Vol 7 No 6
  • Adriana Tamburello, Giovanni Bruno, Marco Marando

    In December 2019, a novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2 was reported to be responsible for a cluster of acute atypical respiratory pneumonia cases in Wuhan, in Hubei province, China. The disease caused by this virus is called COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019). The virus is transmitted between humans and the outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020. Coagulopathy is a common abnormality in patients with COVID‐19 due to inflammation, hypoxia, immobilisation, endothelial damage and diffuse intravascular coagulation. However, the data on this topic are still limited. Here we report the case of a man presenting with pneumonia complicated by bilateral pulmonary embolism.

  • Talal Asif, Kameel Kassab, Fady Iskander, Tareq Alyousef

    We report a case of acute viral pericarditis and cardiac tamponade in a patient with COVID-19 to highlight the associated treatment challenges, especially given the uncertainty associated with the safety of standard treatment. We also discuss complications associated with delayed diagnosis in patients who potentially may need mechanical ventilation.

  • Noel Lorenzo-Villalba, Abrar-Ahmad Zulfiqar, Marc Auburtin, Marie Helene Schuhmacher, Alain Meyer, Yasmine Maouche, Olivier Keller, Emmanuel Andres

    We report three cases of severe thrombocytopenia during COVID-19 infection associated with either cutaneous purpura or mucosal bleeding. The initial investigations ruled out other causes of thrombocytopenia. Two of the patients were treated with intravenous immunoglobulins and eltrombopag, while the third recovered spontaneously. A good clinical and biological response was achieved in all patients leading to hospital discharge.

  • Damiano D'Ardes, Andrea Boccatonda, Ilaria Rossi, Michela Pontolillo, Giulio Cocco, Cosima Schiavone, Francesca Santilli, Maria Teresa Guagnano, Marco Bucci, Francesco Cipollone

    In December 2019, an outbreak of a new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was reported in Hubei province in China. The disease has since spread worldwide and the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic on 11 March 2020. We describe the case of a 65-year-old woman who clinically recovered from COVID-19 but showed persistent infection with SARS-CoV-2 for 51 days.

  • Hassan H Allam, Abdulhalim Jamal Kinsara, Tareq Tuaima, Shadwan Alfakeh

    Background: Very limited information is available on pericardial effusion as a complication of COVID-19 infection. There are no reports regarding pericardial fluid findings in COVID-19 patients.
    Case description: We describe a 41-year-old woman, with confirmed COVID-19, who presented with a large pericardial effusion. The pericardial fluid was drained. We present the laboratory findings to improve knowledge of this virus.
    Discussion: We believe this is the first such reported case. Findings suggested the fluid was exudative, with remarkably high lactate dehydrogenase and albumin levels. We hope our data provide additional insight into the diagnosis and therapeutic options for managing this infection.

  • Pedro Antunes Meireles, Filipe Bessa, Pedro Gaspar, Inês Parreira, Virgílio Dias Silva, Catarina Mota, Lourdes Alvoeiro

    Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a multisystemic condition caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) with manifestations ranging from mild upper respiratory symptoms to cytokine storm causing acute respiratory distress syndrome. Pancreatic exocrine tissue and endocrine islets both express angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the proven receptor for SARS-CoV-2 cell internalization. An increase in pancreatic enzymes has been increasingly recognized in patients with COVID-19, but little is known about the real prevalence of acute pancreatitis in this population. We report a case of acute acalculous pancreatitis in a COVID-19 patient.

  • Maria Cristina Pasqualetto, Eleonora Secco, Manuele Nizzetto, Moreno Scevola, Lorella Altafini, Alberto Cester, Fausto Rigo

    Patients affected by COVID-19 pneumonia may develop stress cardiomyopathy, also known as Takotsubo syndrome (TTS), at different stages during the disease and with different degrees of left ventricular dysfunction. We describe three cases of TTS in COVID-19-positive patients with different clinical presentations and outcomes. One of them died, while in the other two coronary angiography confirmed the diagnosis but was postponed until after pneumonia resolution because of the risk of virus spread.

