Adverse Effects

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  • Marta Castelli, Mauro Betelli, Anna Valenti, Barbara Merelli, Alessandro Loglio, Mauro Viganò, Alberto Benetti
    Views: 66 HTML: 9 PDF: 35

    We describe a rare case of polyserositis with chylous ascites following nivolumab therapy, highlighting the challenges in recognizing and managing immune-related adverse events (irAEs) associated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICPIs).

  • Zay Yar Aung, Khaled Elmagraby, Alexandra Nica
    Views: 104 HTML: 14 PDF: 71

    Neutropenia by non-chemotherapy drugs is an extremely rare idiosyncratic life-threatening drug reaction. Ceftriaxone and meropenem are widely used broad-spectrum antibiotics and are generally safe and well tolerated. The authors present a case of neutropenia induced by ceftriaxone and meropenem in an adult patient. The resolution of neutropenia occurred within 48 hours of ceftriaxone and meropenem being discontinued. Although antibiotic-induced neutropenia is uncommon, clinicians should be mindful of this adverse drug effect because of its potential development of severe neutropenia, septicaemia, septic shock, deep-seated infections and even death. Therefore, neutropenic sepsis treatment should be initiated without delay, particularly if the patient becomes septic and febrile. Granulocyte-colony stimulation factor (G-CSF) may be administered to facilitate the recovery process with daily monitoring of neutrophil count. Mortalities from antibiotic-induced neutropenia remain rare, with a range of 2.5–5%.

  • Ali Someili
    Views: 116 HTML: 17 PDF: 58

    Khat is a plant that is commonly used for its stimulating effects and is chewed for its psychoactive properties. It creates feelings of euphoria that are similar to when taking amphetamines. There is an association between khat and liver injury, but the mechanism is not well known. We present three cases of khat-induced liver injury. All cases have elevated IgG and either positive antinuclear antibodies (ANA) or anti-smooth muscle antibody (ASMA); each case has a different course and requires different management. One case improved only by stopping khat, one required a short course of steroids and the last case required treatment such as that for autoimmune hepatitis (AIH).

  • Rita Pombal, Luciana Silva, David Ferreira
    Views: 207 HTML: 9 PDF: 94

    Background: Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) is a rare life-threatening thrombotic reaction to COVID-19 vaccines.
    Case description: Two young male first cousins, with a family history of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, developed VITT after the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine. Both had a favourable clinical and analytical outcome. We investigated the genetic factors that could be associated with a genetic predisposition to VITT.
    Conclusions: There are no published cases where the VITT patients were relatives. The genetic study did not reveal any likely pathogenic variants, although the prevalent polymorphism c.497A>G (p.(His166Arg)) in the FCGR2A gene was found in a homozygous state. More studies are required to better understand VITT’s pathophysiology and any underlying genetic predispositions.

  • Wiktoria Bińczyk, Olgierd Dróżdż, Bartosz Siudek, Agnieszka Michalina Głuszczyk, Jakub Igor Plizga, Filip Jan Grajnert
    Views: 286 HTML: 16 PDF: 169

    Euglycemic diabetic ketoacidosis (euDKA) is a rare but severe metabolic complication of diabetes mellitus characterised by elevated anion gap metabolic acidosis despite normal or mildly elevated blood glucose levels. Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) have emerged as effective antidiabetic medications, yet their use is associated with an increased risk of euDKA, especially when coupled with insulin dose reduction.
    We present the case of a 50-year-old male with a 20-year history of diabetes mellitus, initially managed with insulin and metformin, who developed euDKA following the introduction of empagliflozin and sitagliptin alongside a reduction in insulin therapy. Despite normoglycaemia the patient exhibited symptoms of ketoacidosis, including chronic fatigue, polydipsia, and polyuria.
    Diagnostic workup revealed metabolic acidosis, elevated inflammatory markers, acute kidney injury and ketonuria. Subsequent specialised laboratory tests confirmed type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) with the presence of anti-glutamic acid decarboxylase (anti-GAD) antibodies and the absence of C-peptide secretion. Management involved fluid therapy, intravenous insulin and glucose administration.
    This case underscores the diagnostic challenges of euDKA and emphasises the importance of differentiating between T1DM and T2DM, as management strategies vary significantly. Patient education on insulin therapy and injection techniques is crucial to prevent complications such as improper insulin delivery and dose reduction, which can precipitate euDKA.
    In conclusion, clinicians should be vigilant for euDKA in patients on SGLT2 inhibitors, particularly when insulin dose reduction is involved. Comprehensive patient education and accurate differentiation between diabetes types are essential for timely diagnosis and optimal management, thereby reducing the risk of severe complications.

  • Fares Saliba, Jonathan Mina, Laurence Aoun, Georges Khattar, Elie Bou Sanayeh, Jennifer Jdaidani, Ibrahim Al Saidi
    Views: 248 HTML: 87 PDF: 225

    Background: Studies have shown major cardiovascular effects associated with ketamine use disorder including dose-dependent negative inotropic effects. Preoperative ketamine use has been linked to ketamine-induced stress cardiomyopathy.
    Case presentation: A 28-year-old female with a history of recurrent cystitis and ketamine use disorder (twice weekly for 14 years) presented with bilateral lower extremity oedema and shortness of breath for 3 months. She was tachycardic with a troponin level of 0.07 ng/ml and a B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) level of 2511 pg/ml. Electrocardiogram showed normal sinus rhythm and transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) showed left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) of 15%, dilated left ventricle, and severe tricuspid and mitral regurgitation. Computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest and abdomen showed bilateral pleural effusions with congestive hepatopathy and ascites. The patient was started on intravenous furosemide, metoprolol, and sacubitril/valsartan. Rheumatological workup including complement levels, and antinuclear anti-double-stranded DNA was negative. A repeat TTE 2 weeks later revealed an EF of 25% and moderate tricuspid regurgitation. Four months later, the EF was 54% with normal left ventricular cavity size.
    Conclusion: Although ketamine use disorder is increasing, data on long-term side effects is minimal. Screening for ketamine use disorders should be considered in patients presenting with acute systolic heart failure. Long-term studies are needed to evaluate the benefits of adding ketamine screening to standard urine toxicology.

