2020: Vol 7 No 5
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Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is a worldwide infection which was recently declared a global health emergency by the WHO Emergency Committee. The most common symptoms are fever and cough, which can progress to pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and/or end-organ failure. Risk factors associated with ARDS and death are older age, comorbidities (e.g., hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidaemia), neutrophilia, and organ and coagulation dysfunction. Disseminated intravascular coagulation and coagulopathy can contribute to death. Anticoagulant treatment is associated with decreased mortality in severe COVID-19 pneumonia. In this report we describe two patients with COVID-19 pneumonia who developed venous thromboembolism.
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We describe a case of a young man admitted to due to mild COVID-19 infection. During his hospitalization in an isolation ward, he had no respiratory distress or fever but developed symptoms consistent with anxiety and insomnia. Despite the appropriate supportive intervention, on hospital day 7, he attempted suicide by jumping from the third-floor ward. The patient was urgently operated and transferred to level I trauma center under strict isolation. Our findings emphasize the importance of mental health aspects during the treatment of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The World Health Organization has declared novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) an international public health emergency. We describe the case of a 92-year-old woman who was admitted to our unit with fever and chills with laboratory evidence of coinfection with SARS-CoV-2 and cytomegalovirus.
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COVID-19, also called severe acute respiratory distress syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), originated in Wuhan, China. It has caused significant morbidity and mortality worldwide and has been declared a global pandemic by the WHO. Influenza occurs mainly during the winter, with the burden of disease determined by several factors, including the effectiveness of the vaccine that season, the characteristics of the circulating viruses, and how long the season lasts. We describe the case of a 66-year-old woman who was diagnosed with influenza A and COVID-19 co-infection.
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Objective: The availability of public health information for optimised supportive care is critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. We describe the first case of COVID-19 complicated by Takotsubo cardiomyopathy.
Materials and Methods: We report the clinical, laboratory and radiological findings of a patient with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
Results: The nasopharyngeal swab was positive for SARS-CoV-2 and x-ray images demonstrated pathognomonic pneumonia. The patient developed tachycardia and the echocardiogram confirmed the diagnosis of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy.
Conclusions: Doctors should be aware of the need to thoroughly study this new infection in order to understand its underlying mechanisms and related complications.
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Younger patients with COVID-19 may experience an exaggerated immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection and develop cytokine release syndrome (CRS), which may be life threatening. There is no proven antiviral therapy for COVID-19 so far, but profound immunosuppression has recently been suggested as a treatment for COVID-19-associated CRS. We present a case of life-threatening CRS caused by COVID-19 infection with a favourable response to immunosuppressive therapy with tocilizumab (TCZ). The rapid clinical and biochemical improvement following TCZ administration suggests that treatment with immunotherapy can be life-saving in selected patients with COVID-19-induced CRS.
Transient ST Segment Elevation in Two Patients with COVID-19 and a Normal Transthoracic EchocardiogramViews: 1115 HTML: 170 PDF: 591
We continue to learn about cardiac involvement in patients with COVID-19. These patients can develop acute coronary syndrome and severe myocarditis with a reduced ejection fraction. We describe two critically ill COVID-19 patients who developed ST elevation that resolved on repeat ECG without any intervention.
False-Negative Nasopharyngeal Swab RT-PCR Assays in Typical COVID-19: Role of Ultra-low-dose Chest CT and Bronchoscopy in DiagnosisViews: 1592 HTML: 155 PDF: 847
On 11 March 2020, the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic and global health emergency. We describe the clinical features and role of ultra-low-dose chest computed tomography (CT) and bronchoscopy in the diagnosis of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). In our patient, who was highly suggestive clinically and radiologically for COVID-19, we had two false-negative results for nasopharyngeal and oral swab reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Eventually, we confirmed the diagnosis using bronchoscopy and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL).