  • Parminder Kaur, Sahitya Posimreddy, Balraj Singh, Firas Qaqa, Habib A Habib, Michael Maroules, Fayez Shamoon

    The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic that developed in late 2019 and early 2020 has caused thousands of deaths and has had an enormous impact on our health systems and economies. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) complications include disseminated coagulation and thrombosis, but, to the best of our knowledge, the literature to date on these manifestations has been limited. Herein, we report an unusual presentation in a 43-year-old man with a medical history of diabetes and hypertension who presented with dyspnoea and acute pain in his right leg and was found to have acute limb ischaemia and diabetic ketoacidosis. Our case adds to the literature regarding arterial thrombosis in COVID-19.

  • Yael Becher, Leonid Goldman, Nadav Schacham, Irina Gringauz, Dan Justo

    The diagnosis of pulmonary embolism is challenging in symptomatic COVID-19 patients since shortness of breath, chest pain, tachycardia, tachypnoea, fever, oxygen desaturation and high D-dimer blood levels might be features of both diseases. We present two COVID-19 patients in whom pulmonary embolism was suspected (and diagnosed) due to a discrepancy between an increase in D-dimer blood levels and a decrease in C-reactive protein blood levels over time. We believe that an opposite change in the blood levels of both biomarkers over time may be used as a novel method to predict pulmonary embolism in COVID-19 patients.

  • Francois Maurier, Benoit Godbert, Julie Perrin

    We describe an overweight COVID-19 patient with respiratory distress preceded by anosmia/dysgeusia with no lung injury shown on CT, angio-CT or ventilation/perfusion scans. Orthopnoea and paradoxical abdominal respiration were identified. Phrenic paralysis, demonstrated by examination of patient breathing, and on x-ray while standing breathing in and out, explained the respiratory distress. This is a rare and previously undescribed neurological complication of COVID-19 infection caused by vagus nerve injury.

  • Sadettin Uslu

    Cytokine release syndrome (CRS) is a systemic inflammatory response that can be triggered by many factors such as infections. CRS in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is life-threatening and can occur very rapidly after COVID-19 diagnosis. Tocilizumab (TCZ), an interleukin‐6 (IL-6) inhibitor, may ameliorate the CRS associated with severe COVID‐19 and thus improve clinical outcomes. We present a case of life-threatening CRS caused by COVID-19 infection successfully treated with TCZ.

  • Maria Carolina dos Santos Sousa Duarte Seabra, Barbara Silva, Vitor Fagundes, João Rocha, Luís Nogueira, Mari Mesquita

    Introduction: A strong association between stroke and atrial fibrillation (AF) has been demonstrated. Anticoagulation for the prevention of stroke in high-risk patients has the benefit of improving the life expectancy, quality of life, autonomy and social functioning of the patient. The COVID-19 pandemic poses challenges for stroke patients because of the association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and thromboembolic risk.
    Case description: We describe the case of an 84-year-old female patient admitted due to an embolic stroke and non-anticoagulated AF. Her admission symptoms were sensory-motor aphasia and severe right limb paresis with an NIHSS score of 24. The diagnosis of embolic stroke (namely, total anterior circulation infarct; TACI) was made. Her stroke was extensive so she was not started on anticoagulation. During hospitalization, new embolic events occurred and a concomitant diagnosis of COVID-19 was made with progressive respiratory dysfunction followed by multiorgan failure. The patient died despite appropriate treatment.
    Discussion: The prognosis of elderly patients with cardioembolic stroke depends on anticoagulation administration. The NIHSS score on admission of our patient meant anticoagulation therapy was not appropriate. The diagnosis of COVID-19 contributed to the patient’s death.

  • Iris Duroi, Frederik Van Durme, Tony Bruyns, Sofie Louage, Alex Heyse

    Severe COVID-19 may predispose to both venous and arterial thrombosis. We describe a patient with acute ischaemic stroke while suffering from COVID-19 and respiratory failure, necessitating mechanical ventilation. Deep sedation may delay diagnosis.

