During 6 weeks, we had 4 incidents of echocardiography machine malfunction. There were 3 in the operating room, which were damaged due to intravenous (IV) fluid spillage over the keyboard of the machine leading to burning of the keyboard electric connection, and 1 in the cardiology department, which was damagaed due to spillage of coffee on it.The malfunction had an economic impact on the hospital (about $ 20,000) in addition to the nonavailability of the ultrasound (US) machine for the cardiac patient after the incident till the end of the case and for consequent cases till the fixation of the machine.We undertook an analysis of the incidents using simplified approach. The first incident happened when changing an empty IV fluid bag for a full one led to spillage of some fluid onto the keyboard. The second incidence was due to the use of needle to depressurize a medication bottle for continuous IV drip, and the third event was due to disconnection of the IV set from the bottle during transfer of the patient from operation room to intensive care unit. The fundamental problem is of course that fluid is harmful to the US machine. In addition, the machines are in a position between the patient bed and anesthesia machine. This means that IV pulls are on each side of the patient bed, which makes the machine vulnerable to fluid spillage.We considered a machine modification, to create a protective cover, but this was hindered by complexity of keyboard of the US machine, technical and financial challenges, and the time it would take to achieve. Second, we considered the creation of a protocol, with putting the machine in a position where no IV pulls are around and transferring the machine out of the room when transferring the patient will endanger the machine by the IV fluid. Third, changing of human behavior; to do this, we announced the protocol in our anesthesia conference to make it known to each and every one. We taught residents, fellows, and staff about the new protocol.Our simplified approach was effective for the prevention of fluid spillage over the US machine.
Tropisetron is an adjuvant for butorphanol used in intravenous patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) and has been reported to provide superior pain control. It is efficacious in reducing the incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting. However, this admixture is not available commercially and stability data applicable to hospital practice are limited. This study aimed to describe the drug compounding and evaluates the long-term (up to 14 days) stability of butorphanol and tropisetron in 0.9% sodium chloride injection for PCA use.
In this study, commercial solutions of butorphanol tartrate and tropisetron hydrochloride were combined and further diluted with 0.9% sodium chloride injection to final concentrations of butorphanol tartrate 0.08 mg/mL and tropisetron hydrochloride 0.05 mg/mL. The polyolefin bags and glass bottles were stored at 4°C and 25°C for up to 14 days. The drug stabilities were determined by visual inspection, pH measurement, and high-pressure liquid chromatography assay of drug concentrations.
The data obtained for admixtures prepared and stored at temperatures of 25°C and 4°C show the drugs have maintained at least 98% of the initial concentration. All solutions remained clear and colorless over the 14-day period, and the pH value did not change significantly.
The results indicate that admixtures of butorphanol tartrate 0.08 mg/mL and tropisetron hydrochloride 0.05 mg/mL in 0.9% sodium chloride injection solution were stable for 14 days when stored in polyolefin bags or glass bottles at 4°C and 25°C and protected from light. The infusion is feasible for manufacturing in pharmacy aseptic units and can be stored for up to 14 days for routine use in PCA infusions.
In the present study we have analyzed the prevalence and characteristics of the most relevant clinical and immunologic features in 1,000 patients with SLE. Several differences in the expression of the disease have been observed in relation to the patients' age at onset, sex, and autoantibody serology. The childhood-onset patients more often had malar rashes (55% vs 39%) and nephropathy (28% vs 15%) as presenting manifestations. During the evolution of the disease, these patients had an increased prevalence only of malar rash (79% vs 56%) and a lower prevalence of rheumatoid factor (6% vs 19%). The older-onset patients (age 50 or older) less often showed malar rash (21% vs 42%), arthritis (52% vs 71%), and nephropathy (3% vs 17%) as the first symptom. During the evolution of their disease, these patients had a decreased prevalence of malar rash (33% vs 60%), photosensitivity (29% vs 47%), arthritis (73% vs 85%), nephropathy (22% vs 41%), thrombosis (4% vs 15%), and anti-La antibodies (6% vs 20%), but an increased prevalence of sicca syndrome (33% vs 15%). Males more often had serositis (28% vs 16%) as a first symptom, but they presented with a lower prevalence of arthritis (74% vs 85%) during the evolution of the disease. The presence of ANA, a high titer of anti-dsDNA, rheumatoid factor, anti-ENA, and antiphospholipid antibodies also distinguished additional homogeneous SLE subsets of clinical significance.
In developing countries, the variations in the clinical spectrum of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related oral lesions over time, and the possible effects of antiretroviral therapy, have not been described. In this study we evaluate the clinical spectrum of oral lesions in a series of HIV-infected patients when first examined at the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) clinic of a tertiary care institution in Mexico City, Mexico, and the changes observed over 12 years. All HIV-infected adult patients had an oral examination performed by specialists in oral pathology and medicine who used established clinical diagnostic criteria for oral lesions. Four periods were defined according to the evolving pattern of antiretroviral use: the first 2 were before the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and the last 2 were during more established use of HAART. For the statistical analysis the chi-square test for contingency tables and the chi-square test for trend were utilized. For dimensional variables, except age, the Kruskal-Wallis or Mann-Whitney rank sum tests were used when applicable and trend was tested with the Spearman correlation coefficient. Age was tested through analysis of variance (ANOVA) and linear regression analysis. Alpha value was set at p = 0.05 for each test. In the 12-year study, 1,000 HIV-infected patients were included (87.9% male). At the baseline examination, oral lesions strongly associated with HIV were present in 47.1% of HIV-infected patients. Oral candidosis (31.6%), hairy leukoplakia (22.6%), erythematous candidosis (21.0%), and pseudomembranous candidosis (15.8%) were the most frequent lesions. Oral Kaposi sarcoma (2.3%), HIV-associated periodontal disease (1.7%), and oral non-Hodgkin lymphoma (0.1%) were less frequent. HIV-related oral lesions decreased systematically-by half during the course of the 4 study periods (p < 0.001). Except for Kaposi sarcoma, all oral lesions strongly associated with HIV showed a trend to decrease significantly during the study period. No apparent variation in the occurrence of salivary gland disease or human papillomavirus-associated oral lesions was found. A significant trend to a lower prevalence was observed in the group of patients who were already taking antiretroviral therapy, non-HAART and HAART (p < 0.001 and p = 0.004, respectively). Only a discrete reduction, barely significant, was noted among untreated patients (p = 0.060). By Period IV (1999-2001), those who received HAART showed the lowest prevalence of oral lesions strongly associated with HIV (p < 0.001). Patients with oral lesions strongly associated with HIV had significantly lower median CD4+ counts and higher viral loads than those without oral lesions strongly associated with HIV (p < 0.001 and p = 0.005, respectively). When CD4+ counts were correlated with prevalence of oral candidosis, a consistently negative association was found; this association prevailed even after the study group was partitioned according to period. In this selected cohort of 1,000 patients with HIV infection, the clinical spectrum of HIV-related oral lesions has changed over the 12-year study, with a decreased prevalence of most oral lesions. Our findings probably represent improvements in medical care of HIV-infected persons, earlier detection of HIV-infected patients at the AIDS clinic, the increasing use of prophylactic drugs to prevent secondary AIDS-related opportunistic infections, and, perhaps most important, the availability of potent antiretroviral therapy in recent years, since the introduction of HAART.
In the present study, we assessed the frequency and characteristics of the main causes of morbidity and mortality in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) during a 10-year period and compared the frequency of early manifestations with those that appeared later in the evolution of the disease. In 1990, we started a multicenter study of 1,000 patients from 7 European countries. All had medical histories documented and underwent medical interview and routine general physical examination when entered in the study, and all were followed prospectively by the same physicians during the ensuing 10 years (1990-2000).A total of 481 (48.1%) patients presented 1 or more episodes of arthritis at any time during the 10 years, 311 (31.1%) patients had malar rash, 279 (27.9%) active nephropathy, 194 (19.4%) neurologic involvement, 166 (16.6%) fever, 163 (16.3%) Raynaud phenomenon, 160 (16.0%) serositis (pleuritis and/or pericarditis), 134 (13.4%) thrombocytopenia, and 92 (9.2%) thrombosis. When the prevalences of the clinical manifestations during the initial 5 years of follow-up (1990-1995) were compared with those during the ensuing 5 years (1995-2000), most manifestations were found to be more frequent during the initial 5 years. Of the 1,000 patients, 360 (36%) presented infections, 169 (16.9%) hypertension, 121 (12.1%) osteoporosis, and 81 (8.1%) cytopenia due to immunosuppressive agents. Twenty-three (2.3%) patients developed malignancies; the most frequent primary localizations were the uterus and the breast.Sixty-eight (6.8%) patients died, and the most frequent causes of death were similarly divided between active SLE (26.5%), thromboses (26.5%), and infections (25%). A survival probability of 92% at 10 years was found. A lower survival probability was detected in those patients who presented at the beginning of the study with nephropathy (88% versus 94% in patients without nephropathy, p = 0.045). When the causes of death during the initial 5 years of follow-up (1990-1995) were compared with those during the ensuing 5 years (1995-2000), active SLE and infections (28.9% each) appeared to be the most common causes during the initial 5 years, while thromboses (26.1%) became the most common cause of death during the last 5 years.In conclusion, most of the SLE inflammatory manifestations appear to be less common after a long-term evolution of the disease, probably reflecting the effect of therapy as well as the progressive remission of the disease in many patients. Meanwhile, a more prominent role of thrombotic events is becoming evident, affecting both morbidity and mortality in SLE.