  • Muhammad E. A. Khan, Shane Ahern, Sophie C. Prendergast, Louise Burke, John Hinchion
    Views: 206 HTML: 11 PDF: 189

    Case description: We describe a case of a patient treated with pembrolizumab (an immune checkpoint inhibitor) for metastatic scalp melanoma. He had a previous history of colorectal cancer, prostatic cancer and chronic polymyalgia rheumatica. The patient was known to have a stable ascending aortic aneurysm of 4.5 cm. However, he developed a rapid expansion of the ascending aortic aneurysm with the size crossing the threshold for surgery. The patient was referred to the cardiothoracic surgery service for intervention and he subsequently underwent surgery. The patient was electively admitted one week later for resection of aortic aneurysm, aortoplasty and external graft fixation. Pathologically, gross evidence of dissection was not identified; however, the histological analysis of the media showed laminar medial necrosis, multifocal in nature, with occasional clusters of histiocytic cells appreciated at their edge reminiscent of that seen in an inflammatory aortitis (granulomatous/giant cell type).
    Discussion: Immune checkpoint inhibitor-induced aortitis is becoming increasingly evident, and its presentation can vary. It has been discovered incidentally on surveillance imaging with the use of nivolumab. In other cases, patients have been symptomatic to severely symptomatic. Atezolizumab with carboplatin and etoposide has been reported to cause abdominal aortitis which was responsive to corticosteroids and subsequent discontinuation of atezolizumab. Pembrolizumab has been linked to a case of transverse aortic arch aortitis. In our case, the inflammatory aortitis due to pembrolizumab was the cause of the rapid expansion of the ascending aortic aneurysm.
    Conclusion: Patients with known aortic aneurysms should undergo careful surveillance when commencing immune-checkpoint inhibitor therapy.

  • Pepijn van Gastel, Jildou N. Dijkstra, Mina A. Jacob, Jeroen A. Schouten, Bram Kok
    Views: 162 HTML: 8 PDF: 137

    Introduction: Sudden onset of reduced consciousness, psychomotor agitation and mydriasis are all indicative of an anticholinergic toxidrome. It is important to note that numerous drugs, as well as certain herbs and plants, possess anticholinergic properties.
    Case description: An 84-year-old female patient had sudden nocturnal onset of uncoordinated hand movements and altered mental status. Shortly after, the patient’s 83-year-old husband developed symptoms of dysarthria, gait ataxia, vertigo, and delirium.
    Conclusion: Anticholinergic syndrome consists of a combination of central and peripheral anticholinergic symptoms. Physostigmine given intravenously resulted in rapid reversal of symptoms. Thorn apple seeds had been accidentally ingested and were identified as the cause.

  • Mustafa Kayabaşı, Işıl Kefeli, Pınar Çakar Özdal, Ali Osman Saatci
    Views: 221 HTML: 15 PDF: 216

    Introduction: A case of ocular bartonellosis under anti-tumour necrosis factor treatment is described.
    Case description: A 29-year-old woman with psoriasis who had been on certolizumab treatment was examined with a left visual deterioration following a fever bout, malaise, and placoid erythematous rashes on her neck. As there was acute anterior uveitis in her left eye, it was recommended to stop certolizumab treatment for a possible infectious aetiology. However, her physician elected to continue the certolizumab treatment. Ten days later, the patient noticed further visual decline despite the topical steroid treatment. This time, there were scattered yellow-white small retinitis foci at the left posterior pole. Infectious agents were searched and while Bartonella henselae antibodies were negative for immunoglobulin M, the immunoglobulin G titre was 1/80. Clinical findings were improved with the systemic treatment of oral trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (160/800 mg twice daily for six weeks) and azithromycin (500 mg once daily for two weeks).
    Discussion: Though extremely rare, ocular bartonellosis should be kept in mind in patients on anti-tumour necrosis factor treatment as rapid and accurate diagnosis may end up with an excellent visual outcome and full recovery.

  • Ekrem Yetiskul, Aqsa Nisar, Salman Khan, Faris Qaqish, Danyal Khan, Alexander Bershadskiy
    Views: 343 HTML: 16 PDF: 224

    Anagrelide is a medication primarily used to manage thrombocytosis, an abnormal increase in platelet levels in the blood. It is often prescribed for patients with myeloproliferative disorders, such as essential thrombocythaemia (ET). Given the heightened susceptibility to thromboembolism associated with this condition, the primary emphasis in treatment revolves around reducing the risk of thrombotic events through the administration of cytotoxic agents. While anagrelide is generally effective in reducing platelet counts, it comes with potential side effects, including an increased risk of certain thrombotic events. Anagrelide acts by inhibiting megakaryocyte maturation and platelet release, thereby reducing platelet production. However, this platelet-lowering effect may be accompanied by an increase in platelet activation and reactivity, which could contribute to a prothrombotic state. We present a case of a 60-year-old female with a history of ET, managed with anagrelide and hydroxyurea therapy, who experienced an acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction.

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