2022: Vol 9 No 8
Background: Massive haemoptysis is a rare symptom ofcoronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Management can be very challenging due to the lack of clear recommendations.
Case description: We report a case of massive recurrent haemoptysis in a young patient who tested positive for COVID-19 with successful management using endovascular embolization.
Discussion: Life-threatening massive haemoptysis has rarely been reported as the only manifestation of COVID-19. Embolisation was the therapeutic option chosen to manage this emergency.
Introduction: Viral infections can induce autoimmune diseases in susceptible patients. SARS-CoV-2 has been associated with the development of rheumatic disease, especially small vessel vasculitis and arthritis. Typically, onset occurs days to weeks after the antigenic challenge and in patients with mild COVID-19. We report a case of large vessel vasculitis (LVV) temporally related to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Case description: An otherwise healthy 19-year-old woman presented with fatigue, malaise, and chest and low back pain. The symptoms had begun 5 weeks earlier and 1 month after mild SARS-CoV-2 infection. Serological work-up revealed a marked proinflammatory state and anaemia without signs of infectious or autoimmune disease. Computerized tomography revealed thickening and blurring of the perivascular fat of the descending thoracic and abdominal aorta, progressing along the proximal iliac and renal arteries. Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography confirmed inflammatory activity. Symptoms and laboratory values normalized after prednisolone treatment.
Discussion: Recent SARS-CoV-2 infection may be a trigger for LVV, including Takayasu arteritis, as well as other rheumatic diseases. A prompt and thorough differential diagnosis is essential to exclude aortitis and LVV mimickers. Moreover, physicians should be aware of the potential spectrum of systemic and autoimmune diseases that could be precipitated by SARS-CoV-2 infection. This will allow timely diagnosis and treatment, with significant improvement in prognosis.
Platypnoea-orthodeoxia syndrome (POS) is a condition characterized by dyspnoea and hypoxaemia while sitting or standing, which improves during decubitus. It is usually caused by intracardiac right-to-left shunting through a patent foramen ovale but may also occur due to pulmonary ventilation-perfusion mismatch of other aetiologies. A new cause of POS was recently described: SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia. We report the case of a 62-year-old man admitted for SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia with respiratory failure. Chest computed tomography angiography showed pulmonary thromboembolism and parenchymal lung changes compatible with COVID-19. He had worsening dyspnoea in a sitting position, relieved by assuming the dorsal position. He was diagnosed with POS after other causes were excluded. POS is an underdiagnosed complication of COVID-19 and is manageable with respiratory rehabilitation.
Secondary bacterial pneumonia infection is frequent in COVID-19 patients. Nocardia are responsible for opportunistic pulmonary infections especially after steroid treatment. We describe a case of pulmonary nocardiosis following critical COVID-19 pneumonia in an 83-year-old male. Two weeks after initiation of dexamethasone 6 mg/L, the patient developed a new episode of acute dyspnea. The sputum cultures identified Nocardia cyriacigeorgica. In spite of intravenous imipenem and cotrimoxazole treatment the patient died. Physicians should be aware of the possibility of nocardiosis in case of deterioration of respiratory status of severe COVID-19 inpatients and perform Nocardia evaluation. This evaluation requires prolonged culture.
A gastrosplenic fistula is a rare complication of primary splenic lymphoma and a rare cause of massive upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage. We report a case of a spontaneous gastrosplenic fistula secondary to splenic large B-cell lymphoma.
The patient was admitted to the emergency department with haematemesis. Oesophagogastroduodenoscopy showed a deep gastric ulcer, and a subsequent CT scan revealed a gastrosplenic fistula. Gastric biopsy demonstrated gastric mucosa with infiltration by large lymphoid cells. A multidisciplinary discussion on the management of this case was conducted.
Primary surgical treatment of the fistula was not deemed indicated because the bleeding had stopped. The patient was stabilized, transfused, and then transferred to the oncology unit for chemotherapy.
During hospitalization, lung metastases were found but the progressive worsening of the patient’s general condition contraindicated chemotherapy. She was transferred to a hospice and died 2 months later of neoplastic cachexia.
Gastrosplenic fistula is a rare condition. Prompt recognition of the underlying pathology can save the patient’s life. We aim to highlight this rare complication of splenic lymphoma, discuss the presenting signs and symptoms, and explore the management options.
