2021: Vol 8 No 12
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Pituitary adenomas are the most common cause of hypopituitarism associated with pituitary enlargement, but other aetiologies have been emerging, namely immune checkpoint inhibitor-induced hypophysitis (ipilimumab, nivolumab and pembrolizumab). Secukinumab is a recently approved human monoclonal antibody used for the treatment of psoriasis, with no know reported cases of hypophysitis. We describe a challenging case of panhypopituitarism in a patient with a pituitary incidentaloma and a temporal relationship between secukinumab initiation and the manifestation of clinical features suggestive of hypopituitarism. In such intricate work-up, the differential diagnoses should be carefully considered, taking into account the therapeutic and prognostic implications.
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A 77-year-old man, who was on anticoagulation, presented with a painful lump on the right abdominal wall. Laboratory tests showed slight anaemia and elevated inflammatory markers. Abdominal plain computed tomography (CT) revealed a mass in the right rectus abdominis muscle. He was admitted with a diagnosis of primary rectus abdominis haematoma. However, on the next day, the diagnosis was corrected to primary rectus abdominis abscess, following contrast-enhanced CT of the abdomen. This case illustrates the importance of considering primary rectus abdominis abscess in patients with suspected primary rectus abdominis haematoma, and contrast should be used when performing CT.
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A 48-year-old Peruvian man was diagnosed with COVID-19 in December 2020. His infection resolved and he was discharged from hospital after 14 days. However, 1 week later he presented with haemoptysis, malaise, pleuritic pain, infected cavitations, bullae, extensive interstitial lung disease and pneumomediastinum. He recovered after antibiotic treatment and was discharged after 8 days. His symptoms may have been due alveolar rupture due to persistent cough during and after diffuse inflammation of the lung parenchyma caused by COVID-19 infection.
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Immunoglobulin G4-related disease (IgG4-RD) is progressive immune-mediated fibrotic condition characterised by a tendency to form tumefactive lesions in different organs and by elevated IgG4 serum concentrations. Urological manifestations are rare and normally occur together with other systemic affections. Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are hematopoietic stem cell neoplasms, with different subtypes based on the type of blood cells involved. MDS can be associated with other pathologies or medical treatments. We present an uncommon case of testicular manifestation associated with myelodysplastic syndrome here.
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Masson's tumour, also known as intravascular papillary endothelial hyperplasia, is a rare non-neoplastic lesion of vascular origin, caused by an excessive reactive proliferation of endothelial cells in normal blood vessels or vascular malformations. It can affect any part of the body, presenting most frequently in the vessels of the head, neck and upper extremities. The authors describe the case of a 76-year-old female patient presenting an anterior cervical mass, measuring 2×2 cm, which was mobile, tender and slightly painful with no alteration of the overlying skin. Complementary study with ultrasound and computed tomography was inconclusive. Total excision of the lesion was performed with histology compatible with intravascular papillary endothelial hyperplasia.
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Anion gap metabolic acidosis is a laboratory finding commonly encountered in patients with sepsis, diabetic ketoacidosis, acute kidney injury and toxic alcohol ingestion. Serum blood chemistry assessment detects this abnormality. However, this can be falsely low in situations of high triglyceride levels due to lipid interference with measurement of the bicarbonate levels and through volume displacement by these large molecules. Arterial blood gas analysis and a lipid panel are required to confirm accurate bicarbonate levels. Clinicians handling acid-base disorders in hospitalized patients need to be aware of this spurious laboratory value to avoid unnecessary tests and to determine accurate total bicarbonate levels.
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Non-Hodgkin lymphomas of the hypothalamus and pituitary are rare. They usually remain clinically silent until onset of compressive features affecting surrounding structures. When symptomatic, patients most commonly present with diabetes insipidus, headaches, ophthalmoplegia and/or bilateral hemianopia.
We report a case of a 67-year-old Caucasian female with a history of B-cell lymphoma in complete remission. She presented with left oculomotor nerve palsy and was subsequently found to have a sellar/suprasellar mass lesion on MRI. Alongside hypocortisolism and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, she developed transient diabetes insipidus during her illness. Her clinical course was characterized by rapid intracranial progression of the sellar mass. MR spectroscopy suggested a diagnosis of lymphoma. Diagnostic biopsy confirmed high-grade diffuse large B-cell CNS lymphoma; this changed the definitive management from surgical excision to chemotherapy. Despite treatment, she succumbed to her illness within 7 months of initial presentation.
This case highlights the aggressive nature of CNS lymphomas and the need for a high index of suspicion in an unusual presentation of sellar/suprasellar mass lesions.
