Latest articles accepted but not assigned to a specific issue yet.

Table of Contents

Cover Page
Juliana Silva, Neusa Guiomar, Marisa Passos Silva, Daniel Caeiro, Vasco Gama

Interrupted aortic arch (IAA) is a rare congenital abnormality with only a few cases reported in adults. It is defined as complete loss of continuity between the ascending and descending portions of the aorta, and is usually associated with other cardiac defects. The diagnosis in adults should be suspected in the presence of refractory hypertension, a careful physical examination being crucial to early diagnosis. Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) techniques can accurately characterize cardiovascular anatomy, and also provide information regarding heart chamber and valve function.

Chiao-Ching Li, Chiao-Zhu Li, Sheng-Tang Wu, Tai-Lung Cha, Shou-Hung Tang

A 71-year-old man presented with spondylodiscitis with epidural and psoas muscle abscesses following transrectal ultrasound (TRUS)-guided prostate biopsy. These rare complications were detected by computed tomography of the abdomen and magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbar spine. The patient was successfully treated with antibiotics and underwent neurosurgery. Awareness of presentations such as backache and weakness of the lower limbs after prostate biopsy is important as these symptoms are usually mistaken for bone or muscle problems and often not recognized as being related to infection.

Martin Edward Perry, Shazmeen Surtee, Zainab Nawaz

We describe a 40-year-old lady who presents with a painful white tongue on exposure to the cold. The differential diagnosis and investigations are outlined with a discussion about this unusual presentation of a common problem.

Sara Ferreira, Paula Vaz-Marques

Tuberculosis remains a concern in patients receiving anti-TNF therapy as these individuals have a higher incidence of extrapulmonary and disseminated tuberculosis. Tuberculous tonsillitis is an unusual presentation of extrapulmonary tuberculosis, which is diagnosed mostly in immunodeficient patients. We report the case of a 33-year-old woman, diagnosed with Behçet’s syndrome, immunosuppressed with adalimumab, cyclosporine and prednisolone. She had odynophagia for 2 weeks, fever and a hypertrophied, ulcerated left tonsil. A tonsil biopsy revealed a granulomatous inflammatory process. Ziehl-Neelsen staining was positive for acid-fast bacilli. The chest x-ray revealed a milliary pattern. Gastric juice was positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex DNA. A diagnosis of tonsillar and pulmonary tuberculosis was established. This case report highlights the low threshold for a tuberculosis diagnosis in unusual locations in patients treated with anti-TNF therapy. 

Marco Enzo Tau, Melissa Cocca

A healthy 44-year-old man, with a typical presentation of exertional heatstroke, presented with an increase in serum procalcitonin (PCT) levels. Suspecting a coexisting infection, the emergency physician started empirical antibiotic treatment and obtained samples for culture. The antibiotic treatment was stopped immediately after ward admission due to lack of signs of infection. The patient recovered completely after several days of rehydrating therapy and cultures remained negative for bacterial growth. PCT elevation is typically found with heatstroke, but this association is rarely found in daily practice due to the futility of PCT testing in this situation. Increased serum PCT levels in the context of heatstroke must not lead to an unsupported alternative diagnosis and useless investigations, tests and treatment.

Eilis McCarthy, Muneeb Mustafa, Mike Watts

Granulomatosis with polyangitiis (GPA) is a systemic small and medium vessel vasculitis, commonly associated with anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCAs). Presenting signs and symptoms in GPA are varied and patients may present with constitutional, non-specific symptoms, which can delay the diagnosis. Tissue biopsy of the site of active disease can confirm the diagnosis of GPA, in which necrotising granulomatous inflammation is seen. However, surrogate markers may be used for diagnosis without a tissue biopsy. They include upper and lower airway symptoms, signs of glomerulonephritis and a positive ANCA. However, approximately 10–20% of patients with GPA are ANCA negative, allowing for the diagnosis to be overlooked, particularly in those patients with non-specific findings. The reason for the absence of ANCAs is unclear.

Tjitske Berends-De Vries, Susan Boerma, Joan Doornabal, Bert Dikkeschei, Coen Stegeman, Thiemo Veneman

A young male patient with rapidly progressive and life-threatening pulmonary haemorrhage due to anti-glomerular basement membrane (anti-GBM) antibody disease without renal involvement repeatedly tested negative for serum anti-GBM antibodies. Although rare, anti-GBM antibody disease should be considered in the differential diagnosis in patients with life-threatening pulmonary haemorrhage due to isolated diffuse alveolar haemorrhage. Enzyme-linked-immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing for anti-GBM antibodies in anti-GBM antibody disease can give false-negative results. A negative serum anti-GBM antibody test is therefore insufficient to exclude the diagnosis. Thus, a kidney or lung biopsy should be considered in any case with a high clinical suspicion but negative anti-GBM antibody test to confirm or rule out the diagnosis.