Clinical and laboratory manifestations and outcome of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) may vary in different populations. A prospective multinational inception cohort should prove useful in identifying the influence of ethnicity on the clinical characteristics of SLE. We therefore analyzed clinical, laboratory, and prognostic variables in Latin American SLE patients with disease of recent onset who were entered into a prospective cohort, and compared these variables in the cohort's 3 major ethnic groups. Thirty-four centers from 9 Latin American countries participated by randomly incorporating SLE patients within 2 years of diagnosis into a standardized database. Participating centers were selected for their expertise in diagnosing and managing SLE. We were then able to evaluate prospectively socioeconomic variables, ethnicity, type of medical care, clinical and laboratory features, disease activity, damage, and mortality at each site. A coordinating center controlled the quality of the information submitted. Of the 1,214 SLE patients included in the cohort, 537 were mestizos, 507 were white, and 152 were African-Latin American (ALA). (There were also small numbers of pure Amerindian and oriental individuals.) Significant differences were found between them in socioeconomic characteristics, type of care, and level of education favoring whites. Mestizos and ALA were younger at onset. Delay to diagnosis and disease duration was shorter in ALA. Fever was more frequent in whites; discoid lesions in ALA; renal disease and lymphopenia in mestizos and ALA. Although we found differences in background variables between ethnic groups from different countries, mestizos from 2 distant countries (Argentina and Mexico) were clinically akin and showed similar differences to whites. Mortality was associated with lower education, poor medical coverage, and shorter follow-up. In an exploratory model nonwhite ethnicity was associated with renal disease and lymphopenia, damage, and cumulative American College of Rheumatology criteria. These differences in clinical, prognostic, socioeconomic, educational, and access to medical care features in Latin American lupus patients of 3 major ethnic groups from 9 different countries may have an impact on the patients' disease. "Hispanics," as they have come to be generically termed on the basis of language, actually constitute a markedly heterogeneous group of subjects.
This report describes the evaluation of 1,278 patients referred to The Johns Hopkins Hospital with dilated cardiomyopathy. After a careful history and physical examination, selected laboratory tests, and endomyocardial biopsy, a specific diagnosis was made in 49% of cases. In 16% of cases the biopsy demonstrated a specific histologic diagnosis. Myocarditis and coronary artery disease were the most frequent specific diagnoses; 51% of patients were classified as idiopathic. Thus a rigorous and systematic search can demonstrate an underlying cause for approximately one-half of patients with unexplained cardiomyopathy. Endomyocardial biopsy plays a crucial role in this evaluation. Six cases are presented which demonstrate the utility of endomyocardial biopsy in specific clinical situations. In addition to its routine use in monitoring rejection in heart transplant recipients, endomyocardial biopsy is indicated in the evaluation of possible infiltrative cardiomyopathy, in differentiating restrictive cardiomyopathy from constrictive pericarditis, and in diagnosing and monitoring doxorubicin cardiotoxicity. The importance of diagnosing myocarditis remains controversial, and disagreement persists about the utility of immunosuppressive therapy in these patients. A combination of clinical and histologic features can divide patients with myocarditis into 4 subgroups--acute, fulminant, chronic active, and chronic persistent. This classification provides prognostic information and may identify those patients who may respond to immunosuppression, as well as those likely to have adverse outcomes from such treatment. The continued development of novel molecular techniques may allow endomyocardial biopsy to provide greater prognostic and therapeutic information in the future.
In order to describe the clinical features and the epidemiologic findings of 1,383 patients hospitalized in France for acute or chronic Q fever, we conducted a retrospective analysis based on 74,702 sera tested in our diagnostic center, National Reference Center and World Health Organization Collaborative Center for Rickettsial Diseases. The physicians in charge of all patients with evidence of acute Q fever (seroconversion and/or presence of IgM) or chronic Q fever (prolonged disease and/or IgG antibody titer to phase I of Coxiella burnetii > or = 800) were asked to complete a questionnaire, which was computerized. A total of 1,070 cases of acute Q fever was recorded. Males were more frequently diagnosed, and most cases were identified in the spring. Cases were observed more frequently in patients between the ages of 30 and 69 years. We classified patients according to the different clinical forms of acute Q fever, hepatitis (40%), pneumonia and hepatitis (20%), pneumonia (17%), isolated fever (17%), meningoencephalitis (1%), myocarditis (1%), pericarditis (1%), and meningitis (0.7%). We showed for the first time, to our knowledge, that different clinical forms of acute Q fever are associated with significantly different patient status. Hepatitis occurred in younger patients, pneumonia in older and more immunocompromised patients, and isolated fever was more common in female patients. Risk factors were not specifically associated with a clinical form except meningoencephalitis and contact with animals. The prognosis was usually good except for those with myocarditis or meningoencephalitis as 13 patients died who were significantly older than others. For chronic Q fever, antibody titers to C. burnetii phase I above 800 and IgA above 50 were predictive in 94% of cases. Among 313 patients with chronic Q fever, 259 had endocarditis, mainly patients with previous valvulopathy; 25 had an infection of vascular aneurysm or prosthesis. Patients with endocarditis or vascular infection were more frequently immunocompromised and older than those with acute Q fever. Fifteen women were infected during pregnancy; they were significantly more exposed to animals and gave birth to only 5 babies, only 2 with a normal birth weight. More rare manifestations observed were chronic hepatitis (8 cases), osteoarticular infection (7 cases), and chronic pericarditis (3 cases). Nineteen patients were observed who experienced first a documented acute infection, then, due to underlying conditions, a chronic infection. To our knowledge, we report the largest series of Q fever to date. Our results indicate that Q fever is a protean disease, grossly underestimated, with some of the clinical manifestations being only recently reported, such as Q fever during pregnancy, chronic vascular infection, osteomyelitis, pericarditis, and myocarditis. Our data confirm that chronic Q fever is mainly determined by host factors and demonstrate for the first time that host factors may also play a role in the clinical expression of acute Q fever.
In the present study we assessed the frequency and characteristics of the main causes of morbidity and mortality in SLE during a 5-year period and analyzed the prognostic significance for morbidity and mortality of the main immunologic parameters used in clinical practice. We started in 1990 a multicenter study of 1,000 patients from 7 European countries. All had medical histories documented and underwent medical interview and routine general physical examination when entered in the study, and all were followed prospectively by the same physicians during the ensuing 5 years (1990-1995). Four hundred thirteen patients (41.3%) presented 1 or more episodes of arthritis, 264 (26.4%) had malar rash, 222 (22.2%) active nephropathy, 139 (13.9%) fever, 136 (13.6%) neurologic involvement, 132 (13.2%) Raynaud phenomenon, 129 (12.9%) serositis (pleuritis and/or pericarditis), 95 (9.5%) thrombocytopenia, and 72 (7.2%) thrombosis. Two hundred seventy patients (27%) presented infections, 113 (11.3%) hypertension, 75 (7.5%) osteoporosis, and 59 (5.9%) cytopenia due to immunosuppressive agents. Sixteen patients (1.6%) developed malignancies, with the most frequent primary localizations the uterus and the breast. Several immunologic parameters (anti-dsDNA or antiphospholipid antibodies) were found to have a predictive value for the development of SLE manifestations during the period of the study. Forty-five patients (4.5%) died; the most frequent causes of death were divided similarly among active SLE (28.9%), infections (28.9%), and thromboses (26.7%). A survival probability of 95% at 5 years was found. A lower survival probability (92%) was detected in those patients who presented at the beginning of the study with nephropathy.