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Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We describe the case of a 59-year-old man who presented with headache, hypertension and a single episode of fever with no other symptoms. He subsequently developed unilateral weakness. Computer tomography identified a cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST). A subsequent test for COVID-19 was positive. This is the first report of CVST as a presenting symptom of COVID-19 infection.
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A 52-year-old patient with SARS-CoV-2 was diagnosed with interstitial pneumonia and treated with darunavir/ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and low molecular weight heparin (LMWH). After LMWH cessation, he developed superior mesenteric arterial thrombosis. An abdominal CT scan showed arterial thrombosis of vessels efferent of the superior mesenteric artery with bowel distension.
COVID-19 may predispose to venous and arterial thromboembolism. Anticoagulation prophylaxis should be considered in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, and potential thromboembolism investigated in each symptomatic patient affected by SARS-CoV-2.
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Sarcoidosis is a chronic multisystemic inflammatory disease of unknown aetiology. Virtually any organ or system can be involved, resulting in a wide range of clinical presentation. Pleural sarcoidosis is rare. Pleural effusion can only be attributed to pleural sarcoidosis in the presence of pleural non-caseating epithelioid granulomas and after excluding other granulomatous diseases. Anthracosis is a pneumoconiosis associated with thoracic adenopathies and bronchial disease, and it is usually asymptomatic. The authors present a case of a middle-aged man hospitalized due to cough, right-sided pleuritic chest pain and trepopnoea.
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Lactating adenomas are benign breast tumours which normally present in the peripartum period. Aetiology, pathogenesis, best diagnostic modality and management are not yet clear in the literature. We present a case of a 32-year-old pregnant patient who was re-referred to us with a progressively increasing left breast lesion, pre-existing prior to pregnancy, which was found to be a huge lactating adenoma.
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Liver metastases from neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) are usually seen on cross-sectional imaging at presentation. In such cases, curative surgical resection is usually not possible given that most patients have bilobar disease. Various locoregional approaches are now widely available that enable local control of disease and management of systemic symptoms. These include trans-arterial embolization (TAE), trans-arterial chemoembolization (TACE), selective internal radiotherapy and thermal ablation.
We describe a rare case of hepatic necrosis after TAE in a 61-year-old woman with a metastatic NET. Cross-sectional imaging showed extensive necrosis affecting segments VII and VIII of the liver. This occurred secondary to thrombosis in the portal vein branches to these segments, confirmed on a Doppler ultrasound scan. The mechanism of portal vein thrombosis after TAE could be due to the presence of occult arterioportal anastomoses. These allow transit of the embolizing agents into the portal vein branches supplying the treated segments and subsequent thrombosis.
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Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is understood to be a delayed allergic reaction to the repeated exposure of a usually innocent inhaled agent, causing inflammatory damage to the pulmonary parenchyma, alveoli and terminal bronchioles. With ongoing exposure, it can cause respiratory compromise and pulmonary fibrosis. Recognizing the heterogeneity of the causative agents and the low incidence of the disease, we considered it important to report the case of a greenhouse worker who developed aCladosporium sp. related hot-tub lung hypersensitivity pneumonitis. We believe it to be the first reported case of a greenhouse occupational hypersensitivity pneumonitis due to Cladosporium sp.
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Superior mesenteric artery syndrome (SMA syndrome) or Wilkie’s syndrome is a rare etiology of duodenal obstruction due to compression of the third portion of the duodenum between the superior mesenteric artery and the aorta. Physical and laboratory findings are often non-specific but imaging methods are useful for diagnosing the condition. A 46-year-old female patient presented to the outpatient clinic of our internal medicine department with a 2-year history of epigastric pain, nausea, early satiety and weight loss of 15 kg. Previous studies were inconclusive. The patient underwent computed tomography enterography and its findings were consistent with SMA syndrome. Currently the patient is being followed by General Surgery and Nutrition and is under nutritional measures in order to optimize her body mass index to decrease possible surgical complications.This case report emphasizes the importance of clinical suspicion and careful investigation when considering less common etiologies for frequent gastrointestinal symptoms.