Rachael Hilton, Jefferson Berryman, Karina Handoyo

A patient with post-Cesarean wound complication was treated for necrotizing fasciitis (NF) with sharp debridement and broad-spectrum antibiotics. Several operations and three weeks later, her abdominal skin, subcutaneous fat, right-sided rectus abdominus, and underlying fascia had been removed without any improvement in granulation tissue. Original pathology samples demonstrated sheets of necrosis consistent with NF, but were re-reviewed by a dermatopathologist who diagnosed the patient with pyoderma gangrenosum (PG). She was started on high-dose steroids and dapsone, and her wound quickly showed signs of improvement. Anchor bias delayed the initiation of steroids and diagnosis of PG as the surgical, medical, and consulting teams were hesitant to stray from the diagnosis of NF.

Simon Bac, Dirk Jan Bac

We present the case of a patient who developed a liver abscess following screening colonoscopy. A colorectal screening program was introduced in the Netherlands in 2014 in order to reduce mortality from colorectal cancer. The patient in this report, a 63-year-old man with no significant medical history, underwent polypectomy of two polyps. Four days afterwards he presented to our emergency department with fever, nausea and vomiting. He was diagnosed with a Klebsiella pneumoniae liver abscess and was successfully treated with antibiotics for 6 weeks. This case highlights one of the risks of screening colonoscopy. Given the high number of colonoscopies due to the colorectal screening programs, we should be aware of complications in this mostly asymptomatic group of patients.

Francesca Graziani, Aureliano Ruggio, Antonio Iaconelli, Elena Verrecchia, Amelia Morrone, Daniela Antuzzi, Filippo Crea, Raffaele Manna

Anderson-Fabry’s disease (AFD) is a rare, X-linked lysosomal storage disorder caused by the complete deficiency or attenuated activity of the enzyme α-galactosidase A, leading to progressive systemic intracellular accumulation of glycosphingolipids and subsequent cellular dysfunction, inflammation and fibrosis. Fever is a frequently misinterpreted symptom in the early stages of the disease, leading to diagnostic delay. We present the case of a 35-year-old man admitted to our Periodic Fever Research Centre for long-lasting recurrent episodes of fever of unknown origin. After extensive assessment, we diagnosed AFD associated with a novel GLA mutation. We started enzyme replacement therapy with clinical benefit and complete remission of fever.

Sara Castelo Branco, Ana Teresa Ferreira, Sofia Saraiva, Mário Jorge Silva, Teresa Garcia

Candida infection of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is rare in the immunocompetent individual. In immunocompromised patients, it frequently involves the oesophagus, but extra-oesophageal involvement is uncommon. We report a case of primary and isolated gastroduodenal candidiasis. Upper GI endoscopy with biopsy of gastric mucosa was crucial for making the diagnosis. The patient showed transient improvement after therapy with fluconazole.

Sara Ferreira, Margarida Freitas-Silva

Addison’s disease is an endocrine disorder characterized by primary adrenal insufficiency due to various causes. Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection was a major cause in the past but is rare nowadays. We describe a patient admitted to our hospital who was diagnosed with tuberculous Addison’s disease.

Takahiro Miyakoshi, Mamoru Satoh, Fumio Nomura, Takao Hashimoto, Toru Aizawa

Objective: To describe hypocalcaemia due to vitamin D deficiency in ‘hikikomori’ syndrome.
Materials and methods: A 37-year-old man with ‘hikikomori’ syndrome for a year was admitted with hypocalcaemia (serum ionic calcium 1.17 mmol/l). Serum 1,25(OH)2-vitamin D3 determined by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry was depressed at 12.1 pg/ml (29.0 pmol/l) and plasma intact PTH elevated at 324 ng/l. Administration of 1 μg/day 1α(OH)-vitamin D3 and 1 g/day calcium lactate for 1 week normalized calcium and PTH, and raised 1,25(OH)2-vitamin D3 to low normal levels.
Conclusion: This is the first report of hypocalcaemia due to vitamin D deficiency in a patient with ‘hikikomori’ syndrome.

Alexandre Malek, Krystel Aouad, Rana El khoury, Maya Halabi-Tawil, Jacques Choucair

Background: Mercury is a highly toxic environmental metal that exists in three different forms: elemental, inorganic and organic. Intoxication occurs in either occupational or non-occupational settings, mainly after the inhalation of vapour and fumes in work places, laboratories or homes. Chronic mercury toxicity ranges from mild and insignificant to severe and life-threatening. We describe the case of a young male patient who presented with multiple organ dysfunction after chronic mercury exposure.
Case presentation: We report the case of 28-year-old male artisanal gold miner who was admitted to hospital for severe neurological impairment associated with inflammatory bowel disease-like symptoms and a skin rash after mercury exposure. Symptomatic treatment and corticosteroid administration assured rapid clinical improvement. Chronic mercury poisoning can masquerade as an autoimmune or systemic inflammatory disease.
Conclusion: Physicians should be aware that low exposure to mercury, even from artisanal gold mining, may be harmful to health. Management can be simple without the need for aggressive or invasive therapeutic measures. Larger case series are required in order to establish a clear management plan.