Renal stone incidence has progressively increased in industrialized countries, but the implication of Randall plaque in this epidemic remains unknown. Our objectives were to determine whether the prevalence of Randall plaque-related stones increased during the past decades after having analyzed 30,149 intact stones containing mainly calcium oxalate since 1989 (cross-sectional study), and to identify determinants associated with Randall plaque-related stones in patients (case–control study).
The proportion of Randall plaque-related stones was assessed over 3 time periods: 1989–1991, 1999–2001, and 2009–2011. Moreover, we analyzed clinical and biochemical parameters of 105 patients affected by calcium oxalate stones, with or without plaque.
Of 30,149 calcium oxalate stones, 10,282 harbored Randall plaque residues (34.1%). The prevalence of Randall plaque-related stones increased dramatically during the past years. In young women, 17% of calcium oxalate stones were associated with Randall plaque during the 1989–1991 period, but the proportion rose to 59% 20 years later (P < 0.001). Patients with plaques experienced their first stone-related event earlier in life as compared with those without plaque (median age 26 vs 34 years, P = 0.02), had increased ionized serum calcium levels (P = 0.04), and increased serum osteocalcin (P = 0.001) but similar 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. The logistic regression analysis showed that age (odds ratio [OR] 0.96, confidence interval [CI] 0.926–0.994, P = 0.02), weight (OR 0.97, CI 0.934–0.997, P = 0.03), and osteocalcin serum levels (OR 1.12, CI 1.020–1.234, P = 0.02) were independently associated with Randall plaque. The prevalence of the FokI f vitamin D receptor polymorphism was higher in patients with plaque (P = 0.047).
In conclusion, these findings point to an epidemic of Randall plaque-associated renal stones in young patients, and suggest a possible implication of altered vitamin D response.
In patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1), the most common functional pancreatic endocrine tumor (PET) syndrome is Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (ZES). ZES has been well studied in its sporadic form (that is, without MEN1); however, there are limited data on patients with MEN1 and ZES (MEN1/ZES), and the long-term natural history is largely unknown. To address this issue we report the results of a prospective long-term National Institutes of Health (NIH) study of 107 MEN1/ZES patients and compare our results with those of 1009 MEN1/ZES patients in 278 case reports and small series in the literature. Patients were clinically, radiologically, and biochemically evaluated yearly for all MEN1 manifestations (mean follow-up, 10 yr; range, 0.1-31 yr). Compared with patients from the literature, the NIH MEN1/ZES patients more frequently had pituitary (60%) and adrenal (45%) disease and carcinoid tumors (30%), but had equal frequency of hyperparathyroidism (94%), thyroid disease (6%), or lipomas (5%). Twenty-five percent of both the NIH and the literature patients lacked a family history of MEN1; ZES was the initial clinical manifestation of MEN1 in 40%. ZES onset preceded the diagnosis of hyperparathyroidism in 45%. However, ZES was rarely (8%) the only initial manifestation of MEN1 if careful testing was done. ZES occurred before age 40 years in 50%-60% of the current patients, in contrast to older studies. The diagnosis of ZES is delayed 3-5 years from its onset and is delayed as long as in sporadic ZES cases. Pituitary disease and carcinoid tumors (gastric > bronchial, thymic) are more frequent than generally reported, whereas a second functional PET is uncommon. In patients with MEN1/ZES without a family history of MEN1, the MEN1 manifestations are not as severe. This study shows that MEN1/ZES patients differ in many aspects from those commonly reported in older studies involving few MEN1/ZES patients. In this study we have identified a number of important clinical and laboratory features of MEN1/ZES that were not previously appreciated, which should contribute to earlier diagnosis and improve both short- and long-term management.
We studied infections in 101 consecutive patients who underwent liver transplantation between July 1984 and September 1985. The mean length of follow-up was 394 days. Eighty-three percent of population had 1 or more episodes of infection and 67% of the population had severe infections. The overall mortality was 26/101 (26%) and 23 of 26 deaths (88%) were associated with infection. Seventy percent of severe infections occurred in the first 2 months after transplantation. The most frequent severe infections were abdominal abscess, bacterial pneumonia, invasive candidiasis, Pneumocystis pneumonia, and symptomatic cytomegalovirus infection. Patients with more than 12 hours of cumulative surgical time had a higher rate of severe infections (P less than 0.001), particularly fungal (P less than 0.001) and bacterial (P less than 0.01) infections. Also, the use of choledocho-jejunostomy was associated with a higher rate of infection in patients who had more than 1 transplant operation (P less than 0.02). No increase in infection was found in patients who received azathioprine, or more than the median number of steroid boluses or "recycles"; but patients who received OKT3 therapy had a higher rate of protozoal infections (P less than 0.05). A result similar to that of our previous studies was a strong relation between the number of severe fungal infections and prolonged courses of antibiotics after transplant operation (P less than 0.001). Pretransplant manifestations of severe liver disease such as ascites, encephalopathy, and gastrointestinal bleeding were not associated with higher rates of infection after transplantation, but high serum levels of ALT were. Patients with lower ratios of T-helper to T-suppressor lymphocytes had more severe viral (P less than 0.02) and fungal (P less than 0.01) infections after transplantation.
The vasculitis of Behçet disease (BD) is distinctive because of involvement of both arteries and veins of all sizes. The concept of vasculo-Behçet disease has been adopted for cases in which vascular manifestations are present and often dominate the clinical features. While venous manifestations are frequent and have been reported in many publications, data regarding arterial lesions in patients with BD are rare and often isolated. In this study, we report the main characteristics, treatment, and long-term outcome of 101 patients with arterial lesions among a cohort of 820 (12.3%) BD patients. Factors that affect prognosis were assessed by multivariate analysis. There were 93 (91.2%) male patients; the median (Q1-Q3) age at diagnosis of BD was 33 (27-41) years. Arterial lesions included aneurysms (47.3%), occlusions (36.5%), stenosis (13.5%), and aortitis (2.7%). Lesions mainly involved the aorta (n = 25) and femoral (n = 23) and pulmonary (n = 21) arteries. Patients with arterial lesions were more frequently male (91.2% vs. 62.4%, respectively; p = 0.017) and had higher rates of venous involvement (80.4% vs. 29.8%, respectively; p < 0.001) compared to patients without arterial manifestations. Thirty-nine (38.6%) patients achieved complete remission. In multivariate analysis, the presence of venous involvement (odds ratio [OR], 0.29; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.08-1.11) and arterial occlusive lesions (OR, 0.13; 95% CI, 0.01-1.25) were negatively associated with complete remission. The use of immunosuppressants (OR, 3.38; 95% CI, 0.87-13.23) was associated with the occurrence of complete remission. The 20-year survival rate was significantly lower in BD patients with arterial involvement than in those without arterial lesions (73% vs. 89%, respectively; p < 0.0001). In conclusion, the long-term outcome of arterial lesions in BD is poor, especially in the case of occlusive lesions and associated venous involvement. The use of immunosuppressants improved the prognosis.
Nephropathic cystinosis is a rare, autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disorder caused by mutations in the CTNS gene that codes for a cystine transporter in the lysosomal membrane. Affected patients store 50-100 times the normal amounts of cystine in their cells, and suffer renal tubular and glomerular disease, growth retardation, photophobia, and other systemic complications, including a myopathy and swallowing dysfunction. Using videofluoroscopy and ultrasound examinations, we assessed the swallowing function of 101 patients with nephropathic cystinosis on their most recent admission to the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center between 1987 and 2004. These patients ranged in age from 6 to 45 years; more than half had significant complaints of swallowing difficulty. On examination of barium swallow, the oral, pharyngeal, and esophageal phases of swallowing were abnormal in 24%, 51%, and 73% of patients, respectively. The frequency of dysfunction increased with age for each phase of swallowing. Both the Swallowing Severity Score (a measure of dysfunction on barium swallow) and the Oral Muscle Composite Score (a reflection of vocal strength, oral-facial movement, and tongue and lip function) increased (that is, worsened) with the number of years that a patient was not receiving treatment with cysteamine, the cystine-depleting agent of choice in cystinosis. The severity scores decreased with the number of years on cysteamine therapy. The Swallowing Severity Score varied directly with the severity of muscle disease, but was not correlated with the presence or absence of the 57-kb CTNS deletion that commonly occurs in nephropathic cystinosis patients. We conclude that swallowing dysfunction in cystinosis presents a risk of fatal aspiration, correlates with the presence of muscle atrophy, and, based on cross-sectional data, increases in frequency with age and number of years without cysteamine treatment. Cystine-depleting therapy with cysteamine should be considered the treatment of choice for both pre- and posttransplant cystinosis patients.
