2023: LATEST ONLINE
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Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (iSGLT2) inhibitors, which include dapagliflozin, canagliflozin and empagliflozin, are a class of drugs initially used in the oral treatment of diabetes, heart failure and renal failure. They target the reabsorption of glucose in the kidney. Although they bring benefit to patients with these conditions and in general produce few adverse effects, in some cases, iSGLT2 can cause serious adverse effects such as metabolic acidosis, and fungal or bacterial urinary infections. Oncology patients, who in general have a weak immune system and are usually treated with chemotherapy and/or immunotherapy, are more susceptible to this type of adverse events than other patients. For this reason, it is necessary to adequately select the patients eligible to receive this type of drug and evaluate the potential benefits for them. In this series of five cases, we present two cases of metabolic acidosis, two cases of bacterial urinary sepsis, and one case of fungal urinary sepsis that occurred in patients admitted to the Medical Oncology Department of the University Hospital of Salamanca in 2023.
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Introduction: High blood concentrations of vitamin B12 are often caused by over-supplementation. However, there are instances in which augmented vitamin B12 levels are seen in the absence of supplements. Macro-vitamin B12 is an underrated cause of supra-physiological cobalamin plasma levels.
Case description: A 70-year-old man was referred to an ambulatory internal medicine centre because of high vitamin B12 levels yet he denied taking supplements. An X-ray showed a tumour in the right upper lobe of the lung, which triggered further examinations. An MRI scan of the brain came back normal as well as a CT scan of the abdomen, and colonoscopy. The pulmonologist requested a PET-CT scan, which showed an isolated 18-FDG uptake in the area of the lung mass that was detected earlier. The patient underwent surgery with adjuvant cis-platinum and gemcitabine and is still making good progress. The vitamin B12 levels persisted after successful treatment of lung adenocarcinoma; determination of vitamin B12 after PEG (polyethylene glycol) precipitation showed normal concentrations.
Discussion: A high vitamin B12 plasma concentration in the absence of vitamin supplementation can be a daunting diagnostic problem for the internist, as there are several possible underlying causes. In this case the diagnosis of lung carcinoma was made, the patient was treated appropriately, yet this pathology had no correlation with the cobalamin levels.
Conclusion: A high vitamin B12 concentration can be the impetus of thorough medical inquiries. Internists should be careful not to forget macro-vitamin B12 as a possible source of falsely elevated vitamin B12 values.
Aortic ductus diverticulum mimicking aortic dissection: a case of diagnostic ambiguity in transthoracic echocardiographyViews: 29 HTML: 0 PDF: 19
Background: Aortic dissection is a critical condition often presenting with acute, severe chest pain and haemodynamic instability. Early diagnosis is essential to mitigate the high mortality risk. Imaging modalities play a pivotal role in diagnosing aortic conditions, but determining the appropriate method can be challenging.
Case description: We report an asymptomatic 55-year-old female undergoing transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) for mitral and aortic valve regurgitation surveillance. Incidentally, a suspicious flow jet at the distal aortic arch was discovered, raising concerns of aortic dissection. A subsequent CT angiogram (CTA) identified this as an aortic ductus diverticulum at the aortic isthmus, not a dissection.
Discussion: Aortic dissection has a high initial 48-hour mortality, with even surgically managed cases exhibiting a 26% risk. Imaging tools such as a transoesophageal echocardiogram (TEE), CT and MRI scans are instrumental for diagnosis, with their applicability depending on the patient’s clinical situation. The aortic ductus diverticulum, a developmental outpouching, often mimics other aortic pathologies, emphasising the importance of accurate imaging interpretation.
Conclusion: Aortic ductus diverticulum presents diagnostic challenges due to its resemblance to other aortic conditions. Advancements in imaging modalities improve diagnostic accuracy, but awareness and careful interpretation are paramount to ensure timely and appropriate patient care.
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Introduction: Recently, medical interest has been growing in SARS-CoV-2 infection and its multiorgan involvement, including the liver. Up until now, a few reports have described autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection, but no data are available about the specific liver inflammatory infiltrate and cluster of differentiation. We report a case of AIH triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection, with a particular focus on its histological and mainly immunohistochemical features.
Case description: A 60-year-old man, with a history of paucisymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection that occurred one month earlier, was admitted for alterations of hepatocellular necrosis and cholestasis indexes. He completed vaccination for SARS-CoV-2 a year earlier. The serologies for hepatotropic viruses were negative. The anti- smooth muscle antibodies (ASMA) and antinuclear antibodies (ANA) results were positive. Anti-liver kidney microsome (anti-LKM) antibodies and antimitochondrial (AMA) were negative. By liver biopsy, haematoxylin-eosin staining highlighted severe portal inflammation with a rich CD38+ plasma cell component, while immunohistochemical staining showed low cell CD4+ count and prevalence of CD8+ and CD3+. After biopsy, the patient started an immunosuppressant regimen, with benefit.
Discussion: We can conclude that the patient developed a type 1 AIH triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection. The presence of CD8 T-cells at immunohistochemical examination suggests different mechanisms from classic AIH. Similar cases are described after AIH triggered by SARS-CoV-2 vaccination.
Conclusion: The AIH after SARS-CoV-2 infection developed by the patient showed a histological picture similar to a classic AIH for the abundant presence of plasma cells, and immunohistochemical features similar to those described after SARS-CoV-2-vaccination.
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Acute bilateral blindness is an emergent condition that may signal life-threatening disease. The approach focuses on identification of life-threatening disease processes, while differentiating between ocular, psychogenic and neurologic aetiologies. We present the case of an 88-year-old man with multiple cardiovascular risk factors and bilateral chronic glaucoma and cataracts. He presented to the emergency department with sudden onset bilateral loss of visual acuity with no other relevant changes on physical examination, including other neurologic deficits. Ophthalmologic observation showed no sign of acute disease.
Contrast orbit and cranioencephalic CT was unremarkable, so the patient underwent an orbit and cranioencephalic MRI that showed changes in fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) sequences and diffusion restriction involving the optic chiasm and the initial segment of the optic radiations bilaterally. Optic chiasm strokes are rare, owing to the rich supply of collateral circulation. The most frequent presentation is bitemporal hemianopsia but rarer presentations are described. Bilateral loss of visual acuity is very rare and infarction of the whole optic chiasm is unusual.
A rare case of immunoglobulin G4-related disease presenting with coronary artery pseudotumor and aneurysmViews: 3 HTML: 0 PDF: 1
Immunoglobulin G4-related disease (IgG4-RD) is an autoimmune disease characterized by elevated serum IgG4 levels. It has the potential to affect multiple organs. Despite the diverse manifestations of IgG4-RD, the association with coronary artery disease (CAD) remains poorly understood due to limited evidence. We report the case of a 52-year-old male patient who exhibited typical angina upon exertion, accompanied by elevated serum IgG4 levels. Coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA) revealed the presence of pseudotumor formations surrounding and aneurysm changes affecting all coronary arteries, consistent with IgG4-RD. The patient was treated with prednisolone and azathioprine, with the possibility of additional rituximab therapy if symptomatology failed to improve. This case sheds light on the rare occurrence of IgG4-RD with coronary artery involvement and underscores the importance of recognizing this unique clinical entity for appropriate management and further research.