Keloids and hypertrophic scars are fibroproliferative disorders of the skin that are caused by abnormal healing of injured or irritated skin. It is possible that they are both manifestations of the same fibroproliferative skin disorder and just differ in terms of the intensity and duration of inflammation. These features may in turn be influenced by genetic, systemic, and local risk factors. Genetic factors may include single nucleotide polymorphisms, while systemic factors may include hypertension, pregnancy, hormones, and cytokines. The most important local factor is tension on the scar. Over the past 10 years, our understanding of the pathogenesis of keloids and hypertrophic scars has improved markedly. As a result, these previously intractable scars are now regarded as being treatable. There are many therapeutic options, including surgery, radiation, corticosteroids, 5-fluorouracil, cryotherapy, laser therapy, anti-allergy agents, anti-inflammatory agents, bleaching creams and make-up therapies. However, at present, we believe that the following combination of three therapies most reliably achieves a complete cure: surgery, followed by radiation and the use of steroid tape/plaster.
Introduction: Epigenetics is now considered to be crucially involved in normal genetics and differentiation and in pathological conditions, such as cancer, aging, and inflammation. Epigenetic mechanisms involve DNA methylation and histone modifications. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of inflammation on epigenetics in young subjects and the effect of aging. Materials and Methods: The palatine tonsils were extracted from child and adult patients with chronic tonsillitis. Hematoxylin-eosin staining was performed to examine the morphology of the palatine tonsils. A fluorescence immunological examination was also performed to detect acetyl-histone H3 or dimethyl-histone H3. Confocal scanning microscopy was used for observations. Results: Acetylated histone H3 was detected in tonsils from child patients but not from adult patients. Dimethylated histone H3 was not detected in tonsils from either group of patients. Degeneration of the tonsillar structures was apparent in tonsils from adult patients. Discussion: The differential expression of acetylated histone H3 Lys9 may reflect immunological differences between young and aged tonsils. The decrease observed in the activity of histone methyltransferase induced the down-regulated expression of methylated histone H3. Conclusion: Our results suggest that epigenetic changes participate in chronic inflammation and aging in the palatine tonsils. Although the results do not lead to a direct treatment, the epigenetic pathogenesis of chronic inflammation, such as immunoglobulin A nephropathy, by focal infections will be described in greater detail in future studies, which will lead to new treatments being developed.
Background: Urgent catheter ablation is often required for various tachyarrhythmias; however, its efficacy and safety in elderly patients have not been fully elucidated. Methods: This study included consecutive octogenarians who underwent urgent radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) for various serious tachyarrhythmias (urgent group, n=28) that were life-threatening, hemodynamically deleterious, or provoking ischemia, and consecutive octogenarians who underwent elective RFCA (control group, n=36). The rate of a successful RFCA, complications, later arrhythmia recurrences, and mortality were compared between the groups. Results: There was no significant difference in the breakdown of the targeted arrhythmias between the groups, and common-type atrial flutter was most often targeted in both the urgent group (57%) and the elective group (56%). Compared with the control group patients, the patients of the urgent group were older (84±3 vs. 82±2 years P=0.001), with a higher frequency of baseline heart disease (68% vs. 17%, P<0.001) and lower left ventricular ejection fraction (45%±15% vs. 68%±10%, P<0.001). The rates of acute success (100% vs. 100%, P=1.00) and later arrhythmia recurrences (4% vs. 14%, P=0.22) were comparable between the groups. Two patients in the urgent group and 2 in the elective group had procedure-related nonlethal complications (7% vs. 6%, P=1.00): groin hematoma in 2, pressure ulcer in 1, and CO2 narcosis in 1. There were no in-hospital deaths, and mortality during follow-up did not differ between the urgent and elective groups (6.0% vs. 3.9% per year, log-rank P=0.38). Conclusion: Even in octogenarian patients, urgent catheter ablation for serious tachyarrhythmias can be safely performed with a high success rate and acceptable prognosis.
Background: The coronary arterial lesions of Kawasaki disease are mainly dilative lesions, aneurysms, and stenotic lesions formed before, after, and between aneurysms; these lesions develop in multiple branches resulting in complex coronary hemodynamics. Diagnosis of myocardial ischemia and infarction and evaluation of the culprit coronary arteries and regions is critical to evaluating the treatment and prognosis of patients. This study used hybrid imaging, in which multidetector computed tomographic (CT) images for coronary CT angiography (CCTA) and stress myocardial perfusion single-photon emission CT (SPECT) images were fused. We investigated the diagnosis of blood vessels and regions responsible for myocardial ischemia and infarction in patients with complex coronary arterial lesions; in addition, we evaluated myocardial lesions that developed directly under giant coronary artery aneurysms. Methods: The subjects were 17 patients with Kawasaki disease with multiple coronary arterial lesions (median age, 18.0 years; 16 male). Both CCTA using 64-row CT and adenosine-loading myocardial SPECT were performed. Three branches, the right coronary artery (RCA), left anterior descending branch (LAD), and left circumflex branch, were evaluated with the conventional side-by-side interpretation, in which the images were lined up for diagnosis, and hybrid imaging, in which the CCTA and SPECT images were fused with computer processing. In addition, the myocardial lesions directly under giant coronary artery aneurysms were investigated with fusion imaging. Results: Images sufficient for evaluation were acquired in all 17 patients. In the RCA, coronary arterial lesions were detected with CCTA in 16 patients. The evaluations were consistent between the side-by-side and fusion interpretation in 14 patients, and the blood vessel responsible for the myocardial ischemic region was identified in 2 patients. In the left circumflex branch, coronary arterial lesions were confirmed with 3-dimensional CT in 5 patients, and the the culprit coronary arteries for myocardial ischemia/infarction were confirmed with the fusion interpretation but not with the side-by-side interpretation. In the LAD, coronary arterial lesions were present in all patients, and the diagnosis was made with the fusion interpretation in 10 patients. In the LAD, small-range infarct lesions were detected directly under the giant coronary artery aneurysm in 8 patients, but were not confirmed with the side-by-side interpretation. Conclusion: Fusion imaging was capable of accurately evaluating myocardial ischemia/infarction as cardiovascular sequelae of Kawasaki disease and confirming the culprit coronary arteries. In addition, analysis of fusion images confirmed that small-range infarct lesions were concomitantly present directly under giant coronary artery aneurysms in the anterior descending coronary artery.
