2020: Vol 7 No 10
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Segmental arterial mediolysis (SAM) is a non-inflammatory, non-atherosclerotic vasculopathy mostly involving the abdominal arteries. SAM was recently recognized as a more prevalent aetiology of abdominal pain than initially thought by healthcare providers. It is still a commonly missed diagnosis in patients with recurrent emergency room (ER) visits for abdominal pain. Most published case reports in the past have highlighted catastrophic sequelae such as intra-abdominal haemorrhage requiring surgical intervention. We report a case of SAM where the diagnosis was initially missed. After diagnosis, conservative medical management was offered which led to clinical improvement.
COVID-19 in a Patient Treated for Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis: Persistent Viral Shedding with No Cytokine StormViews: 1128 HTML: 154 PDF: 1729
Introduction: The coronavirus disease COVID-19 is considered a pandemic disease that has developed rapidly all over the world. As of today, it is unclear whether immunosuppression confers an increased risk for pulmonary complications, or conversely, whether it can be a protective factor with respect to a cytokine storm.
Case description: We report the case of a 55-year-old male patient with granulomatosis with polyangiitis treated with rituximab who was infected with COVID-19 pneumonia. To the best of our knowledge, only 1 case has been reported in the literature with similar characteristics. The patient had a non-classic evolution of clinical symptoms with persistent fever and viral shedding, in addition to a negative serology.
Conclusion: This case emphasizes the management and immunity response to COVID-19 pneumonia in such patients. Data are still needed regarding patients who have prolonged B-cell depletion, which may put the patient at a higher risk for reinfection.
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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first reported in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. The disease is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome virus coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). A few published cases have linked COVID-19 and hyponatremia. The mechanism of hyponatremia in these cases is related to the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH). Here we present a unique case of urinary retention and SIADH as unusual presenting features of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
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Background: Kawasaki-like syndrome occurring in children during the COVID-19 pandemic has been labelled multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) by the CDC and paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection (PIMS-TS) by the ECDC.
Case report: We report the case of an 18-year-old male patient presenting with a 72-hour history of abdominal pain, fever, erythematous skin rash, vomiting and diarrhoea. Examination showed he also had shock and he was first thought to have oedematous cholecystitis. SARS-CoV-2 infection was also diagnosed. He was admitted to the ICU, and echocardiography showed cardiac dysfunction, with a low ejection fraction and low cardiac index. High-sensitivity troponin serum levels were elevated. The patient received inotropic and vasopressor support. As he fulfilled several criteria for MIS-C/PIMS-TS, he was administered acetylsalicylic acid, corticosteroids and immunoglobulin, with a good clinical response.<br />
Conclusion: This case emphasizes how this severe presentation of COVID-19 can easily be misdiagnosed if the clinician is less aware of this syndrome in younger patients.
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The effect of COVID-19 on the cardiovascular system still needs to be clarified. Patients can develop a spectrum of cardiac diseases, from mild myocarditis to acute coronary syndrome with an impaired systolic fraction. We describe an interesting case of transient ST segment elevation in a COVID-19 patient admitted to ICU for severe respiratory distress syndrome. During his stay in ICU, the patient developed transient ST segment elevation in inferior-lateral leads which promptly resolved without requiring any additional invasive and/or pharmacological treatment.
Transthoracic echocardiography showed a preserved ejection fraction without any regional abnormalities and the rise in enzyme biomarkers was insignificant. The case highlights the importance of avoiding invasive procedures in this subset of patients to reduce both patient complications and medical staff exposure. Careful evaluation including echocardiogram and second-line examinations should be performed before invasive and aggressive treatment is undertaken.
COVID-19 and Cytomegalovirus Co-infection: A Challenging Case of a Critically Ill Patient with Gastrointestinal SymptomsViews: 1350 HTML: 4928 PDF: 659
COVID-19 is a severe disease that has reached pandemic status. To the best of our knowledge, we describe the first case of COVID-19 and cytomegalovirus (CMV) co-infection in a critically ill patient. We discuss the challenge of establishing the diagnosis as well as the management of tissue-invasive gastrointestinal CMV infection (TI-GI CMV) simulating vascular involvement and intestinal obstruction in a critically ill patient.