Critically ill patients admitted into the intensive care units are susceptible to a wide array of complications that can be life-threatening, or lead to long-term complications. Some complications are inherent to the patient’s condition and others are related to therapeutics or care procedure. The prolonged prone positioning and mechanical ventilation devices are the first risk factors for orofacial complications. We report the case of a 47-year-old male patient, with a history of sleep apnoea syndrome, morbid obesity (body mass index of 43 kg/m2), and gastroesophageal reflux disease, presented to the emergency department with recent otorhinolaryngological symptoms of dysphonia and exertional dyspnoea lasting two days, and complicated with Quincke’s disease. First-line treatment consisted of a compilation of intravenous antihistamines and corticosteroids. The patient’s condition worsened. He developed an acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to ventilator-acquired pneumonia with prone positioning ventilation, complicated by severe macroglossia. Soaked gauze dressings were placed around his tongue. Progressively, the size of his tongue reduced.
Behçet's disease (BD) is multisystemic vasculitis with heterogeneous clinical manifestations. We describe the case of a 26-year-old man who presented with Budd–Chiari syndrome (BCS) related to BD. The patient received infliximab (IFX) due to the severity of vascular involvement. Subsequently, after IFX therapy, hospital-acquired pneumonia, trapped lung, and fungal infection of the lung and central nervous system developed as complications. The patient benefited from a second course of IFX and clinical remission was achieved following early identification and treatment of complications. Data on the presentation and prognosis of BCS related to BD are extremely limited. Our case report supports the growing evidence that anti-TNF antibody is a promising treatment for BD-related BCS.
Introduction: Percutaneous embolectomy using the percutaneous large-bore aspiration embolectomy FlowTriever system (INARI Medical, Irvine, CA, USA) is a promising method for reducing high clot burden in patients with intermediate- to high-risk pulmonary embolism (PE).
Case Description: A 45-year-old woman with intermediate- to high-risk PE underwent percutaneous intervention using the FlowTriever retrieval/aspiration system. After the procedure, she experienced several cardiac arrests from pericardial tamponade and required pericardiocentesis, leading to haemodynamic stabilization.
Discussion: To our knowledge, this is the first documented case of the use of the FlowTriever system causing micro-perforation of the right ventricle, resulting in tamponade and cardiac arrest.
Conclusion: Percutaneous embolectomy has shown promise results in reducing clot burden and improving haemodynamic stability but has risks and limitations and requires specialized knowledge and training. In addition, more data are required from centres using the FlowTriever system to ensure adequate training and safety.
Introduction: Several immune-mediated side effects have been reported with COVID-19 vaccines, including myocarditis.
Case description: A 27-year-old woman with a past medical history of mild COVID-19, developed adult-onset Still’s disease (AOSD) with salmon-pink flagellate erythema, polyarthritis, a sore throat, myocarditis and haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis after receiving two doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine (Pfizer®, BioNTech®). Despite the initial efficacy of high-dose pulses of methylprednisolone, inflammatory markers rose as soon as de-escalation of corticosteroids was attempted, warranting initiation of biologics targeting the interleukin (IL)-1/6 axis, which allowed sustained remission of the disease despite withdrawal of corticosteroids.
Discussion: To our knowledge, this is the first case of AOSD with both haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging-proven myocarditis triggered by COVID-19 vaccination, successfully treated with steroids and biologics targeting the IL-1/IL-6 axis. The pathophysiological process by which COVID-19 vaccination can lead to AOSD is still unknown, although it has been reported that the spike protein may act as a pathogen-associated molecular pattern and thus induce an overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines of the innate immune system (e.g., IL-1, IL-6 or IL-18).
Conclusion: Targeting the IL-1/6 axis is effective for the treatment of severe steroid-refractory BNT162b2 vaccine-induced adult-onset Still’s disease. At a population level, the favourable benefit/risk ratio of COVID-19 vaccination remains indisputable.
Right atrial masses are rare and diagnosis can be difficult unless histopathological specimens are obtained. In addition, the clinical course is not well documented, thereby making diagnosis and management challenging. The mass can be associated with haemodynamic instability with the potential to cause obstructive shock and embolism. We present the case of a young woman with untreated chronic myelogenous leukaemia with a massive haemodynamically significant right atrial mass. The usefulness of multimodality imaging and a multidisciplinary approach for diagnosing and treating this condition is highlighted.
We describe four cases of COVID-19 infection during the Omicron wave, in patients treated with anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies. All cases follow a similar biphasic clinical course consisting of respiratory deterioration, which occurred a few weeks after convalescence from initial mild to asymptomatic infection. Possible explanations are discussed.