One hundred one patients with EB were evaluated by a combination of prospective and retrospective review, and analyzed regarding the nature, incidence, and prevalence of their gastrointestinal (GI) manifestations. Involvement of the GI tract is a well-known extracutaneous manifestation of dystrophic EB, but it also occurred in more than one-half and one-third, respectively, of those with junctional and simplex EB. Most of the serious consequences, such as esophageal strictures and microstomia, occurred in recessive dystrophic EB but were also seen, although infrequently, in the junctional and simplex forms. The majority of patients with dysphagia had an esophageal stricture, and the cervical esophagus was the most common location. The onset of dysphagia generally occurred in the first decade of life, in patients much younger than previously recognized. Diagnostic endoscopy did not reveal lesions which could not have been detected radiographically. Lower GI complaints were common, especially constipation and perianal blistering, and affected all types of EB. These complaints contributed substantially to management problems but they did not correlate with colonic pathology and appeared to reflect anal or perianal disease.
Clinical presentations laboratory features and responses to therapy of 102 patients treated at an army medical center for genitourinary tuberculosis between January 1961 and September 1972 are described. During that time a total of 3109 patients had been treated for tuberculosis of all types. The study group included 72 men aged 18-59 with a mean age of 29 and 31 women aged 17-66 with a mean age of 31. There was often a latent period of 20 years or more between infection with the tubercle bacillus and the expression of genitourinary tuberculosis. The principal means of diagnosis was isolation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from urine obtained in 80% or sputum obtained in 38%. M. tuberculosis was not cultured in 13 patients. In patients with negative cultures diagnosis was made by combinations of positive tuberculin skin test caseating granulomata on biopsy characteristic changes in the excretory urogram characteristic bladder lesions on cystoscopy and the presence of sterile pyuria or microscopic hematuria. A wide variety of signs and symptoms were encountered as was a high frequency of involvement of other organ systems. The most common laboratory abnormalities were pyuria albuminuria and hematuria. 75% of patients had an abnormal chest roentgenogram on admission. 88% of patients tested had positive skin tests and 63% tested had abnormal excretory urography. 16% showed renal calcification. Only 1 nephrectomy was done in the latter 5 years of the study for hypertension. 2 women and 6 men had hypertension but 1 woman and 2 men had nontuberculous renal disease which could have caused the hypertension. The evidence from the series is that infectivity of genitourinary tuberculosis is low. There was only 1 initial treatment failure in a 47-year old man with active pulmonary and renal tuberculosis caused by an isoniazid-resistant organism. 2 men only 1 of whom had had genitourinary disease originally had recurrences of tuberculous disease after prematurely discontinuing medication.
Spinal tuberculosis (TB) accounts for about 2% of all cases of TB. New methods of diagnosis such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or percutaneous needle biopsy have emerged. Two distinct patterns of spinal TB can be identified, the classic form, called spondylodiscitis (SPD) in this article, and an increasingly common atypical form characterized by spondylitis without disk involvement (SPwD). We conducted a retrospective study of patients with spinal TB managed in the area of Paris, France, between 1980 and 1994 with the goal of defining the characteristics of spinal TB and comparing SPD to SPwD. The 103 consecutive patients included in our study had TB confirmed by bacteriologic and/or histologic studies of specimens from spinal or paraspinal lesions (93 patients) or from extraspinal skeletal lesions (10 patients). Sixty-eight percent of patients were foreign-born subjects from developing countries. None of our patients was HIV-positive. SPD accounted for 48% of cases and SPwD for 52%. Patients with SPwD were younger and more likely to be foreign-born and to have multiple skeletal TB lesions. Neurologic manifestations were observed in 50% of patients, with no differences between the SPD and SPwD groups. Of the 44 patients investigated by MRI, 6 had normal plain radiographs; MRI was consistently positive and demonstrated epidural involvement in 77% of cases. Bacteriologic and histologic yields were similar for surgical biopsy (n = 16) and for percutaneous needle aspiration and/or biopsy (n = 77). Cultures for Mycobacterium tuberculosis were positive in 83% of patients, and no strains were resistant to rifampin. Median duration of antituberculous chemotherapy was 14 months. Surgical treatment was performed in 24% of patients. There were 2 TB-related deaths. Our data suggest that SPwD may now be the most common pattern of spinal TB in foreign-born subjects in industrialized countries. The reasons for this remain to be elucidated.
To investigate the clinical features of adult patients with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) and to explore possible risk factors for death, we retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 103 adult HLH patients hospitalized from 1997 to 2012. We analyzed the underlying diseases, clinical characteristics, 1aboratory findings, outcomes, and prognostic factors. The most common cause of HLH was hematologic malignancies (n = 49), followed by infectious diseases (n = 24) and autoimmune disorders (n = 14); 24 cases were of unknown etiology. Eight patients had a combination of underlying diseases. HLH was clinically characterized by high fever (96.1%), splenomegaly (79.6%), hepatomegaly (65.0%), lymphadenopathy (53.4%), proteinuria (31.1%), skin rash (25.2%), gastrointestinal hemorrhage (14.6%), disseminated intravascular coagulation (13.6%), increased creatinine (7.8%), and central nervous system involvement (12.6%) including altered mental status (9.7%) and cranial hemorrhage (2.9%). Laboratory abnormalities included cytopenia (99.0%), serum ferritin >500 ug/L (98.4%), liver dysfunction (98.1%), hypertriglyceridemia (88.5%), hemophagocytosis in bone marrow smear (87.4%), and hypofibrinogenemia (60.9%).In addition to the treatment they received for the underlying causes, patients received therapy for HLH consisting of corticosteroids, immunosuppressive drugs, and intravenous immunoglobulin. Twenty-six patients (25.2%) recovered after treatment, and 19 of them achieved long-term remission during follow-up. Seventy-seven patients (74.8%) died because of tumor, sepsis, multiple organ failure, or HLH-related organ hemorrhage and coagulopathy. The deceased patients were more likely to be older at disease onset, male, and to present with splenomegaly and thrombocytopenia, compared to the survivors. Treatment for the underlying diseases combined with corticosteroids, immunosuppressive agents, and immunoglobulin therapy may improve the prognosis of HLH. More attention should be paid to high-risk patients to prevent the development of serious complications associated with HLH.
The hyperimmunoglobulinemia D and periodic fever syndrome (HIDS), one of the autoinflammatory syndromes, is caused by mutations in the gene coding for mevalonate kinase (MVK). We conducted the current study to assess the genetic, laboratory, and clinical features as well as the complications and course of disease in patients with genetically confirmed HIDS. In addition, we studied the quality of life and course of life in a selection of patients. Follow-up data were obtained by a questionnaire sent to all physicians of patients in the International HIDS Database. In addition, we assessed the course of life and quality of life in Dutch patients aged >16 years using validated quality of life instruments. Data were obtained from 103 patients from 18 different countries. The median age of first attack was 6 months (range, 0-120 mo), with a median period of 9.9 years from onset of disease to diagnosis. The most frequent symptoms that accompanied attacks of fever were lymphadenopathy, abdominal pain, arthralgia, diarrhea, vomiting, skin lesions, and aphthous ulcers. Amyloidosis was a severe but infrequent complication (2.9%). The median serum IgD level was 400 U/mL. IgD levels were normal in 22% of patients. The 4 most prevalent mutations (V377I, I268T, H20P/N, P167L) accounted for 71.5% of mutations found. The frequency of attacks decreased with the patient's increasing age, although 50% of patients over the age of 20 years still had 6 or more attacks per year. Many drugs have been tried in HIDS. Some patients responded to high-dose prednisone (24.4% response). Anakinra and etanercept can also be effective (33.3% response). Quality of life was determined in a subgroup of patients (n = 28). Social functioning, general health perception, and vitality were significantly lower in patients with HIDS than in controls, as were autonomy and social development. In addition, HIDS had an adverse impact on educational achievements and employment status. In conclusion, HIDS is an early-onset disease that is accompanied by an array of inflammatory symptoms. Although the frequency of attacks decreases during the patient's life, many patients continue to have frequent attacks. HIDS impairs several aspects of quality of life.
