Japan in 2013 and is planning to be applied in late 2014 or 2015. Students will need to cope with the resulting changes and to recognize by what route they will learn medicine. Therefore, a freshman orientation course, which was based on problem-based learning (PBL) and had been held for first-year students, was modified as an awareness reform program in which students would learn" how to learn medicine." We investigated whether this program has led to useful changes in students' recognition of the way of learning in medical school and their directions as learners. The program was held for 114 first-year medical school students in 2013 and consisted of PBL tutorials, large-classroom lectures, simulation learning using role-play with simulated patients, and team-based learning (TBL), presented in this order. Learning modules that is made with an integration of the clinical sciences with the basic biomedical and the behavioral and social sciences were provided. A nonanonymous questionnaire survey asking" what learning methods are effective for you?" was conducted before and after completion of the course. Furthermore, group answers obtained in TBL were investigated. The score for the question" To what extent can you imagine your route of learning during your 6 years?" significantly increased from 3.1±0.99 (mean±SD) before the course to 3.5±0.88 (p<0.01) after the course. The score for the question" To what extent is the small-group learning, such as PBL, useful for you?" significantly increased from 3.9±0.73 to 4.2±0.71 (p<0.05). Group responses in TBL sessions indicated that students desired classes that presented tasks and regarded" emphasis on reflection" and" observation of senior physicians as role models" as the most important methods for learning interview skills. We believe students should acquire active learning attitudes as adults early in their 6 years of medical school. The level of understanding of" how to learn as adults" was 3.7 and indicated a moderate result. This course employed many educational strategies, and we believe it helped students understand what they learn and how to learn during their 6 years of medical and to get an overview of the learning roadmap.
Computed tomography (CT) is useful for evaluating esophageal foreign bodies and detecting perforation. However, when evaluation is difficult owing to the previous use of barium as a contrast medium, 3-dimensional CT may facilitate accurate diagnosis. A 49-year-old man was transferred to our hospital with the diagnosis of esophageal perforation. Because barium had been used as a contrast medium for an esophagram performed at a previous hospital, horizontal CT and esophageal endoscopy could not be able to identify the foreign body or characterize the lesion. However, 3-dimensional CT clearly revealed an L-shaped foreign body and its anatomical relationships in the mediastinum. Accordingly, we removed the foreign body using an upper gastrointestinal endoscope. The foreign body was the premaxillary bone of a sea bream. The patient was discharged without complications.
We report a case of cholelithiasis followed by gallstone ileus, documented with serial computed tomography (CT) scans, that responded to conservative therapy. An 80-year-old woman was admitted because of abdominal pain and vomiting. Six months previously, she had presented with abdominal pain and nausea of sudden onset. A CT scan showed thickening of the gallbladder wall and a gallbladder stone. She refused cholecystectomy, and the abdominal pain gradually improved in response to conservative treatment. On admission, plain abdominal radiographs showed obstruction of the proximal small bowel. A CT scan revealed disappearance of the gallbladder stone, fluid-filled bowel loops, and the presence in the small bowel of an impacted stone (major axis, 45 mm; minor axis, 23 mm). We diagnosed gallstone ileus. Because the gallstone was not large, we inserted a stomach tube and administered conservative treatment. One day after admission, CT showed that the impacted stone had migrated to the transverse colon. Four days after admission the impacted stone was not seen on plain abdominal radiography. Five days after admission, follow-up CT revealed pneumobilia but no impacted stone. Because the symptoms had improved the patient resumed oral intake of liquids The patient was discharged 14 days after admission and is doing well.
Treatments for gastroparesis have been unsatisfactory. We describe a patient with gastroparesis who did not respond to a series of conventional prokinetic treatments. Finally, an antidepressant, mirtazapine, was administered, and the patient's symptoms and gastric emptying showed surprisingly rapid improvement. Therefore, we recommend mirtazapine as a treatment for gastroparesis refractory to conventional treatments.
A 60-year-old Japanese man with no chief complaints underwent 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron-emission tomography (FDG-PET) during a medical check-up. FDG-PET revealed high tracer uptake in the left supraclavicular and axillary regions but no significant uptake in the esophageal region. However, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy revealed an ulcerative tumor in the middle third of the esophagus. Endoscopic biopsy revealed moderately differentiated squamous cell carcinoma. The patient underwent chemoradiotherapy. Follow-up FDG-PET and computed tomography after therapy revealed a complete response in the lymph nodes. The patient underwent subtotal esophagectomy with gastric tube reconstruction through the posterior mediastinum. However, metastasis to the axillary lymph nodes was detected 16 months after surgery, and lymph node dissection was performed. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case in which the primary site of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma was discovered on the basis of axillary lymph node metastasis detected with FDG-PET.
A 56-year-old woman who received surgery for left breast cancer 10 years previously underwent 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron-emission tomography (FDG-PET) for postoperative follow-up. FDG-PET revealed high uptake of tracer in the esophagogastric junction. A slightly elevated, lobular lesion was found in the lower third of the esophagus on upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. An endoscopic biopsy revealed squamous cell carcinoma. We performed thoracoscopic subtotal esophagectomy. Histopathological examination showed a polypoid spindle cell tumor arising from superficial squamous cell carcinoma. Immunohistochemically, the spindle cells were immunopositive for vimentin and AE1/AE3, and a carcinosarcoma of the esophagus was diagnosed. MIB-1 labeling indexes estimated by Ki-67 immunostaining showed that the proliferative rate of the sarcomatous component was markedly higher than that of the carcinomatous component. This is the rare reported case of esophageal carcinosarcoma that showed increased accumulation of tracer on FDG-PET.