Giant Mushroom-like Neglected Basal Cell Carcinoma of the Shoulder with Spontaneous Bleeding: A Successful Surgical ApproachViews: 688 HTML: 4461 PDF: 241
Introduction: Giant basal cell carcinomas (GBCCs) are extremely rare and typically more aggressive than their predecessor subtype. GBCCs with mushroom-like morphology have rarely been reported, with only one other case identified in the literature. Here we present a unique case of a neglected giant mushroom-like BCC that was treated successfully.
Case description: An 81-year-old male patient presented with a large ulcerative mass on his back. He had a medical history of chronic heart failure and atrial fibrillation, which were controlled with heart medication. During a routine visit to change the dressing of the lesion, the central pedunculated stalk underwent spontaneous haemorrhaging which led to massive blood loss. The patient was treated for shock and the lesion was completely excised under emergency surgery. The tumour was sent for histopathological assessment after complete surgical removal. Recovery was successful with good postoperative results and no recurrence was reported in the 12 months following discharge.
Discussion: The patient was under long-standing anticoagulant therapy that contributed to the untimely rupture of the pedunculated lesion and led to spontaneous heavy haemorrhaging. Treatment for such giant lesions can be complex, especially in patients with co-morbid conditions. Careful assessment and early treatment are paramount for successful results.
Conclusion: Complete removal of such lesions is very successful for treating GBCCs.
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SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), which is common during active illness but unusual in milder cases and after healing. We describe a case of bilateral acute pulmonary embolism occurring 3 months after recovery from a paucisymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. The only VTE risk factor demonstrable was a history of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, with laboratory signs of residual low-grade inflammation. Clinicians should be aware of VTE as a potential cause of sudden dyspnoea after COVID-19 resolution, especially in the presence of persistent systemic inflammation.
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Thrombocytopenia may be the initial presentation of sarcoidosis, which is a systemic granulomatous disorder. Various pathophysiological mechanisms have been identified. Immune thrombocytopenia often has a severe presentation but may respond favourably to immunosuppressive therapy. There are no guidelines for the treatment of thrombocytopenia in sarcoidosis. However, in emergency situations with major bleeding, it seems reasonable to apply the current guidelines recommended for immune thrombocytopenia.
The authors report a case of sarcoidosis presenting with severe thrombocytopenia, petechial rash, and nasal and gingival bleeding.
MPL-Positive Essential Thrombocytosis Presenting as Budd-Chiari Syndrome in a Middle-Aged Woman with an Initially Normal Platelet CountViews: 551 HTML: 58 PDF: 256
Budd-Chiari syndrome (BCS) results from an occlusion of the hepatic venous flow which in turn leads to portal hypertension causing ascites and other signs of liver dysfunction. Here, we present the case of a 43-year-old woman with recurrent ascites who was found to have BCS secondary to an inferior vena cava thrombosis extending into the hepatic veins. Although she had a normal platelet count on admission, additional laboratory investigations revealed an MPL mutation. She was discharged on anticoagulation with apixaban and later found to have thrombocytosis on repeat blood work, confirming the diagnosis of essential thrombocytosis, following which she was started on myelosuppressive therapy with hydroxyurea.
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When stroke patients present with respiratory failure, the first thought that clinicians have is that it is probably related to aspiration pneumonia. However, other causes should be considered, such as intracardiac or intrapulmonary shunts, that could present with paradoxical embolism. Paradoxical embolism is a rare entity defined by the occurrence of a venous thrombotic event associated with a systemic arterial embolism. Frequently, paradoxical embolism presents with platypnoea-orthodeoxia syndrome. Platypnoea-orthodeoxia syndrome is uncommon and is characterized by dyspnoea and hypoxaemia induced by orthostatic position, where symptoms and oxygenation are relieved by recumbency. The authors report a case of a patient who presented with an ischaemic stroke and progression to platypnoea-orthodeoxia syndrome with documentation of simultaneous pulmonary embolism and pulmonary arteriovenous malformations.
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Choroidal metastasis from rectal cancer is a rare occurrence with limited literature on appropriate evidence-based treatment options. We describe the case of 44-year-old man who presented with left-sided painful vision loss who was found to have left choroidal and multiple lung metastasis from an unknown primary which was later found to be rectal adenocarcinoma.
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Background: Hyperkalaemia in oleander (Nerium oleander) poisoning has been associated with a poor prognosis. Different electrocardiographic (ECG) presentations are possible because of vagotonia and hyperkalaemia.
Methods/Results: We report a series of three cases of oleander poisoning in which ECG showed unusual hyperkalaemia features, such as bradyarrhythmia, sinoatrial block, atrioventricular block and junctional rhythm.
Conclusions: If arterial blood gas analysis or laboratory values indicate hyperkalaemia in oleander poisoning, the hyperkalaemia should be treated immediately, even if the ECG does not show typical hyperkalaemia features.