Based on a prospective cohort study of 1056 patients with sickle cell anemia (Hb SS) initiated in 1959, we investigated the influence of calendar era, age, sex, and prior medical conditions on the subsequent development of irreversible organ damage and survival using the Cox regression model with time-dependent covariates adjusting for all prior occurrences. We studied 30 acute clinical events, and focused on 8 prototypic forms of irreversible organ damage. Childhood survival to age 20 years has improved from 79% for those born before 1975 to 89% for children born in or after 1975. Bone infarction was a significant risk factor for avascular necrosis (p = 0.01), and infantile dactylitis was a significant risk factor for stroke (p = 0.01). Prior hospitalized vaso-occlusive sickle crisis in adults was significantly associated with the increased rate of avascular necrosis (p < 0.001), leg ulcers (p < 0.001), sickle chronic lung disease (p < 0.001), renal failure (p < 0.005), and early death (p < 0.001). The diagnosis of clearly evident clinical conditions such as leg ulcer, osteonecrosis, and retinopathy predicted an increased likelihood of developing a more lethal form of organ damage and earlier death: 77% of patients with chronic lung disease, 75% of those with renal insufficiency, and 51% of those with stroke had a prior chronic condition. Of the 232 patients who died, 73% had 1 or more clinically recognized forms of irreversible organ damage. By the fifth decade, nearly one-half of the surviving patients (48%) had documented irreversible organ damage. End-stage renal disease (glomerulosclerosis), chronic pulmonary disease with pulmonary hypertension, retinopathy, and cerebral microinfarctions are manifestations of arterial and capillary microcirculation obstructive vasculopathy. The current study underscores the need for preventive therapy to ameliorate the progression of the sickle vasculopathy.
Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is classically characterized by the development of functional or nonfunctional hyperplasia or tumors in endocrine tissues (parathyroid, pancreas, pituitary, adrenal). Because effective treatments have been developed for the hormone excess state, which was a major cause of death in these patients in the past, coupled with the recognition that nonendocrine tumors increasingly develop late in the disease course, the natural history of the disease has changed. An understanding of the current causes of death is important to tailor treatment for these patients and to help identify prognostic factors; however, it is generally lacking.To add to our understanding, we conducted a detailed analysis of the causes of death and prognostic factors from a prospective long-term National Institutes of Health (NIH) study of 106 MEN1 patients with pancreatic endocrine tumors with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (MEN1/ZES patients) and compared our results to those from the pooled literature data of 227 patients with MEN1 with pancreatic endocrine tumors (MEN1/PET patients) reported in case reports or small series, and to 1386 patients reported in large MEN1 literature series. In the NIH series over a mean follow-up of 24.5 years, 24 (23%) patients died (14 MEN1-related and 10 non-MEN1-related deaths). Comparing the causes of death with the results from the 227 patients in the pooled literature series, we found that no patients died of acute complications due to acid hypersecretion, and 8%-14% died of other hormone excess causes, which is similar to the results in 10 large MEN1 literature series published since 1995. In the 2 series (the NIH and pooled literature series), two-thirds of patients died from an MEN1-related cause and one-third from a non-MEN1-related cause, which agrees with the mean values reported in 10 large MEN1 series in the literature, although in the literature the causes of death varied widely. In the NIH and pooled literature series, the main causes of MEN1-related deaths were due to the malignant nature of the PETs, followed by the malignant nature of thymic carcinoid tumors. These results differ from the results of a number of the literature series, especially those reported before the 1990s. The causes of non-MEN1-related death for the 2 series, in decreasing frequency, were cardiovascular disease, other nonendocrine tumors > lung diseases, cerebrovascular diseases. The most frequent non-MEN1-related tumor deaths were colorectal, renal > lung > breast, oropharyngeal. Although both overall and disease-related survival are better than in the past (30-yr survival of NIH series: 82% overall, 88% disease-related), the mean age at death was 55 years, which is younger than expected for the general population.Detailed analysis of causes of death correlated with clinical, laboratory, and tumor characteristics of patients in the 2 series allowed identification of a number of prognostic factors. Poor prognostic factors included higher fasting gastrin levels, presence of other functional hormonal syndromes, need for >3 parathyroidectomies, presence of liver metastases or distant metastases, aggressive PET growth, large PETs, or the development of new lesions.The results of this study have helped define the causes of death of MEN1 patients at present, and have enabled us to identify a number of prognostic factors that should be helpful in tailoring treatment for these patients for both short- and long-term management, as well as in directing research efforts to better define the natural history of the disease and the most important factors determining long-term survival at present.
Clinical and laboratory features were analyzed in 107 Latin American male patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) who were compared with a group of 1,209 Latin American female patients with SLE to determine the presence of gender-associated differences. Males had an increased prevalence of renal disease, vascular thrombosis, and the presence of anti-dsDNA antibodies, as well as the use of moderate to high doses of corticosteroids, compared with female SLE patients. Although there was no difference in mortality from all causes, SLE-related mortality was higher in the male group. All these findings are consistent with a more severe disease in Latin American males than in female patients from the same region.
Eleven cases (6 adults and 5 pediatrics) of shoulder septic arthritis are described, and the English literature from 1960 to 1997 reviewed, for a total of 168 cases. Shoulder septic arthritis is an uncommon and difficult diagnosis requiring a high index of suspicion and early evaluation of the affected shoulder by the clinician. The disease usually involves very young infants or elderly patients (65-75 years old). Associated medical conditions were identified in 60% of the patients and include systemic disorders such as liver diseases, alcoholism, and malignancies in 46%; preceding chronic arthritic disorders in 24%; and associated infectious focus in 13% of the patients. Associated infections were more prevalent in the pediatric population. Intravenous drug abuse appears not to constitute a major risk factor; it was identified in less than 5% of patients. All patients presented with acute shoulder ache or with exacerbation of existing chronic pain in joints previously damaged. Elevated body temperature (over 38 degrees C) appeared in 67% of the adult patients and in over 90% of the pediatric patients. Shoulder arthritis was frequently accompanied by an accelerated erythrocyte sedimentation rate that may rise above 100 mm/hr. Increased white blood cell count was found in approximately 40% of patients. The initial X-rays were frequently normal, while ultrasonography supported the diagnosis in some cases by demonstrating accumulation of fluid inside the joint space. Aspiration of synovial fluid from the affected glenohumeral joint was necessary to evaluate the offending pathogen. False-negative Gram stain appeared in approximately 90% of the patients, whereas synovial fluid cultures demonstrated the pathogen in 88% of patients. Blood cultures were positive in 50% of adult patients and 90% of pediatric patients. The most common isolated pathogen was Staphylococcus aureus, which accounted for 41% of infections. Gram-negative bacilli, which accounted for about 20% of infections, are more prevalent in the pediatric population, especially the neonates. Pyogenic shoulder arthritis should first be treated with intravenous antibiotics, effective at least against staphylococcal infections, until the organisms and sensitivities are identified. Duration of antibiotic therapy should be 3-6 weeks. Unfortunately, our experience in addition to the literature summary does not allow statistical analysis and firm conclusions concerning the best therapeutic approach. However, it appears that in the adult population an operative draining procedure is preferred, whereas in the pediatric population, a closed needle aspiration, if needed at all, is the optimal treatment. With prompt antibiotic therapy and drainage of the shoulder, the patient can be expected to improve clinically, with no serious long-term debilitating effects from the disease.
We describe the main characteristics and treatment of urogenital manifestations in patients with Wegener granulomatosis (WG). We conducted a retrospective review of the charts of 11 patients with WG. All patients were men, and their median age at WG diagnosis was 53 years (range, 21-70 yr). Urogenital involvement was present at onset of WG in 9 cases (81%), it was the first clinical evidence of WG in 2 cases (18%), and was a symptom of WG relapse in 6 cases (54%). Symptomatic urogenital involvement included prostatitis (n = 4) (with suspicion of an abscess in 1 case), orchitis (n = 4), epididymitis (n = 1), a renal pseudotumor (n = 2), ureteral stenosis (n = 1), and penile ulceration (n = 1). Urogenital symptoms rapidly resolved after therapy with glucocorticoids and immunosuppressive agents. Several patients underwent a surgical procedure, either at the time of diagnosis (n = 3) (consisting of an open nephrectomy and radical prostatectomy for suspicion of carcinoma, suprapubic cystostomy for acute urinary retention), or during follow-up (n = 3) (consisting of ureteral double J stents for ureteral stenosis, and prostate transurethral resection because of dysuria). After a mean follow-up of 56 months, urogenital relapse occurred in 4 patients (36%). Urogenital involvement can be the first clinical evidence of WG. Some presentations, such as a renal or prostate mass that mimics cancer or an abscess, should be assessed to avoid unnecessary radical surgery. Urogenital symptoms can be promptly resolved with glucocorticoids and immunosuppressive agents. However, surgical procedures, such as prostatic transurethral resection, may be mandatory in patients with persistent symptoms.