Mondor's Disease in SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Case of Superficial Vein Thrombosis in the Era of COVID-19Views: 2003 HTML: 453 PDF: 614
SARS-CoV-2 causes blood hypercoagulability and severe inflammation resulting in an increased risk of thrombosis. Consequently, COVID-19 patients with cardiovascular disease seem to be at higher risk of adverse events. Mondor’s disease is a rare, generally self-limiting, thrombosis of the penis. The pathogenesis of Mondor’s disease is unknown, and it is usually diagnosed through clinical signs and with Doppler ultrasound evaluation. We describe the case of a young man with COVID-19 infection who manifested Mondor’s disease.
Minimal Change Disease and Phenylketonuria in an Adult Patient: The Two Sides of Protein HomeostasisViews: 980 HTML: 275 PDF: 517
Phenylketonuria (PKU), the most common inborn error of amino acid metabolism, has been associated with an increased risk of renal impairment, the reason for which is not fully understood. We report the case of a 33-year-old female patient diagnosed with PKU in adulthood after suspicion of the disease in her daughter. The diagnostic approach revealed proteinuria, and minimal change disease (MCD) was identified. Therapeutic measures and follow-up are discussed. The possible link between these two disorders is interesting. Attenuated developmental delay of untreated PKU could be explained by the decreased accumulation of phenylalanine secondary to proteinuria. On the other hand, MCD may be a possible, although as yet unreported, pathophysiological mechanism explaining the renal repercussions that have been found in adult PKU patients, who should be screened for proteinuria.
Acute Soft Head Syndrome (Subgaleal Haematoma) with Periorbital Oedema as a Rare Presentation in Sickle Cell DiseaseViews: 777 HTML: 1187 PDF: 366
Background: Sickle cell disease is a genetic condition frequently found in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Uncommon complications include subgaleal haematoma (soft head syndrome) and periorbital oedema.
Case presentation: A 17-year-old male patient presented with body aches and progressive right parieto-temporal and frontal head swelling. Physical examination revealed puffiness of the right eye that progressed rapidly to reddish periorbital oedema sparing the extraocular muscle and pupil response to light. CT and MRI of the brain suggested multiple subgaleal haematomas (soft head syndrome) and right periorbital oedema.
Conclusion:Subgaleal haematoma (soft head syndrome) and periorbital oedema are uncommon complications of sickle cell disease. Management is conservative rather than surgical.
An Unusual Case of Allergic Reaction to Anakinra in a Patient with Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor-1 Associated Periodic Syndrome (TRAPS) and Subsequent Canakinumab TreatmentViews: 1059 HTML: 878 PDF: 441
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS) is a rare hereditary systemic autoinflammatory disease (SAID). Treatment is based on corticosteroids, but often requires the addition of a biologic drug (anti-TNF agent, IL-1 receptor antagonist, etc) to achieve symptom control. The addition of the second drug is not clearly defined and must take into account the characteristics and preferences of the patient. We describe a patient with TRAPS and an allergic reaction to anakinra which was difficult to manage clinically while alternative treatment was being identified.
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Secukinumab is an inhibitor of interleukin IL-17A, and is mainly used in the treatment of psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Although rarely, this drug may induce paradoxical reactions, such as cutaneous vasculitis. Worldwide, only four previous cases of vasculitis induced by secukinumab have been reported. We herein report the first case described in Brazil of cutaneous vasculitis due to secukinumab in a patient with peripheral spondyloarthritis who demonstrated good resolution after withdrawal of the drug and initiation of etanercept. Clinicians should be aware of this rare but potentially serious adverse effect of secukinumab.
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Hypoglycaemia is rare in apparently well patients without drug-treated diabetes mellitus and warrants evaluation and management when Whipple’s triad is present. Even in the absence of Whipple’s triad, when repeatedly low values of plasma glucose are documented, the presence of endogenous hyperinsulinism should be investigated. The authors describe a case of endogenous hypoglycaemic hyperinsulinism, its diagnosis and treatment and the challenges of determining its aetiology.