Although the use of endocrine therapy in combination with intravenous chemotherapy has not been standardized, the combination of fulvestrant and chemotherapy may be promising. A 62-year-old woman came to our hospital's outpatient clinic with extensive ascites. Approximately 10 years earlier, she had undergone mastectomy and sentinel lymph node biopsy. Pathologically invasive lobular carcinoma, with a maximum diameter of 28 mm, had been diagnosed in the left breast. The cancer had a histological grade of 2, was positive for estrogen receptor (95% or more positive cells), and was negative for both progesterone receptor (less than 1% positive cells) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. For 5 years the patient underwent adjuvant endocrine therapy with tamoxifen and then with anastrozole. Four years 2 months after adjuvant endocrine therapy had been completed, she felt abdominal distention, and her symptoms gradually worsened. A series of intensive examinations indicated that the invasive lobular carcinoma had metastasized to the peritoneum, pleura, uterus, and bone. Aromatase inhibitor was administered as a first-line therapy for the metastatic disease and was accompanied by denosumab injected every 28 days. For 2 months after the start of treatment with anastrozole, the ascites did not decrease and tumor markers increased. Because anastrozole had not been effective, fulvestrant (500 mg) and low-dose capecitabine (500 mg) were administered for the first 21 days of a 28-day cycle; this regimen had been shown by a phase 2 trial to be effective and tolerable in patients with metastatic breast cancer. The patient felt an improvement in abdominal distention, and the tumor markers decreased 2 weeks after the start of this combination therapy. By 10 months after the start of the combined therapy the ascites had decreased and pleural effusion had completely disappeared. The uterine wall became thinner, and the endometrial cavity became smaller. Tumor markers continued decreasing. No adverse events were observed. The combination of fulvestrant and low-dose capecitabine is promising because of its efficacy and tolerability for the treatment of patients with estrogen receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative metastatic breast cancer.
Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) is a rare neurodegenerative disorder that has cerebral atrophy in the parietal, occipital, or occipitotemporal cortices and is characterized by visuospatial and visuoperceptual impairments. The most cases are pathologically compatible with Alzheimer's disease (AD). We describe a case of PCA in which a combination of imaging methods, in conjunction with symptoms and neurological and neuropsychological examinations, led to its being diagnosed and to AD being identified as its probable cause. Treatment with donepezil for 6 months mildly improved alexia symptoms, but other symptoms remained unchanged. A 59-year-old Japanese woman with progressive alexia, visual deficit, and mild memory loss was referred to our neurologic clinic for the evaluation of right homonymous hemianopsia. Our neurological examination showed alexia, constructional apraxia, mild disorientation, short-term memory loss, and right homonymous hemianopsia. These findings resulted in a score of 23 (of 30) points on the Mini-Mental State Examination. Occipital atrophy was identified, with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showing left-side dominance. The MRI data were quantified with voxel-based morphometry, and PCA was diagnosed on the basis of these findings. Single photon emission computed tomography with 123I-N-isopropyl-p-iodoamphetamine showed hypoperfusion in the corresponding voxel-based morphometry occipital lobes. Additionally, the finding of hypoperfusion in the posterior associate cortex, posterior cingulate gyrus, and precuneus was consistent with AD. Therefore, the PCA was considered to be a result of AD. We considered Lewy body dementia as a differential diagnosis because of the presence of hypoperfusion in the occipital lobes. However, the patient did not meet the criteria for Lewy body dementia during the course of the disease. We therefore consider including PCA in the differential diagnoses to be important for patients with visual deficit, cognitive impairment, and cerebral atrophy in the parietal, occipital, or occipitotemporal cortices. A combination of imaging methods, including MRI and single photon emission computed tomography, may help identify probable causes of PCA.
The uterus, ovary, and fallopian tube are rarely present in an inguinal hernia. We report on an operation to treat just such a rare condition for a right inguinal hernia. An 87-year-old Japanese woman was admitted with swelling in the right inguinal region and a purulent discharge from the vagina. Vital signs were stable, but the mobile mass was irreducible. Computed tomography of the abdomen indicated uterine tissue in a right inguinal hernia. We diagnosed an inguinal hernia with an incarcerated uterus and performed surgery on that basis. An incision approximately 6 cm long was made in the skin above the swollen area to open the inguinal sac, disclosing a tumor enveloped by a hernial sac. Opening the hernial sac revealed the prolapsed uterus, the fallopian tube, and the right ovary. Because no ischemic change was noted, the incarcerated uterus was returned to the abdominal cavity, and the hernial opening was closed with the onlay mesh technique. The posterior wall of the inguinal canal was found to have prolapsed laterally to the inferior epigastric artery, resulting in an external inguinal hernia. This case demonstrates that careful attention must be paid to inguinal hernias in female patients because the uterus, ovary, and fallopian tube may be involved.
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