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  • Maria João Rodrigues Ferreira Pinto, Pedro Rodrigues, Leonor Almeida, Alexandra Leitão, Luís Flores, André Gomes, Gonçalo Rocha, Fernando Friões

    Boerhaave syndrome is rare, has an non-specific clinical presentation and most commonly develops after persistent vomiting. Septic shock dominates the clinical picture as a result of extensive infection of the mediastinum and pleural and abdominal cavities. The current management of Boerhaave syndrome includes conservative, endoscopic and surgical treatments. The authors present the case of a 94-year-old man admitted to hospital with community-acquired pneumonia with mild respiratory insufficiency complicated by oesophageal perforation after an episode of vomiting and the development of a large left pleural effusion. An endoscopic approach with the placement of an oesophageal prosthesis was chosen given the advanced age of the patient. The hospital stay was complicated by pleural effusion infection requiring broad-spectrum antibiotics and prosthesis substitution. The patient was discharged after 60 days of hospitalization, without the need for oxygen supplementation, and scoring 80% on the Karnofsky Performance Status Scale. The increase in average life expectancy requires a case-by-case approach, where the benefits of invasive manoeuvres and likelihood of discharge are weighed against an acceptable quality of life, aiming to prevent futile medical treatment.

  • Lars van Dee, Mylene Stehouwer, Thomas van Bemmel

    Objective: Here we describe a rare case of systemic sarcoidosis in a healthy young man with neuroborreliosis as a putative trigger.
    Case: A 21-year-old forestry worker was diagnosed with systemic sarcoidosis involving his lungs, kidneys and skin. Additional diagnostics revealed signs indicative of a recent infection with Borrelia burgdorferi. The patient was treated successfully with prednisolone and antibiotics.
    Conclusion: Sarcoidosis is a multisystem granulomatous disorder of unknown aetiology. This case suggests that an infection with B. burgdorferi, the causal agent of Lyme disease, could act as a trigger for sarcoidosis.

  • Maria João Raposo Linhares Serpa, Luís Falcão, Susana Franco, Diana Repolho, Nuno Ribeiro Ferreira

    Metabolic acidosis is a common clinical disturbance due to increased plasma acidity caused by a primary decrease in serum HCO3- concentration. It is classified as normal or high anion gap metabolic acidosis. High anion gap metabolic acidosis can result from either a decrease in unmeasured cations (K+, Ca2+, Mg2+) or an increase in unmeasured anions (PO43-, albumin). However, other anions such as lactic acid or keto acids may cause this acid-base disorder. It can also result from renal failure and intoxication (salicylate, methanol, ethylene glycol), or more rarely, from massive rhabdomyolysis and pyroglutamic (5-oxoproline) acidemia. Acidemia due to pyroglutamic acid should be considered when no other aetiology is found. High anion gap metabolic acidosis is diagnosed in children with inherited defects in enzymes of the γ-glutamyl cycle. In adults, this disorder from pyroglutamic acid has been described in association with chronic acetaminophen misuse. We report a case of pyroglutamic acidosis in a woman with acute misuse of acetaminophen concurrent with chronic use. .

  • Geetha Girithari, Ines Coelho dos Santos, Tiago Alves, Eva Claro; Marcia Kirzner, Ana Massano

    A 57-year-old woman, with a history of deep venous thrombosis and medicated with warfarin, presented at the hospital with acute back pain with paraplegia, headache, high blood pressure and vomiting. Imaging of the spine showed an acute intradural extramedullary haemorrhage with blood clot formation. The patient underwent surgery and received intensive post-surgical physiotherapy but remains paraplegic. Non-traumatic spinal intradural extramedullary haematoma (SIEH) is a rare neurological emergency that can result in spinal cord compression. Physicians should always consider this clinical entity as a differential diagnosis, especially in a patient presenting with acute back pain on anticoagulant therapy.

  • Maria João Serpa, Susana Franco, Diana Repolho, Isabel Araújo, Sofia Mateus, António Martins Baptista, José Lomelino Araújo

    Ischaemic ulcers of the lower limb can have several aethiopathological mechanisms. For instance, the uncommon Martorell hypertensive leg ulcer is an infrequent complication of long-term uncontrolled arterial hypertension and is largely ignored and underdiagnosed. The typical ulcer is on the lower leg, is extremely painful and presents in female patients over 60 years of age with cardiovascular risk factors, mainly severe arterial hypertension. The diagnosis is histological, with obliteration of the arterioles by arteriolosclerosis. In these cases, antihypertensive medication is the standard treatment. We describe the case of an African-American female patient with long-term hypertension who presented with a very painful leg ulcer. The diagnosis was complicated by the coexistence of more common causes of ulcer. Despite analgesic medicines, pain relief was only obtained with control of hypertension. A definite diagnosis was made following biopsy.
    In describing this diagnosis of an ischaemic leg ulcer, we highlight the need to consider the skin as a target organ of arterial hypertension.

  • Nikesh Adunuri

    Pheochromocytoma, a rare neuroendocrine tumour, is often encountered in the general internal medicine clinic as an adrenal incidentaloma. Even rarer is its presence in adult cyanotic heart disease, although there are a few documented reports of this association in various paediatric populations, with chronic hypoxia being the likely driving force. Here we present the case of a 38-year-old adult with unrepaired complex cyanotic congenital heart disease with biochemically proven pheochromocytoma presenting as an adrenal incidentaloma to a general internal medicine clinic.

  • Ehab Hamed

    We report the case of a patient with type 1 diabetes who developed acute severe diabetic ketoacidosis following ingestion of an energy supplement containing caffeine. Some 95% of the US adult population consume caffeine, and the general perception is that there are no negative consequences for health. The upper limit of safe consumption is less than 400 mg per day. However, acute ingestion of high doses of caffeine may cause significant metabolic changes that can be fatal. Here the patient consumed a toxic dose of caffeine causing unpleasant and puzzling symptoms, vomiting and, following omission of his long-acting basal insulin, severe diabetic ketoacidosis. As the sports nutrition market continues to expand, providers and manufacturers have a responsibility to give clear and accurate dosing instructions as well as side effect profiles for their products, particularly for diabetic patients.

  • Eva Claro, Alexandra Dias, Geetha Girithari; Ana Massano, Maria Aurora Duarte

    Non-traumatic haematomyelia is a rare finding of acute onset, which in most cases is the result of arteriovenous malformations (AVM), tumours, coagulation disorders or autoimmune conditions, but may also be secondary to treatment with anticoagulants and radiotherapy. We present the case of a 58-year-old woman with sudden onset cervical pain, followed by asymmetric diminution of strength in the upper limbs with reduced pain sensitivity. The diagnosis of AVM at the C7 and D1 levels was made following cervico-dorsal magnetic resonance imaging and angiography. Treatment was embolization with immediate isolation of the AVM.

  • Diego Martínez, Maria Teresa Belmonte, Piotr Kośny, Mihaela Alina Ghitulescu, Ignacio Florencio, Jose Aparicio

    We describe a case of emphysematous pancreatitis, a rare and serious complication of acute pancreatitis, which has a high mortality rate.