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Stab-like localized chest pain, aggravated by breathing, is compatible with pleuritic pain or with aching related to chest wall abnormalities. Local tenderness inflicted by palpation helps to differentiate pleuritic from musculoskeletal chest pain and serves as a principal accessory manoeuvre in the algorithm of chest pain evaluation.
Herein, we report the case of a 27-year-old patient with pulmonary thromboembolism and right lower lobe consolidation/atelectasis. The patient presented with right-sided chest pain, radiating to the shoulder, related to pleural irritation, yet associated with confounding intense chest wall tenderness and guarding, also involving the costovertebral angle. We propose that spinal reflex-related chest wall tenderness was involved, similar to peritoneal signs evoked by irritation of the parietal peritoneum.
This case report illustrates that localized chest wall tenderness and guarding, triggered by palpation, may not serve as unequivocal indicators of musculoskeletal pain, and could be unrecognized features of pleuritic chest pain also.
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Thyroid storm is a rare, life-threatening condition that can be caused by various pathologies including serious conditions associated with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)-producing tumours.
We present the case of a 17-year-old male patient with a 1-month history of dyspnoea and a 3-day history of palpitations and fever. General examination revealed a left testicular mass. Blood tests revealed ?-hCG >225,000 mIU/ml, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) 0.02 IU/ml, and thyroxine (T4) 19.07 µg/dl. He was admitted with thyroid storm. Treatment with antithyroid drugs and chemotherapy was started, but the patient died on the third day of admission.
This case highlights a rare occurrence of thyroid storm linked to testicular choriocarcinoma, and provides a necessary reminder that, in some instances, hCG at very high levels can exert a thyrotropic effect due to its molecular structure, which is similar to that of TSH.
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Tuberculosis (TB) is a cause of ill health and death worldwide. Since 2010, the diagnostic process has strongly relied on GeneXpert assays on biological specimens. Xpert MTB/RIF is an automated nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) for Mycobacterium tuberculosis and rifampicin resistance, endorsed by the World Health Organization and the US Food and Drug Administration. Xpert is used in many countries as the initial diagnostic test for tuberculosis. Nevertheless, the reliability of GeneXpert positive tests in patients with a history of TB is largely unknown, due to possible false-positive results (i.e., GeneXpert-positive but culture-negative patients). We present a case report of a patient with a history of pulmonary TB, who was GeneXpert positive but culture negative on bronchoalveolar lavage 22 months after completion of appropriate antitubercular therapy.
Long-lasting Thrombocytopenia after Transient Pancytopenia Induced by Short-Term Concomitant Radiotherapy and TemozolomideViews: 922 HTML: 323 PDF: 400
We describe long-lasting and incompletely resolved thrombocytopenia after transient profound pancytopenia in a 62-year-old female patient with glioblastoma after short-term radiotherapy with temozolomide. Pancytopenia was present for more than 4 weeks and thrombocytopenia for more than 6 months, without platelet recovery to normal levels.
Acute Paraparesis after Epidural Corticosteroid Injection Revealing Spinal Dural Arteriovenous Fistula in a HIV PatientViews: 611 HTML: 83 PDF: 335
Spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (SDAVFs) are often misdiagnosed as their symptoms are non-specific, leading to treatment delay and a poor outcome.
We describe the case of a 53-year-old man with a history of progressive paraparesis that worsened abruptly after an epidural corticosteroid injection. We highlight here the need for high diagnostic suspicion for an SDAVF in patients deteriorating after an epidural injection and an indication of repeated spine imaging in such cases.
Finally, this is the first reported case of an SDAVF in a HIV-positive patient and it emphasizes the need for a broad differential diagnosis.
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In this case, a 76-year-old female presented with 3–4 days of fever with no other localizing signs. Notably, she had had an untreated Fusobacterium bacteraemia approximately 8 weeks prior to admission. She underwent abdominal imaging which demonstrated a liver abscess and had percutaneous drainage of the same. Blood and pus cultures both grew Fusobacterium nucleatum, which is an unusual organism to be associated with a liver abscess, especially in an immunocompetent host with no risk factors for this condition. Interestingly, this patient did not have any history of dental work, instrumentation, liver function test (LFT) abnormalities and no extrahepatic source for the abscess. This case highlights the importance of having a high index of clinical suspicion for an occult source of infection and emphasizes the importance of following up on cultures even after discharge of a patient, since anaerobic infections such as those caused by Fusobacterium can have a largely indolent course.
