147 research outputs found

    Hyposplenism as a cause of pneumococcal meningoencephalitis in an adult patient with coeliac disease

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    Introduction: Coeliac disease can be associated with hyposplenism and splenic atrophy, which may increase the patient's risk for fatal infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae or Pneumococcus. It is general opinion that many more patients with coeliac disease have died from hyposplenism-related infections than those reported in literature. Case report: A 62-year-old woman with recently diagnosed coeliac disease was hospitalized with high fever, disorientation, and nuchal rigidity. Cerebral computed tomography was negative. Laboratory tests showed an elevated leukocyte count and very high levels of C reactive protein. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) contained an increased number of mononuclear cells associated with a low glucose level and high protein concentrations. The CSF culture was positive for Streptococcus pneumoniae. Neurological conditions rapidly deteriorated with the onset of coma, and magnetic resonance imaging of the brain revealed initial signs of encephalitis extending above and below the tentorium. Abdominal ultrasonography disclosed splenic hypotrophy that raised the suspicion of hyposplenism. The diagnosis of hyposplenism was confirmed by demonstration of Howell-Jolly bodies in a peripheral blood smear. Discussion: This is the first reported case of pneumococcal meningoencephalitis caused by splenic hypofunction in a patient with coeliac disease. When coeliac disease is diagnosed with a marked delay in an elderly patient, spleen function should always be assessed. If impaired, the patient should undergo vaccination with pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to prevent pneumococcal infections

    Pulmonary artery thrombosis in home patient with a mild COVID-19 disease

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    Abstract COVID-19 has been described as the cause for a proinflammatory and hypercoagulable state that induces thrombotic vascular lesions and, in more severe cases, disseminated intravascular coagulation. Increased values of d-dimers are related to the severity of the disease and are associated with worst prognosis. Intensive care studies reported an increased risk of pulmonary embolism and venous thrombosis diseases in COVID-19 compared with the historical control group even in patients who underwent the low-molecular-weight heparin (LWMH) prophylaxis. Patients with COVID-19 who have a stable clinical condition do not require hospitalisation and are treated at home with symptomatic therapy. LWMH is reserved for those with reduced mobility. In this case report, we describe a COVID-19 patient with pulmonary artery thrombosis treated at home

    Relationship between Muscle Mass, Bone Density and Vascular Calcifications in Elderly People with SARS-CoV-2 Pneumonia

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    Background: Little is known about the changes in organs and tissues that may make elder patients more vulnerable to acute stressors such as SARS-CoV-2 infection. Methods: In 80 consecutive elderly patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, we evaluated the association between the descending thoracic aorta calcium score, L1 bone density and T12 skeletal muscle density measured on the same scan by high-resolution computed tomography. Results: At median regression, the ln-transformed DTA calcium score was inversely associated with L1 bone density (-0.02, 95%CI -0.04 to -0.01 ln-Agatston units for an increase of 1 HU) and with T12 muscle density (-0.03, -0.06 to -0.001 ln-Agatston units for an increase of 1 HU). At penalized logistic regression, an increase of 1 ln-Agatston unit of DTA calcium score was associated with an OR of death of 1.480 (1.022 to 2.145), one of 1 HU of bone density with an OR of 0.981 (0.966 to 0.996) and one of 1 HU of muscle density with an OR of 0.973 (0.948 to 0.999). These relationships disappeared after correction for age and age was the stronger predictor of body composition and death. Conclusions: Age has a big effect on the relationship between vascular calcifications, L1 bone density and T12 muscle density and on their relationship with the odds of dying. Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; bone density; computed tomography; diagnostic imaging; frailty; mortality; muscle mass; vascular calcifications

