2023: Vol 10 No 9
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Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) commonly causes benign skin manifestations in children; it then establishes a latent infection and may reactivate, causing herpes zoster. The most common zoster complication is postherpetic neuralgia, but complications can also occur without a rash. VZV infection may cause neurological manifestations and even vasculopathy may occur, in both primary and reactivated VZV infection. Thrombotic complications are mainly described in children, while a few case reports have described cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), deep-vein thrombosis of the lower limbs and pulmonary embolism in adults. In this article we report the case of a young woman who developed systemic thromboembolic sequelae due to a hypercoagulable state following VZV reactivation. She had deep venous lower-limb thrombosis extended to the inferior vena cava (IVC), massive pulmonary embolism and CVST. Moreover, VZV reactivation caused an acute hepatitis and clinical manifestations suggesting viral encephalitis.
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Marijuana has long been used both for recreational and medicinal purposes. Most of the available forms of marijuana contain additives such as liquorice to enhance its flavour. Liquorice increases the amounts of cortisol in the body and produces metabolic abnormalities seen in primary hyperaldosteronism. Liquorice extracts are mixed with marijuana in the same way as for tobacco. We describe a case of apparent mineralocorticoid excess due to excessive smoking of liquorice-laced marijuana. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of apparent mineralocorticoid excess caused by marijuana use.
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Mitral annulus calcification is a common incidental finding in echocardiography examination of predisposed populations. On the other hand, caseous calcification of the mitral annulus is a rare variant that challenges the physician to differentiate it from different causes of cardiac masses. We describe a case of incidentally discovered caseous calcification confirmed with CT cardiac and cardiac magnetic resonance.
A case of severe cardiomyopathy due to COVID-induced myocarditis, completely resolved after colchicine and immunoglobulin therapyViews: 441 PDF: 327 HTML: 71
Coronavirus 19 (COVID-19) is well known for causing acute respiratory distress syndrome. Among other systemic complications, myocarditis is a frequently reported presentation as well as complication. One systematic review reported a 14% mortality rate in patients with COVID-19 myocarditis. Endomyocardial biopsy is a definitive diagnostic test but has been a challenge to perform in most cases of COVID myocarditis due to the contagious nature of the disease. Patients presenting with new cardiomyopathy with troponin leak and arrhythmias, supported by recent COVID-19 diagnosis should be suspected for COVID-induced myocarditis. Supportive treatment has been the mainstay of treatment with limited data on immunotherapy and colchicine. Our case is about a male in his 50s who had a cardiac arrest due to ventricular fibrillations, with a positive COVID-19 test. Further workup showed severe non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy with an EF of 15–20%. He was treated with intravenous immunotherapy and colchicine. A repeat echocardiogram 3 days later showed resolution of cardiomyopathy. Our case report highlights the possible beneficial effects of immunotherapy and colchicine in viral myocarditis.
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Overall gastric cancer incidence is decreasing, but incidence of gastric signet ring cell carcinoma has been rising. The diagnosis can be challenging. It has a poorer prognosis because it tends to be diagnosed at advanced stages. Lymphedema is a rare presentation. We report a rare presentation of signet ring cell carcinoma in a 49-year old male, with no underlying medical condition. The patient presented with lymphedema of lower limbs, scrotum and abdominal wall.
Spontaneous recovery of isolated advanced heart block in patient with celiac disease by starting a strict gluten free diet: a case report and review of the literatureViews: 295 HTML: 55 PDF: 213
Cardiac conduction disorder may have a wide range of aetiology and can manifest with symptomatic bradycardia and syncope. Celiac disease is a malabsorptive long-term autoimmune disorder where the small intestine is the primarily affected organ due to gluten intolerance in genetically predisposed individuals. The associations between celiac disease and cardiac pathology are uncommon. We report a case of a 50-year-old woman with a known case of celiac disease who presented with a symptomatic cardiac conduction abnormality that improved with a gluten-free diet.
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Introduction: Pantoprazole is one of the most widely used proton pump inhibitors, but anaphylaxis occurs rarely during its use. The purpose of reporting these two cases is to show that pantoprazole is not a drug without problems; it can also cause anaphylactic reactions.
Cases description: A 42-year-old woman presented to the emergency department due to dyspeptic complaints. Immediately at the end of the infusion of pantoprazole, there started to be numbness of the tongue, itching all over the body, and difficulty in breathing. Half an hour after taking a pantoprazole 40 mg capsule, a 58-year-old woman started to experience redness of the face, thickening of the tongue, itching, bloating, and dizziness. Arterial pressure was 80/60 mmHg, pulse 150/minute, while saturation had dropped to 88%. In both cases, fluids, adrenaline, antihistamines, methylprednisolone, and calcium were immediately started. After the improvement of their general conditions, both patients were discharged home.
Discussion: The first case relates to anaphylaxis after the intravenous administration of pantoprazole, and the second case relates to the appearance of anaphylaxis after its oral administration.