Fifty-seven cases of Ig light chain-associated Fanconi syndrome (FS) have been reported so far, mostly as isolated reports. The pioneering work by Maldonado and associates (35), who reviewed the first 17 cases in 1975, led to the unifying concept that patients with FS and Bence Jones proteinuria have a special form of plasma cell dyscrasia characterized by slow progression of the tumor and by prominent crystal formation in proximal tubule cells, in the absence of myeloma casts in the distal tubule. We carefully reappraised these characteristics in a series of 11 patients. Ten renal biopsy specimens were available for electron microscopy, adding to the 15 previously reported cases with ultrastructural studies. Moreover, 10 of the kappa light chains could be entirely or partially sequenced and tested for their resistance to cathepsin B, a lysosomal protease present in proximal tubule cells. Our series showed an unexpected clinicopathologic heterogeneity. Seven patients presented with the typical clinical and pathologic features of FS and low-mass myeloma or monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), in keeping with Maldonado et al's description. Crystals in bone marrow cells were detected in patients of this group, only. Three patients who presented with full-blown FS exhibited, however, the characteristic features of myeloma cast nephropathy in the setting of high-mass myeloma. One patient of this group also had numerous crystals in proximal tubule cells. The eleventh patient had complete FS with MGUS, but no crystals in proximal tubule cells even after electron microscopy. Contrasting with the clinicopathologic heterogeneity, genetic and biochemical analyses of the light chains showed a striking homogeneity. First, they all were of the kappa type. Second, 8 of 9 belonged to the V kappa I variability subgroup, which indicates that FS light chains are related by the sequence of their variable regions. Third, the 8 V kappa I light chain sequences most likely originated from only 2 germline genes, LCO2/012 and LCO8/018. Fourth, all 5 LCO2/012-derived sequences presented an unusual hydrophobic or nonpolar residue at position 30. These sequence peculiarities may account for unusual physicochemical properties of the light chains including the resistance of their variable domain V kappa to proteolysis by cathepsin B, observed in 7 of 9 patients in our series, while light chains isolated from patients with myeloma cast nephropathy are completely digested. Resistance of V kappa to proteolysis in FS patients can explain the accumulation of the light chain in the endocytotic compartment of the proximal tubule cells, leading to impairment of proximal tubule functions.
In a retrospective review of 116 consecutive allogeneic bone marrow transplants (BMT), severe obstructive airways disease was identified in 11 patients. Lung pathology demonstrated bronchiolitis in 9 patients and physiologic studies showed small-airways disease consistent with bronchiolitis in the other 2. None of the 5 patients with associated infection survived, while 3 of the 6 patients without an identified pathogen stabilized or improved. Analysis of the 11 cases presented and all 25 cases reported in the literature (1982 to 1985) supports the conclusion that graft-versus-host disease is a major risk factor for bronchiolitis in BMT recipients. Among the proposed mechanisms for the development of bronchiolitis after allogeneic BMT, the 2 most likely are graft-versus-host disease directly causing bronchiolitis, and increased immunosuppressive therapy given for graft-versus-host disease predisposing to viral bronchiolitis. The available evidence would suggest that it is prudent to obtain serial pulmonary function tests even in asymptomatic patients post-BMT, and particularly in those with chronic graft-versus-host disease, in the hope that early detection will allow for early intervention that will arrest or reverse the progression of the obstructive airways disease.
Fungal prosthetic valve endocarditis (PVE) is an infrequent but serious complication of valve replacement surgery. To examine its long-term outcome, we retrospectively studied 16 patients with 19 episodes of definite fungal PVE. The mean age was 51 years (range, 27-71 yr). Onset of fungal PVE ranged from 8 days to 3.4 years after valve replacement. Candida albicans was the most common (56%) pathogen isolated. A portal of entry was identified in only 25% of the patients; the presence of intravascular catheters (50%) and prior bacterial endocarditis (38%) were leading predisposing factors. Fever (83%) was the most consistent clinical finding. Potentially serious embolic events, particularly strokes (32%), were common at presentation. Transesophageal echocardiography (sensitivity = 100%) was more useful than transthoracic echocardiography (sensitivity = 60%) in detecting lesions due to fungal PVE. Combined valve replacement surgery and amphotericin B (mean total dose of 1.8 g) in 15 patients resulted in an 87% in-hospital survival and 67% overall survival with a mean follow-up of 4.5 years (range, 5 mo to 16 yr). Two patients had 3 late relapses of fungal PVE up to 9 years after the preceding episode. Each relapse was treated with repeat valve replacement and amphotericin B; in addition, oral azole was utilized for chronic suppression, although the efficacy of this strategy remains unproven. Because of the possibility of relapse, long-term follow-up is essential even after surgical and prolonged antifungal therapy.
Thoracic endometriosis (TE) is a rare disorder affecting women during their reproductive years. The etiopathogenesis of this disease is not well understood; the prevailing opinion is based on analysis obtained from case reports and small case series. A 1996 review of TE was not able to address the association between clinical presentation and thoracic pathology due to a paucity of thoracoscopic findings in these earlier cases. Since the year 2001, most published cases and series have included thoracoscopic findings. Therefore, we compiled data from case reports and case series published in English from January 2001 to July 2007 to analyze the demographics, clinical characteristics, and thoracoscopic findings, and to study the relationship between thoracoscopic findings and clinical presentation in patients with thoracic endometriosis. The clinical presentations in 110 patients were as follows: pneumothorax in 79 (72%), hemoptysis in 16 (14%), hemothorax in 13 (12%), and lung mass in 2 (2%). Ninety-one of the 110 (85%) patients underwent thoracotomy or thoracoscopy. The right hemithorax was more often affected (85%) than the left side (p = 0.008). The mean (standard deviation [SD]) age of all patients was 34 (7.6 yr). The mean age of patients presenting with hemoptysis (25.9 +/- 4.6 yr) was significantly lower than the age of those presenting with pneumothorax and hemothorax (p < 0.01). There was no significant association between the presence of diaphragmatic defects and pneumothorax (odds ratio [OR], 0.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.05-1.58; p = 0.23). The presence of parietal and visceral pleural implants was associated with a fivefold increase in hemothorax (OR, 5.55; 95% CI, 1.20-25.53; p < 0.01).Hemoptysis occurring in younger subjects may be the earliest manifestation of parenchymal lung involvement in TE. Diaphragmatic defects do not increase the risk for pneumothorax. Hemothorax reflects an increased burden of pleural implants in TE.
Tigecycline, the first in a new class of glycylcyclines, has been approved for the treatment of complicated skin and skin structure and intraabdominal infections in adults. However, clinical data on its safety and effectiveness in cancer patients are lacking. We reviewed the records of all cancer patients treated with tigecycline for more than 48 hours between June 2005 and September 2006 at our institution and identified 110 consecutive cases (median age, 58 yr; range, 18-81 yr). We collected data on demographics, cancer type, tigecycline indication, microbiologic characteristics, side effects, and outcome. Sixty-four (58%) patients had hematologic malignancies; 27 patients had undergone hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Thirty-one (28%) patients had neutropenia, and 62 (56%) were in the intensive care unit at the start of therapy. Most patients (106 [96%]) received tigecycline as a second-line agent (after not responding to other broad-spectrum antibiotics), and 101 (92%) received it in combination with an antipseudomonal drug. The mean duration of therapy was 11 days (range, 3-35 d). Sixty-six (60%) patients received tigecycline for refractory pneumonia, 19 (17%) had bacteremia, 9 (8%) had intraabdominal infections, and 7 (6%) had complicated skin and soft tissue infections. Fifty (45%) patients had microbiologically documented infections, and the remaining patients had negative cultures at the start of therapy.An overall clinical response was noted in 70 (64%) patients. More clinical responses were seen in patients with bacteremia than in those with pneumonia (79% vs. 51%; p = 0.029). Patients with microbiologically documented infections had significantly higher clinical response rates than patients with non-microbiologically documented infections (73% vs. 55%; p = 0.047). Forty (36%) patients did not respond to treatment; 36 of these patients died of active infection during tigecycline therapy. Patients with pneumonia had a significantly higher mortality rate than patients with bacteremia (44% vs. 16%; p = 0.026). During the 60 days of follow-up from the date of clinical response, patients with pneumonia had significantly shorter survival durations than patients with other infections. Of the 42 patients who were not on antiemetics or ventilator support at the start of tigecycline therapy, 2 (5%) experienced mild nausea, and 1 (2%) experienced nausea and vomiting. Only 4 (4%) patients overall experienced diarrhea during tigecycline therapy, all of whose stools were negative for Clostridium difficile toxin. No serious adverse events related to tigecycline use were identified. The combination of tigecycline and an antipseudomonal drug may be appropriate for treating refractory infections and multidrug-resistant organisms in cancer patients, including hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients. Patients with refractory pneumonia had a relatively low clinical response rate in our study.