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The authors present a case of phantom tumour of the lung. This is a type of pleural effusion where fluids accumulate in the interlobar fissures, typically in the transverse fissure. Its prompt recognition avoids additional, unnecessary or expensive examination and treatment mistakes.
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Subungual squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a rare malignant tumour with an indolent course and unknown aetiology. It is usually misdiagnosed as a benign lesion, resulting in delayed treatment. Although psoriasis is not a precancerous skin condition, the treatment modalities cyclosporine and psoralen with ultraviolet A (PUVA) might increase the risk of developing cutaneous SCC, although a relationship has not been confirmed.
We describe a patient with psoriasis who had been treated with cyclosporine and PUVA 6 years previously. He developed back SCC 2 years later, a subungual skin lesion after another 2 years and presented to us 1 year later, when nail elevation and biopsy revealed SCC.
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New-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is uncommon in elderly patients. We report the case of a 71-year-old woman who was diagnosed with SLE based on clinical manifestations of fever, alopecia, bicytopenia, hepatomegaly, lymphadenopathy, glomerulonephritis, positive antinuclear antibody (ANA) and anti-double stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA) antibody. Renal biopsy was consistent with lupus nephritis and excision biopsy of a right inguinal lymph node was initially reported as having features of reactive hyperplasia. However, a more careful review of the lymph node biopsy subsequently confirmed a concurrent angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma. This case illustrates the importance of investigating secondary causes and possible alternative diagnoses in patients who present with atypical features of connective tissue disease, and the challenges in diagnosing a rare form of lymphoma.
Isolated Non-Resolving Vulvar Lesion as a Presentation of Disseminated Histoplasmosis in a Woman with HIVViews: 632 HTML: 138 PDF: 318
Disseminated histoplasmosis is most commonly caused by Histoplasma capsulatum and is a known opportunistic infection in immunocompromised patients. The clinical presentation of histoplasmosis varies from asymptomatic to a progressive disseminated form. Pulmonary and CNS involvement is common in disseminated histoplasmosis. Rarely, disseminated disease can present as vulvar lesion in the absence of pulmonary symptoms, causing a delay in diagnosis. As per our PubMed literature search, there have only been two reported cases where vulvar lesion was the only presenting symptom of disseminated disease. In our patient, a histopathological diagnosis was made with staining showing budding yeast forms of histoplasma.
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Introduction: Recurrent deliberate sharp foreign body ingestion is associated with frequent hospitalizations and a high risk of complications, including perforation and peritonitis. These patients require urgent care. In addition, removal of foreign bodies can be challenging.
Case Description:We describe the case of a patient with borderline personality disorder who was admitted multiple times with sharps ingestion and presented challenges with her care.
Conclusion: Our case highlights the cause of recurrent sharps ingestion and provides recommendations on the retrieval of sharp foreign bodies and prevention.
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Background: Non-bacterial thrombotic endocarditis (NBTE) is a paraneoplastic phenomenon with sterile vegetations. It is associated with adenocarcinoma and can shower emboli, which can be the presenting symptom.
Case Presentation: A 44-year-old woman with adenocarcinoma of the lung presented with chest pain, left hand weakness, and ataxia due to repeated embolic showering from NBTE to the central nervous system (CNS) and spleen.
Conclusion: NBTE is a rare condition that should be on the differential diagnosis in patients with culture-negative endocarditis and a history of adenocarcinoma.
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Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare inflammatory response syndrome associated with an infection by toxigenic strains of Staphylococcus aureus or group A ?-haemolytic Streptococcus. We report a rare case of menstrual TSS associated with usage of a menstrual cup. The diagnosis was established through case definition criteria and supported by vaginal cultural growth of Staphylococcus aureus with evidence of TSS toxin 1 (TSST-1). The patient received prophylactic intravaginal clindamycin in an individual approach to reduce the risk of recurrence. No relapse was reported in the 12 months following discharge.