  • Erika Poggiali, Andrea Vercelli, Elena Demichele, Eva Ioannilli, Andrea Magnacavallo

    We describe the case of a young female patient admitted to our emergency department during the Italian COVID-19 epidemic, for fever and dry cough associated with symptoms of gastric reflux over the previous 5 days. Lung ultrasound showed diffuse bilateral B lines with irregular pleural thickening, and consolidation with air bronchogram and slight pleural effusion in the lower left lobe. Chest HRCT and abdominal CT scanning with contrast revealed diaphragmatic rupture with gastric perforation, and atelectasis of the left pulmonary lobe with unilateral pleural effusion, diffuse ground-glass opacities and multiple small consolidations in both lobes. A nasopharyngeal swab for 2019-nCoV was positive. A diagnosis of diaphragmatic rupture and gastric perforation in COVID-19 pneumonia was made. The patient was immediately hospitalized and surgically treated. Treatment for COVID-19 and empiric antibiotic therapy were promptly started.

  • Ana Rita Barradas, Francisco Albuquerque, Mariana Constante, Margarida Fonseca, Filipe Correia, João Lopes Delgado

    Syncope caused by carotid sinus syndrome due to head and neck cancer is rare. We report a case of recurrent syncope as a result of extreme bradycardia requiring pacemaker implantation. The patient began chemotherapy and radiation therapy to treat the underlying cause. When diagnosed early, a positive outcome is expected in these situations.

  • Débora Sousa, Pedro Raimundo

    Amoxicillin is a semi synthetic beta-lactam antibiotic that belongs to the penicillin family. It is the most prescribed antibiotic in the world. It has few side effects, even though hypersensitivity reactions may occur, with potential life-threatening effects. The authors present the case of a 63 years-old male admitted in the emergency department with a two-week history of fever and occipital headache. The symptoms began after he started antibiotic prophylaxis with amoxicillin for a dental procedure. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis was suggestive of aseptic meningitis and the patient improved quickly after discontinuation of the drug. The patient’s previous medical history highlighted a similar episode after he had started taking amoxicillin as part of a scheme for the treatment of a Helicobacter pylori infection. Aseptic meningitis is an extremely rare adverse reaction of amoxicillin, with only 16 cases reported in literature.

  • Sumeet Yadav, Michelle Talukder, Jacky Duong

    Hemiplegic migraine (HM) is a rare type of migraine which presents with motor and sensory impairment like a cerebrovascular accident (CVA). We present a case of a 36-year-old female, with a prior CVA treated with alteplase, who presented to the emergency department with stroke-like symptoms with a duration of 1 hour. The NIH Stroke Scale score was 22 at presentation. The patient received alteplase under the supervision of a neurologist after head CT confirmed no bleed. Further work-up revealed no acute or remote ischaemia or infarction. This case demonstrates the importance of a thorough history, intercommunication between health systems and integrated Electronic Medical Records (EMR) for early diagnosis and management of HM.

  • Niryinganji Révérien, Mountassir Shuruk, Siwane Abdellatif, Tabakh Houria, Touil Najwa, Kacimi Omar, Chikhaoui Nabil

    Emphysematous pancreatitis is a rare and fatal complication of acute necrotizing pancreatitis. We report a radioclinical observation of a 61-year-old female patient who consulted for epigastric pain radiating to the back, associated with vomiting and elevated lipasaemia more than 3 times the normal value. The abdominal computerized tomography (CT) scan carried out on the fourth day of hospitalization, based on worsening of the clinical condition, showed pancreatic necrosis associated with the presence of air bubbles. Percutaneous puncture of a peripancreatic collection was positive for Escherichia coli. A diagnosis of emphysematous pancreatitis was established. The clinical and biological evolution of our patient was favourable with antibiotic treatment.

  • Deeba Ali, Arnaud Detroz, Yilmaz Gorur, Lionel Bosquee, Noel Lorenzo Villalba, Benoît Cardos

    We reported a case of measles-induced acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) in a 40-year-old immunocompetent adult. The patient presented a week after the development of respiratory symptoms and a cutaneous rash, and was admitted to hospital for altered mental status. Blood tests showed hyperleukocytosis, thrombopenia and cytolysis. A lumbar puncture was consistent with acute meningitis and the patient was initially treated with antiviral and wide broad-spectrum antibiotics. Serology and PCR for measles came back positive.