Conclusion: Health workers need to be informed about the possibility of anaphylaxis in patients taking both oral and parenteral pantoprazole.
Systemic bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) infection and accompanying warm autoimmune haemolytic anaemia following intravesical BCG immunotherapyViews: 218 HTML: 41 PDF: 204
Intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is used for urothelial carcinoma. Systemic side effects are rare and commonly include organ involvement but rarely include bone marrow. We describe a patient who had received intravesical BCG and presented shortly afterwards with constitutional symptoms. Initial work-up revealed pancytopenia and immune haemolysis. He was presumptively diagnosed with systemic BCG infection and secondary warm autoimmune haemolytic anaemia. Isoniazid, rifampin and ethambutol was started. The bone marrow biopsy revealed granulomas. Within 6 weeks of treatment, the patient's clinic and laboratory results were dramatically improved. A high level of suspicion is crucial for diagnosis and treatment.
Seizure and bilateral external jugular vein distention: a rare manifestation of Stanford type A aortic dissectionViews: 185 HTML: 28 PDF: 170
Introduction: Seizure as a sole sign of Stanford Type A aortic dissection (AAD) is mentioned in the medical literature. In this case, AAD was manifested by external bilateral jugular vein distention and generalized seizure.
Patients and Methods: A 47-year-old woman presented to the Emergency Department with convulsions in the upper and lower extremities. She was diagnosed with AAD and transferred to a hospital with cardio-thoracic capabilities for surgery.
Conclusion: Seizure resulting from aortic dissection has been explained by general cerebral hypoperfusion. However, jugular vein distention could be secondary to increased thoracic pressure, due to compression of the pulmonary artery by the ascending aorta.
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Introduction: We present a clinical case of a 45-year-old man with recurrent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and multiple hospital admissions due to severe infectious conditions. A newfound hypoalbuminemia raised the suspicion of a protein-losing condition, with an upper endoscopy revealing lesions at the D2 level compatible with coeliac sprue and HLA typing positive for both DQ-2 and DQ-8.
Methods: A gluten free diet was started and apixaban was suspended.
Results: No new complications were reported.
Discussion: Multiple mechanisms are believed to be behind the association between DVT and coeliac disease. However, to this date, no consensus exists regarding the ideal duration of anticoagulation.
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Introduction: Vitamin C deficiency (or scurvy) usually takes weeks to become apparent as cutaneous signs and impaired wound healing. Haemorrhagic pericarditis remains a rare complication of scurvy, which has never been reported as an isolated condition. We report the case of a haemorrhagic pericarditis revealing a vitamin C deficiency in a 56-year-old patient.
Case description: A 56-year-old woman presented with a 2-week history of worsening chest pain and dyspnoea, with no significant medical history. Upon admission, the patient exhibited tachycardia, tachypnoea, low blood pressure, elevated jugular venous pressure, muffled heart sounds and multiple petechiae on her lower limbs. An ultrasound revealed a large pericardial effusion, and an emergency pericardiocentesis was performed, which yielded haemorrhagic fluid without atypical cells. An initial workup including haemoculture, PT and PTT, tuberculosis workup, autoantibodies, tumour markers and infectious disease was negative. A whole-body CT scan showed no evidence of tuberculosis or lymphoma. Additional testing showed that her vitamin C level was <3 umol/L. Following stabilisation, high-dose vitamin C therapy was initiated. Subsequently, she showed continued clinical improvement and remained asymptomatic upon her discharge.
Discussion: While uncommon, it is crucial to investigate vitamin C deficiency when confronted with an unexplained haemorrhagic pericardial effusion, particularly in patients with risk factors.
Conclusion: Our case highlights the significance of early detection of this condition in promptly addressing the diverse complications of scurvy, thereby enhancing the prognosis of a potentially fatal condition.
Recurrent high-risk pulmonary thromboembolism treated with repeated thrombolytic therapy could be helpful for certain patients: a case report and review of the literatureViews: 313 HTML: 34 PDF: 219
Acute pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE) is considered the third most frequent acute cardiovascular syndrome behind myocardial infarction and stroke, with annual incidence rates ranging from 39 to 115 per 100,000 people and ranking high among the causes of cardiovascular mortality. High-risk PTE is characterised by haemodynamic instability and encompasses clinical manifestations such as cardiac arrest, obstructive shock and persistent hypotension. The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) recommends a reperfusion strategy with systemic thrombolytic therapy for high-risk PTE under class I, level B if there are no contraindications. Overall, unsuccessful thrombolytic therapy and recurrent PTE have been reported in 8% of patients with high-risk PTE. The guidelines recommend surgical pulmonary embolectomy if thrombolysis is contraindicated or has failed. The position of repeated thrombolytic therapy as a treatment option in patients with recurrent high-risk PTE, especially in situations with a lack of surgical expertise or resources, was not mentioned in the guidelines. We report the case of a patient who suffered a recurrent high-risk PTE and was treated with repeated thrombolytic therapy that was effective and resulted in excellent outcomes.