Low Consciousness in a Patient with Venous Air Embolism Introduced via Peripheral Vascular CannulationViews: 342 HTML: 50 PDF: 216
Introduction: Venous air embolism is rarely seen, can be fatal and is associated mostly with large central venous catheters and mechanical ventilation. Some cases due to peripheral intravenous access have also been reported.
Case Description: We present a case of intracranial venous air embolism most likely secondary to peripheral cannulation. On admission, the patient was drowsy with a suddenly deteriorating Glasgow coma scale score. This case emphasizes cautious cannula insertion and close monitoring of the patient in the event of complications.
Conclusion: Intravenous cannulation is common but care should be taken to avoid catastrophic complications. Consider air embolism as the differential diagnosis if a patient has a low level of consciousness after an intravenous cannula is inserted.
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Orbital myositis in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a rare entity with risk of serious complications. Timely treatment with effective immunosuppressors is desirable.
We report a case of a 32-year-old female patient with SLE who presented with an acute ocular pain and extraorbital muscle thickening, consistent with orbital myositis.
Association with SLE was made after exclusion of other aetiologies. Due to refractoriness to steroids, off-label rituximab was initiated with clinical and imaging parameter improvement.
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Ramsay Hunt syndrome is a rare complication of herpes zoster that results from reactivation of varicella-zoster virus in the geniculate ganglion of the VII cranial nerve. Immunosuppression can lead to reactivation of latent varicella-zoster virus, resulting in herpes zoster. Here, we present a case of Ramsay Hunt syndrome in a patient with ulcerative colitis under treatment with infliximab.
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Introduction: Human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA) is a tick-borne illness caused by the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum. HGA has a widely variable clinical presentation and can be life-threatening.
Case description: A 77-year-old man was transferred from an outside facility with altered mental status, a fever of up to 40.5°C, and shortness of breath. Laboratory analysis revealed a progressively worsening pro-inflammatory state and abnormalities in the patient’s coagulation studies. With clinical and laboratory evidence concerning for potential COVID-19 infection, the patient was placed in isolation as a precaution. The results of two COVID-19 tests, given approximately 24 hours apart, were negative. The patient’s spouse confirmed a bug bite to his upper extremity while working outdoors. His symptoms resolved completely after a 10-day course of empiric doxycycline.
Discussion: The diverse clinical presentations of HGA necessitate a broad differential diagnosis, including viral, bacterial and non-infectious aetiologies. In severe cases, a cytokine-mediated immune cascade can occur (namely, cytokine storm) leading to devastating downstream effects. This cytokine storm can be seen in many other diseases, but most recently it has been demonstrated in the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Conclusion: Here we present a case of HGA in which diagnosis was delayed due to mimicry of COVID-19 infection. This case highlights the importance of taking clinical and social histories, seasonality and geography into account during diagnosis, and maintaining a broad differential with non-specific symptoms. Despite the current COVID-19 pandemic, we recommend that HGA remains in the differential diagnosis of a pro-inflammatory state with an atypical respiratory presentation.
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The artery of Percheron (AoP) is a rare anatomic variant, where the paramedian thalami and the rostral midbrain are supplied by an artery emerging from the P1 segment of the posterior cerebral artery. Ischaemic infarction of the artery of Percheron occurs rarely, accounting for 0.1 to 2% of all ischaemic strokes. AoP occlusion can lead to an infarction of the paramedian thalami and mesencephalon, resulting in a triad of clinical features; namely, altered mental status, vertical gaze palsy and memory impairment. A larger mesencephalon infarction can also feature oculomotor disturbances. We describe here the case of an 88-year-old patient, presenting with this triad of features.
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Baboon syndrome, also called symmetrical drug-related intertriginous and flexural exanthema (SDRIFE), is an erythematous maculopapular rash that presents in skin folds in a symmetrical pattern. This condition may develop after the patient starts a particular agent. Treatment consists of stopping the associated trigger and medicating with topical or systemic corticosteroids.
A 30-year-old man with odynophagia, otalgia and fever was prescribed amoxicillin. He developed erythematous and pruriginous lesions in the cubital fossa and inguinal regions. He attended the emergency department (ED) where he was prescribed penicillin. Lesions continued to progressively worsen with a bilateral symmetrical pattern in the axillary region and later in the nape folds, popliteal regions, and on the perineum and buttocks. The patient presented to the ED for a second time, where he was diagnosed with baboon syndrome and prescribed topical steroids with clear improvement.
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Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL) typically presents similarly to an infectious etiology, thus awareness of its atypical presentations is essential. We present a case of an adult woman who was found to have HL after presenting with a dry, non-productive cough and showing cavitary lesions on chest computed tomography (CT). We also describe the clinical, laboratory, and radiological workup done leading to the diagnosis and management of HL in a critical care setting.