Maria Lobo Antunes, Gonçalo Cabral, Raquel Tavares, Carla Noronha, José Araújo

Aortitis results from aortic inflammation, frequent causes being infections and rheumatological disorders. The authors report the case of a 33-year-old black male with recent arterial hypertension, who presented with recurrent abdominal pain, jaundice, anorexia, weight loss and diarrhoea. Laboratory work-up was compatible with inflammatory anaemia and obstructive jaundice, while abdominal imaging revealed a dilated biliary tract, no visible gallstones, cephalic pancreatic globosity and aortic thickening. Pancreatic aspirate was negative for malignant cells, bacteria and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The jaundice spontaneously subsided and the pancreatic globosity improved over time. Following positive PPD and IGRA, isoniazid was started. However, follow-up investigations revealed a severe bulbar stenosis with intense eosinophilic infiltrate, multiple non-necrotizing granulomas, and thoracic and abdominal aortitis not previously recognized. Immunological profile (ECA, ANCA and IgG4), eggs and parasites in stool samples were negative. The multisystemic disease, with an insidious and migrating behaviour, gastrointestinal and vascular involvement, granulomatous inflammatory response and tissue eosinophilia, raised the suspicion of a parasitic infestation (despite negative screening) or vasculitis. After 7 days of empirical treatment with albendazole and ivermectin, the patient passed a specimen of Ascaris lumbricoides in the stool and improved clinically.

Abuajela Sreh, Nithyananda Rajaiah, Mohammad Saim

A 34 year-old Afro-Caribbean female presented with recurring episodes of fever and lower abdominal pain over a period of two months not improving despite courses of antibiotics for possible recurrent urinary tract infections. On admission to hospital, patient was treated for a possible pyelonephritis or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Extensive investigations into possible source of infection were carried out. However, all of the repeated microbiological cultures were normal. Patient was investigated further for other possible causes including connective tissue disease, haematological disorders, or neoplasm, all of which were normal. Diagnosis of adult onset Still’s disease (AOSD) was confirmed by a rheumatologist based on Yamaguchi’s diagnostic criteria for AOSD alongside significantly raised serum ferritin. Patient was treated with steroids to which she showed remarkable clinical improvement alongside marked reduction in her serum ferritin levels.

Babar Ahmad Khan, Sania Hanif Khan, Anuj Vikrant Sharma

In 1934 Lemmel was the first to report the presence of juxtapapillary diverticula and hepatocholangiopancreatic disease, excluding cholelithiasis. Obstructive jaundice caused by periampullary duodenal diverticulum (PAD) in absence of choledocholithiasis or tumor is known as Lemmel syndrome. A patient with an extraluminal duodenal diverticulum presenting with obstructive jaundice and pancreatitis is presented in this case. Although initially managed conservatively, the patient had recurrence of symptoms after 2 months but then had successful surgical resection of the duodenal diverticulum.

Phivos Costas Symeonides

Introduction: A 47-year-old Caucasian woman with a past medical history of multiple ablative procedures for supraventricular arrhythmias and pacemaker implantation presented with increasing shortness of breath. The initial working diagnosis of the team treating her was ablation-induced pulmonary stenosis, especially after the recording of increased flow velocities through the right lower pulmonary vein.
Case presentation: The patient was alert and oriented, but obviously dyspnoeic. The vital signs were normal. The physical examination revealed a soft cardiac systolic murmur and the lungs were clear on auscultation. The electrocardiogram showed a pacemaker rhythm. The echocardiogram showed borderline normal global systolic function of the left ventricle and severe mitral regurgitation. The transoesophageal echocardiogram confirmed the above findings and revealed increased velocities through the right lower pulmonary vein. The working diagnosis of ablation-induced pulmonary stenosis was reinforced by the cardiac CT angiography. The patient was subsequently referred for surgical intervention. The intra-operative findings were both unexpected and impressive: congenital partial absence of the pericardium was responsible for herniation of the right chambers into the pleural space. Mitral regurgitation was attributed to failure of coaptation due to the very short surface of the leaflets. Extensive external fibrosis around the pulmonary veins caused the pulmonary vein stenosis.
Conclusion: The final diagnosis of a partial pericardial defect causing torsion and distortion of the heart chambers was made only at surgery. The consistent finding of pulmonary vein stenosis in the non-invasive modalities and the past medical history of ablations initially misleadingly led us to the assumption that they were related.

Emilie Chalayer, Aude Pelissier, Bernard Tardy

AFIP1L1-PDGFRA fusion can only be confirmed through molecular and cytogenetic investigations causing a delay in the diagnosis. However, patients with this mutation need urgent treatment because they present hypereosinophilia which may be associated with short-term tissue damage. Thromboembolism is a known cause of death in hypereosinophilic syndrome. A case of Loeffler endocarditis due to FIP1L1-PDGFRA-associated chronic eosinophilic leukemia presenting hemiparesis with fever, which also mislead the initial diagnosis, is reported.