A prospective, observational study of 110 patients with serious infections due to Enterococcus spp. in 6 university and community teaching hospitals in Connecticut was conducted to define the epidemiology of community and nosocomial serious enterococcal infections and to determine risk factors, including antibiotic resistances, that contribute to outcome. Serious community and nosocomial enterococcal infections involved a variety of sites, and antibiotic resistance was common. Types of infection by major organ system were cardiovascular, 54% (catheter-related bacteremia 28%, primary bacteremia 18%, endocarditis 6%, septic thrombophlebitis 1%); intra-abdominal, 13% (including cholangitis, 6%); renal, 13%; skin and soft tissue, 5%; bone and joint, 4%; pleuropulmonary, 4%; central nervous system, 3%; deep surgical wound, 3%; and endometritis, 2%. Sixty-one percent of infections were nosocomial; 48% of these occurred in the intensive care unit. Enterococcus faecium was responsible for 20% of all infections. Antibiotic resistances among the infections included high-level gentamicin resistance (26%), ampicillin resistance (10%), and vancomycin resistance (8%). Clinical cure was achieved in 64% of patients; 6.8% of patients relapsed, 6.8% had recurrence of the infection with a different pathogen, and overall mortality was 23%. Ampicillin resistance and a high acute physiology and chronic health evaluation (APACHE) II score were highly predictive of lack of cure.
To our knowledge, an institutional review of systemic histoplasmosis has not been conducted in the United States since the major outbreaks in Indianapolis in 1978-4982. We conducted a retrospective review of all patients with systemic histoplasmosis diagnosed at Mayo Clinic over a 15-year period. The case definitions employed were based on an international consensus statement by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer/Invasive Fungal Infections Cooperative Group (EORTC/IFICG) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Mycoses Study Group (MSG). One hundred eleven patients with systemic histoplasmosis were identified between January 1, 1991, and December 31, 2005. Of these, 78 patients had disseminated histoplasmosis and 55 patients had Histoplasma capsulatum fungemia. The mean age of patients was 55 years, 66% were male, and 98% were white. Fifty-nine percent of patients were immunocompromised. Fever was the most frequently reported symptom (63%), followed by respiratory complaints (43%) and weight loss (37%). The peripheral white blood cell count was <3000 cells/mm in 28%, hemoglobin was <10 g/dL in 29%, and platelet count was <150,000 cells/mm in 41% of patients. Liver enzymes were elevated (alanine aminotransferase >60 U/L in 39%, aspartate aminotransferase >60 U/L in 27%), alkaline phosphatase was >200 U/L in 55%, and albumin was <3.5 g/dL in 70%. Serologic and histopathologic examinations were each positive in 75% of cases, Histoplasma urine antigen screening was positive in 80%, and H. capsulatum was culture positive in 84%. Forty-seven percent of patients were sequentially treated with an amphotericin B-containing product followed by itraconazole, 31% received itraconazole alone, and 7% received an amphotericin B-containing product only. Another 13% of patients did not receive antifungal treatment, and the remaining 2% did not have treatment data available. Sixty percent of patients required hospitalization, and in hospital mortality was 6% with a median survival time of 61 days. The relapse rate was 9%, with a median relapse-free survival of 857 days. Systemic histoplasmosis should be suspected in patients who have lived in endemic areas with fever, bone marrow suppression, and elevated hepatic enzymes, particularly if they are immunocompromised. Evaluation including a combination of Histoplasma serologic screening, urine antigen assay, and fungal culture will secure the diagnosis in most cases.
We analyzed a series of 112 consecutive cases of left atrial myxoma diagnosed in a single French hospital (72 women and 40 men; age range, 5-84 yr) over 40 years, from 1959 to 1998. Symptoms of mitral valve obstruction, the first arm of the classic triad of myxoma presentation, were present in 75 patients (67%), with mostly cardiac failure or malaise. Symptoms of embolism, the second frequent presentation in the classic triad, were observed in 33 cases (29%) with 1 or several locations, essentially cerebral emboli with stroke. Males are statistically at greater risk than females of developing embolic complications. The third arm of the classic triad consists of constitutional symptoms (34%) with fever, weight loss, or symptoms resembling connective tissue disease, due to cytokine (interleukin-6) secretion. Younger and male patients have more neurologic symptoms, and female patients have more systemic symptoms. Seventy-two patients (64%) had cardiac auscultation abnormalities, essentially pseudo-mitral valve disease (53.5%) and more rarely the suggestive tumor plop (15%). The most frequent electrocardiographic sign was left atrial hypertrophy (35%), whereas arrhythmias were uncommon. The greater number of myxoma patients (98) diagnosed preoperatively after 1977 reflects the introduction of echocardiography as a noninvasive diagnostic procedure. However, there was no significant reduction in the average time from onset of symptoms to operation between patients seen in the periods before and after 1977. The tumor diameter ranged from 1 to 15 cm with a weight of between 15 and 180 g (mean, 37 g). The myxoma surface was friable or villous in 35% of the cases, and smooth in the other 65% cases. Myxomas in patients presenting with embolism have a friable surface; those in patients with cardiac symptoms, pseudo-mitral auscultation signs, tumor plop, and electrocardiogram or radiologic signs of left atrium hypertrophy and dilatation are significantly the larger tumors. The long-term prognosis is excellent, and only 4 deaths occurred among our 112 cases over a median follow-up of 3 years. The recurrence rate is low (5%), but long-term follow-up and serial echocardiography are advisable especially for young patients.
Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a common disease among Hispanic immigrants to the American Southwest. The experience in this series suggests a higher incidence of disease than has been reported by public health personnel. Symptoms at presentation correlate with the anatomic site of disease. Parenchymal disease and inactive calcifications present primarily with seizures; ventricular disease with headaches and symptoms of acute hydrocephalus; and cisternal disease with basilar meningitis, hydrocephalus, or seizures from coexisting parenchymal disease. Current treatment regimens are suboptimal, although symptoms may resolve in the absence of therapy. Patients may not respond to a single course of praziquantel therapy. Procedures to divert cerebrospinal fluid are often needed and frequently require revision. We found an association between corticosteroid treatment and the need for repeat therapy with praziquantel, but controlled studies are needed to clarify the role of antiparasitic agents in all forms of neurocysticercosis.
Four forms of porphyria may present clinically with the acute attack, an episodic, severe, and potentially life-threatening manifestation characterized by abdominal and neurologic symptoms. We describe our experience with 112 consecutive attacks observed and treated in 25 patients with the 2 most common forms of acute porphyria in Cape Town, South Africa; 25 attacks in 10 patients with variegate porphyria and 87 attacks in 14 patients with acute intermittent porphyria. The remaining patient experienced more than 100 sequential, severe, and poorly remitting attacks, which are not included in our analysis. In our population, the relative risk of an acute attack in acute intermittent porphyria compared with that in variegate porphyria was 14.3 (confidence intervals, 6.3-32.7). Patients with variegate porphyria were significantly older (median age at first attack, 30 yr) than those with acute intermittent porphyria (median age at first attack, 23.5 yr; p < 0.0001), and demonstrated an equal sex ratio, whereas the male:female ratio in acute intermittent porphyria was 2:12 (p < 0.0001). There was a significant difference in the incidence of factors precipitating the acute attack. Drug exposure was a frequent precipitant of the acute attack in variegate porphyria, whereas hormonal factors were more important in acute intermittent porphyria (p < 0.00001). Patients with acute intermittent porphyria also showed a trend to earlier and more frequent recurrent acute attacks following the initial admission. Mean urine precursor levels, blood pressure, pulse rate, and heme arginate requirement were all significantly higher in patients with acute intermittent porphyria. No significant difference in the frequency of serious complications or in outcome could be shown. We describe our experience with treatment with heme arginate, and provide evidence that heme arginate results in a prompt and statistically significant improvement in symptoms. The incidence of serious complications and mortality in this series was low, confirming a trend to an increasingly good prognosis for patients with acute porphyria who receive expert treatment.
