[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The etiology of seizure disorders in lung cancer patients is broad and includes some rather rare causes of seizures which can sometimes be overlooked by physicians. Paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis is a rather rare cause of seizures in lung cancer patients and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of seizure disorders in this population.
This case report describes the new onset of seizures in a 64-year-old male patient receiving chemotherapy for a diagnosed stage IV non-small cell lung carcinoma. After three cycles of therapy, he was re-evaluated with a chest computed tomography which showed a 50% reduction in the tumor mass and in the size of the hilar and mediastinal lymphadenopathy. Twenty days after the fourth cycle of chemotherapy, the patient was admitted to a neurological clinic because of the onset of self-limiting complex partial seizures, with motionless stare and facial twitching, but with no signs of secondary generalization. The patient had also recently developed neurological symptoms of short-term memory loss and temporary confusion, and behavioral changes. Laboratory evaluation included brain magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the brain, serum examination for 'anti-Hu' antibodies and stereotactic brain biopsy. Based on the clinical picture, the patient's history of lung cancer, the brain magnetic resonance imaging findings and the results of the brain biopsy, we concluded that our patient had a 'definite' diagnosis of paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis and he was subsequently treated with a combination of chemotherapy and oral steroids, resulting in stabilization of his neurological status. Despite the neurological stabilization, a chest computed tomography which was performed after the 6th cycle showed relapse of the disease in the chest.
Paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis is a rather rare cause of new onset of seizures in patients with non-small cell lung carcinoma. Incidence, clinical presentation, laboratory evaluation, differential diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of this entity are discussed.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hydrocarbon pneumonitis is an acute, intense pneumonitis resulting from aspiration of volatile hydrocarbon compounds with low viscosity and surface tension, most of which are members of the paraffin, naphthene and aromatic classes.
Six hours after participating in a party for teenagers, a 16-year-old boy developed dyspnea, cough, a fever (39 degrees C) and chest pain. A chest radiograph showed infiltration in the right middle lobe. The patient reported alcohol abuse during the party and an episode of vomiting a few hours thereafter. He also reported practicing a fire-eating performance at the party using liquid paraffin, but was unaware of inhaling any of it. The radiographic infiltration was diagnosed as an aspiration pneumonia and he was treated at the local health center with antibiotics. Five days later, because of clinical deterioration, he was referred to a pulmonary clinic. A chest computed tomography scan was performed which showed consolidation with an air bronchogram in the right middle lobe and areas of atelectasis and ground glass opacities in the middle and lower right lobes. Spirometry revealed severe restriction of lung function. A bronchoscopy revealed inflamed, hyperemic mucosa. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid revealed lipid-laden alveolar macrophages, which were detected by lipid staining, and neutrophilia. The patient was finally diagnosed with hydrocarbon pneumonitis and he was treated with systemic steroids and antibiotics. After 6 days of treatment there was complete clinical and significant radiologic regression.
Hydrocarbon pneumonitis should be included in the differential diagnosis of pneumonias. Recent exposure to volatile hydrocarbons provides a basis for clinical diagnosis, as symptoms and radiologic findings are not specific.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is well documented that caregivers of patients with chronic respiratory failure under noninvasive mechanical ventilation (NIMV) are at high risk to develop depression, burden, overload and declining health over time.
The purpose of the study was to investigate the subjective and objective burden imposed on families of patients under NIMV at home and explore the coping strategies they adopt.
The study population consisted of 50 informal caregivers of patients with chronic respiratory failure under NIMV at home for at least 6 months. The burden of the families, as well as the adaptation strategies, were estimated by a modified version of the Family Burden Questionnaire validated in Greek.
Profound objective burden was reported in the field of social relations in 49%, in household management in 43.2%, in financial issues in 31.3% and in employment issues in 29.4% of the families. The subjective burden which the families experienced was usually lower and it was reported in household management in 33.4%, in employment issues in 29.4%, in social relations in 21.6% and in financial issues in 21.5% of the families. The strategies adopted by the families in order to cope with the imposed burden included reorientation of goals in 92.2%, resignation in 88.2%, passivity in 62.7%, hopefulness in 45.3%, ambivalence in 19.6% and guilt in 13.7% of the families.
The families of patients under NIMV seem to face major problems (severe burden) in household management and their social relations. Families do not seem to subjectively experience the burden that is objectively recorded and, in the vast majority, they adopt healthy coping strategies.