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Persistent left superior vena cava (PLSVC) is the most common variation of anomalous venous return to the heart and present in 0.1–0.5% of the general population. The left anterior cardinal veins typically obliterate during early cardiac development but failure of involution results in PLSVC. It is an asymptomatic congenital anomaly, usually discovered while performing interventions through the left subclavian vein or during cardiovascular imaging. PLSVC can be associated with cardiac arrhythmias and congenital heart disease. We present two cases of PLSVC: first, a 68-year-old male who presented with complete heart block, for which a temporary pacemaker was initially inserted followed by a permanent pacemaker; second, a 53-year-old female with a history of hypertension and ischemic cardiomyopathy with a left ventricular ejection fraction of 25%, and a survivor of sudden cardiac death, who underwent an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) for secondary prevention.
Both cases of PLSVC were detected incidentally during the transvenous approach to the heart. PLSVC was suspected by the unusually left medial position of the lead, while cineflouroscopy showed the venous trajectory toward the coronary sinus and drainage into the right atrium. It is technically difficult to cross the wire through the tricuspid valve when coming from the PLSVC and coronary sinus without making a loop in the right atrium, which is known as a wide loop technique.
PLSVC is an uncommon anomalous anatomical variant and should be recognized appropriately by specialists who frequently carry out procedures through the left subclavian vein, such as implantation of permanent pacemaker, ICD and cardiac resynchronization therapy. It should also be recognized that wide loop formation of the right ventricular lead in the right atrium is helpful to cross the tricuspid valve and to affix the lead in the right ventricle.
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Emphysematous hepatitis is a rare entity characterized by the replacement of hepatic parenchyma by gas, leading to acute liver failure. Often it occurs in patients with diabetes mellitus, liver disease or a recent history of abdominal surgery. We present a case of emphysematous hepatitis in a 74-year-old man with no recognizable risk factors. Despite the early broad-spectrum antimicrobial therapy and supportive care, the condition progressed to a fatal outcome, as seen in other case reports. Early recognition of this condition and rapid and aggressive management may improve patient outcomes.
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Plastic bronchitis is a rare condition characterised by endobronchial cast formation. We report the case of a 53-year-old women who deteriorated following an elective bronchoscopy procedure. She developed refractory ventilatory failure and required repeated bronchoscopy, which identified thick tenacious casts as the cause of her airway compromise. She did not respond to conventional therapies including endoscopic clearance, mucolytic therapy and nebulised tissue plasminogen activator (TPA). Total parenteral nutrition and a fat-free enteral diet were instituted while the patient was on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), which led to substantial improvement in her condition and demonstrated the importance of dietary strategies in this case.
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Cannabis is one of the most widely used illicit drugs in the world. Its use is associated with several short- and long-term side-effects such as changes in mood, impaired memory, impaired attention, depression and anxiety, and it is correlated with schizophrenia. Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) is characterized by chronic cannabis use, cyclic intractable nausea and vomiting, and compulsive hot bathing. Patients are typically diagnosed with CHS only after multiple medical evaluations. Recent research has identified type 1 cannabinoid receptors in the intestinal nerve plexus that have an inhibitory effect on gastrointestinal motility. This effect may explain hyperemesis in cannabis users. The thermoregulatory role of endocannabinoids may be responsible for compulsive hot bathing. We describe the cases of two young men seeking repeated emergency room care with recurrent nausea and vomiting. Abstinence from cannabis led to resolution of vomiting symptoms and abdominal pain.
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We report the case of a 23-year-old woman evaluated for asthenia and lymphocytopenia. Clinical examination was unremarkable but laboratory tests showed the presence of CD4 lymphocytopenia. Secondary causes of CD4 lymphocytopenia were ruled out and a previous diagnosis of idiopathic CD4+ T-cell lymphocytopenia was retained. CD4 lymphocytopenia has persisted for 11 years now but the patient has been clinically asymptomatic.