Hepatitis B virus-associated polyarteritis nodosa (HBV-PAN) is a typical form of classic PAN whose pathogenesis has been attributed to immune-complex deposition with antigen excess. We conducted the current study to 1) analyze the frequency of HBV infection in patients with PAN, in light of the classification systems described since 1990; 2) describe the clinical characteristics of HBV-PAN; 3) compare the evolution according to conventional or antiviral treatment; and 4) evaluate long-term outcome. One hundred fifteen patients were included in therapeutic trials organized by the French Vasculitis Study Group and/or referred to our department for HBV-PAN between 1972 and 2002. To determine the frequency of HBV-PAN during the 30-year period, we analyzed a control group of patients with PAN without HBV infection, followed during the same period and diagnosed on the same bases. Depending on the year of diagnosis, different treatments were prescribed. Before the antiviral strategy was established, some patients were given corticosteroids (CS) with or without cyclophosphamide (CY). Since 1983, treatment for patients with HBV markers has combined 2 weeks of CS followed by an antiviral agent (successively, vidarabine, interferon-alpha, and lamivudine) combined with plasma exchanges (PE).Ninety-three (80.9%) patients entered remission during this period and 9 (9.7%) of them relapsed; 41 (35.7%) patients died. For the 80 patients given the antiviral strategy as intention-to-treat, 4 (5%) relapsed and 24 (30%) died vs 5 (14.3%) relapses (not significant [NS]) and 17 (48.6%) deaths (NS) among the 35 patients treated with CS alone or with CY or PE. HBe-anti-HBe seroconversion rates for the 2 groups, respectively, were: 49.3% vs 14.7% (p < 0.001). Patients who seroconverted obtained complete remission and did not relapse.Thus, HBV-PAN, a typical form of classic PAN, can be characterized as follows: when renal involvement is present, so is renal vasculitis; glomerulonephritis due to vasculitis is never found; antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) are not detected; relapses are rare, and never occur once viral replication has stopped and seroconversion has been obtained. Combining an antiviral drug with PE facilitates seroconversion and prevents the development of long-term hepatic complications of HBV infection. The major cause of death is gastrointestinal tract involvement. Importantly, the frequency of HBV-PAN has decreased in relation to improved blood safety and vaccination campaigns.
The purpose of this study was to compare renal cyst pseudoenhancement between virtual monochromatic spectral (VMS) and conventional polychromatic 120-kVp images obtained during the same abdominal computed tomography (CT) examination and among images reconstructed using filtered back projection (FBP), adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR), and model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR).
Our institutional review board approved this prospective study; each participant provided written informed consent. Thirty-one patients (19 men, 12 women; age range, 59–85 years; mean age, 73.2 ± 5.5 years) with renal cysts underwent unenhanced 120-kVp CT followed by sequential fast kVp-switching dual-energy (80/140 kVp) and 120-kVp abdominal enhanced CT in the nephrographic phase over a 10-cm scan length with a random acquisition order and 4.5-second intervals. Fifty-one renal cysts (maximal diameter, 18.0 ± 14.7 mm [range, 4–61 mm]) were identified. The CT attenuation values of the cysts as well as of the kidneys were measured on the unenhanced images, enhanced VMS images (at 70 keV) reconstructed using FBP and ASIR from dual-energy data, and enhanced 120-kVp images reconstructed using FBP, ASIR, and MBIR. The results were analyzed using the mixed-effects model and paired t test with Bonferroni correction.
The attenuation increases (pseudoenhancement) of the renal cysts on the VMS images reconstructed using FBP/ASIR (least square mean, 5.0/6.0 Hounsfield units [HU]; 95% confidence interval, 2.6–7.4/3.6–8.4 HU) were significantly lower than those on the conventional 120-kVp images reconstructed using FBP/ASIR/MBIR (least square mean, 12.1/12.8/11.8 HU; 95% confidence interval, 9.8–14.5/10.4–15.1/9.4–14.2 HU) (all P < .001); on the other hand, the CT attenuation values of the kidneys on the VMS images were comparable to those on the 120-kVp images.
Regardless of the reconstruction algorithm, 70-keV VMS images showed a lower degree of pseudoenhancement of renal cysts than 120-kVp images, while maintaining kidney contrast enhancement comparable to that on 120-kVp images.
Demographic, clinical, and laboratory features that predict underlying malignancy in patients with dermatomyositis (DM) are poorly known. We conducted a retrospective study in all adult patients with a definite (n ≤ 75) or probable (n ≤ 32) diagnosis of DM according to Bohan and Peter criteria or with amyopathic DM (n ≤ 14) who were referred to 2 departments during a 13-year period. The diagnosis of malignancy-associated DM was retained if DM occurred in a context of recently diagnosed malignancy or if a malignancy was diagnosed during the 5 years following the diagnosis of DM. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to assess the cumulative incidence rates of underlying malignancy during the first 5 years of DM. Factors associated with malignancy in patients with DM were identified by Cox proportional hazards models.During the study period, 121 patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria (median age, 52 yr; range, 19-77 yr; women: 70%). For 29 of them, the diagnosis of malignancy-associated DM was retained. The cumulative incidence rate of malignancy was 21 - ± 4% and 28 ± 5%, 1 year and 5 years after the diagnosis of DM, respectively. The median duration of follow-up of the 92 patients with no malignancy diagnosed was 36 months (range, 1-140 mo). In multivariate analysis, independent factors associated with an underlying malignancy in patients with DM were an age at diagnosis >52 years (hazard ratio [HR], 7.24; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.35-22.31), a rapid onset of skin and/or muscular symptoms (HR, 3.11; 95% CI, 1.07-9.02), the presence of skin necrosis (HR, 3.84; 95% CI, 1.00-14.85) or periungual erythema (HR, 3.93; 95% CI, 1.16-13.24), and a low baseline level of complement factor C4 (HR, 2.74; 95% CI, 1.11-6.75). Lastly, low baseline lymphocyte count (<1500/mm) was a protective factor of malignancy (HR, 0.33; 95% CI, 0.14-0.80). Taken together, these data may help physicians focus on a group of patients who might benefit from extensive evaluation for malignancy.
Central nervous system (CNS) aspergillosis is a highly fatal infection. We review the clinical presentation, diagnosis, and outcome of this infection and present a case series of 14 consecutive patients with CNS aspergillosis admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) from 2000 to 2011. We also review 123 cases reported in the literature during that time. We included only proven CNS aspergillosis cases conforming to the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer/Mycoses Study Group (EORTC/MSG) definitions of invasive fungal infections. In the MGH case series, neutropenia, hematologic malignancies, autoimmune diseases requiring steroid treatment, and solid organ transplantation were the predominant comorbid conditions. Notably, all MGH patients were immunosuppressed, and more than half (n = 8) had a history of previous brain injury, unrelated to their index hospitalization. For most MGH patients (11 of 14), the lung was the primary focus of aspergillosis, while 2 had paranasal sinus involvement, and 1 had primary Aspergillus discitis. Among reported cases, paranasal sinuses (27.6%) and the lung (26.8%) were the primary foci of infection, whereas 22% of those cases had no obvious primary organ involvement. Although a selection bias should be considered, especially among published cases, our findings suggest that patients who underwent neurosurgery had improved survival, with MGH and literature patients having 25% and 28.6% mortality, respectively, compared to 100% and 60.4%, respectively, among patients who received only medical treatment. Although this was not the case among MGH patients, CNS aspergillosis can affect patients without significant immune suppression, as indicated by the high number of reported immunocompetent cases. In conclusion, mortality among CNS aspergillosis patients remains high, and the infection may be more common among patients with previous brain pathology. When indicated, neurosurgical procedures may improve prognosis.
A prospective study of patients hospitalized in a large Veterans Administration Hospital between November 1963 and November 1973 revealed 123 patients with deep mycotic infections. The incidence of these infections almost doubled during the last 5 years. Candida (55 patients) and Aspergillus (26 patients) were the major causative agents. Nine other fungal caused infection in the remaining patients. Candidemia was rare prior to the introduction of commerical percutaneously-inserted venous catheters in 1965. The incidence increased further following the introduction of parenteral hyperalimentation in 1969, and Torulopsis fungemia (5 patients) appeared for the first time. Invasive pneumonia caused by spore-forming Aspergillus decreased when patients were moved from an old, naturally-ventilated hospital to a new, mechanically-ventilated one. The air in both hospitals was sampled on one occasion for the presence of fungal spores, and spores of Aspergillus fumigatus were detected only in the old hospital. Our experience suggests that hospital-acquired Aspergillus infection of the lung might be eliminated if all incoming hospital air is filtered, properly vented, and not recirculated. Efforts to decrease hospital-acquired fungal infections include vigorous infection control procedures for intravenous therapy, judicious use of any therapy that predisposes to infection, and further evaluation of improved mechanical control of hospital ventilation.