  • Minoodokht Bavarsad Karimi

    Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is one of the main complications of sickle cell disease (SCD) and imparts significant risk during pregnancy. Here, we report the outcome of undetected PAH in a pregnant woman with SCD. The patient presented with severe progressive dyspnoea with echocardiographic findings of high pressure in the pulmonary artery in the 37th week of pregnancy. Despite an emergency caesarean section, both mother and neonate died. Regular cardiovascular check-up is essential for SCD patients and careful prenatal care should include cardiovascular evaluation. PAH during pregnancy is associated with high mortality and morbidity. As there is no proof that new advanced therapies decrease the risks, early diagnosis in pregnant patients with underlying disease, like sickle cell anaemia, is essential and termination of pregnancy should be considered.

  • Mohammad Darvishi, Sana Rashidi, Setayesh Abazari

    Tuberculosis is one of the major health problems in developing countries affecting different organs such as bone and joints. One of the most important involvements of osteoarticular tuberculosis is that of the sacroiliac joint. In addition, its incidence has increased over the past several years. Early diagnosis is necessary to prevent further disorders such as neurological and surgical complications. We report a tuberculous arthritis case in the right sacroiliac joint, which developed after penicillin injection.
    The patient was a 32-year-old man admitted to Besat hospital, Tehran, Iran. He complained of pain, erythema and swelling in his right buttock starting approximately 17 years previously, after a penicillin injection, which was followed by the emergence of an orifice with yellow secretions. Over the years, the secretions continued but the pain, swelling and erythema were resolved. At the time of admission, his vital signs were stable and normal. In the physical examination, an orifice with a small amount of yellow secretion was detected on the right buttock as claimed by the patient. Lung auscultation was clear. No lymphadenopathy was detected. Laboratory data were normal.
    During hospitalization, initial antibiotic therapy was prescribed. After Mycobacterium tuberculosis was detected in culture, a 4-drug anti-TB therapy encompassing rifampin, isoniazid, ethambutol and pyrazinamide was prescribed for 18–24 months, in addition to daily vitamin B6 and pantoprazole.

  • Ahmed A Mohamad, Muhammed Zahid, Adeel Ahmad Khan, Belal Alani, Mustafa Khalil, Abazar Saeed, Abdel-Naser Elzouki

    Introduction: Kikuchi-Fujimoto (KF) disease is a rare and self-limiting disorder of unknown aetiology characterized by cervical lymphadenopathy (CLN) and fever. The pathophysiology remains unclear and may be triggered by an infectious agent leading to a self-limiting autoimmune process. There are no confirmatory laboratory tests and lymph node biopsy is required to differentiate KF disease from other serious conditions.
    Materials and methods: We report 11 cases of KF disease diagnosed at Hamad General Hospital, Qatar, between 2006 to 2016. The diagnosis is based on clinical presentation, investigations and histopathological examination of lymph nodes.
    Results: All patients had painful neck swelling (average duration of 2.9 weeks) and 10 had fever (average duration of 3.2 weeks). Five patients developed mild leucopenia which resolved completely. HIV and tuberculosis (TB) screening including sputum for AFB, a PPD skin test and chest x-ray was done for all patients and came back negative. Autoimmune screening was done for all patients and excluded any rheumatological disease. Ultrasound and CT of the neck confirmed cervical lymphadenopathy. Except for hepatomegaly in one patient, CT scans of the chest and abdomen were negative for any lymphadenopathy or organomegaly (performed in seven patients). Diagnosis was confirmed on lymph node excision biopsy. Histopathological examination showed findings consistent with the diagnosis of histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis (KF disease).
    Conclusion: KF disease should be kept in mind for patients presenting with fever and CLN. Lymphoma, TB and autoimmune diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus should be excluded in such patients.