    A look at the hepatic encephalopathy in cirrhosis

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    Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a neuropsychiatric syndrome complicating acute and chronic liver failure and characterized by a wide range of manifestations, in absence of other brain disease. HE is very frequent in course of cirrhosis and even mild forms involve a great additional burden on patients, their families and health-care resources. Its onset affects subsequent survival of patients. Historically, pathophysiology of HE was connected to several substances (mostly ammonia) produced in the gut and normally metabolized by the liver, but more recently other factors such as inflammation, bacterial translocation and oxidative stress have shown a crucial role. Symptoms are often overt (confusion, asterixis, disorientation, ataxia or coma) but can also be subtle (sleep disturbances, cognitive impairment, mood alterations, impairment of executive decision-making, and psychomotor speed – Minimal HE); the West Haven Criteria are most often used to grade Overt HE (OHE), with grade ranging from 0 to 4 (4 corresponding to coma). Since both Minimal HE and grade 1 HE cannot be diagnosed by clinical examination and need for specific tests, it results practical to combine these entities and name them "Covert" HE (CHE) to aid clinical use. Diagnosis is based on evidence of neurological impairment in presence of liver cirrhosis, only after the exclusion of other brain diseases. Measurement of serum ammonia and electroencephalography are little specific, while brain magnetic resonance and search for portosystemic shunts are important in complex cases. Diagnosis of OHE is often just clinical, while that of CHE requires dedicated psychometric and neurophysiological tests. Although these tests are difficult to be performed in the clinical practice, detection and treatment of CHE are cost-effective and important; indeed, CHE affects patients' quality of life, socioeconomic status and driving skills, and increases the risk for falls, car accidents, development of OHE, and death. Management of HE includes early diagnosis and prompt treatment of precipitating factors (infection, gastrointestinal bleeding, electrolyte disturbances, dehydration, hypotension, use of benzodiazepines, psychoactive drugs, and/or alcohol). Current treatment is based principally on reducing intestinal ammonia with nonabsorbable disaccharides (lactulose or lactitol); rifaximin, used solely or in addition, is also becoming a first-line treatment

    An Innovative Hyperbaric Hypothermic Machine Perfusion Protects the Liver from Experimental Preservation Injury

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    Purpose. Hypothermic machine perfusion systems seem more effective than the current static storage to prevent cold ischemic liver injury. Thus, we test an innovative hyperbaric hypothermic machine perfusion (HHMP), which combines hyperbaric oxygenation of the preservation solution and continuous perfusion of the graft. Methods. Rat livers were preserved with Celsior solution according to 4 different modalities: normobaric static preservation; hyperbaric static preservation at 2 atmosphere absolute (ATA); normobaric dynamic preservation, with continuous perfusion; hyperbaric dynamic preservation, with continuous perfusion at 2 ATA. After 24 h cold preservation, we assessed different parameters. Results. Compared to baseline, livers preserved with the current static storage showed severe ultrastructural damage, glycogen depletion and an increased oxidative stress. Normobaric perfused livers showed improved hepatocyte ultrastructure and ameliorated glycogen stores, but they still suffered a significant oxidative damage. The addition of hyperbaric oxygen produces an extra benefit by improving oxidative injury and by inducing endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) gene expression. Conclusions. Preservation by means of the present innovative HHMP reduced the liver injury occurring after the current static cold storage by lowering glycogen depletion and oxidative damage. Interestingly, only the use of hyperbaric oxygen was associated to a blunted oxidative stress and an increased eNOS gene expression

    Could Inflammatory Indices and Metabolic Syndrome Predict the Risk of Cancer Development? Analysis from the Bagnacavallo Population Study

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    Background: Despite the robust data available on inflammatory indices (neutrophil lymphocyte ratio (NLR), platelet lymphocyte ratio (PLR), and systemic immune-inflammation index (SII)) and clinical outcome in oncological patients, their utility as a predictor of cancer incidence in the general population has not been reported in literature. Methods: The Bagnacavallo study was performed between October 2005 and March 2009. All citizens of Bagnacavallo (Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy) aged 30-60 years as of January 2005 were eligible and were invited by written letter to participate to the study. All participants underwent a detailed clinical history and physical examination following the model of the Dionysos Study. All blood values included in the analysis were obtained the day of physical examination. Cancer incidence data were obtained from the population-based Romagna Cancer Registry, which operates according to standard methods. The aim of this analysis was to examine the association between metabolic syndrome and baseline SII, NLR, and PLR levels, and the diagnosis of an invasive cancer in the Bagnacavallo study cohort. Results: At univariate analysis, metabolic syndrome was not associated with an increase of cancer incidence (HR 1.30; p = 0.155). High glucose (HR 1.49; p = 0.0.16), NLR HR 1.54, p = 0.002), PLR (HR 1.58, p = 0.001), and SII (HR 1.47, p = 0.006) were associated with an increase of cancer incidence. After adjusting for clinical covariates (smoking, physical activity, education, age, and gender) SII, PLR, and NLR remained independent prognostic factors for the prediction of cancer incidence. Conclusions: Inflammatory indices are promising, easy to perform, and inexpensive tools for identifying patients with higher risk of cancer in cancer-free population

    Years of life that could be saved from prevention of hepatocellular carcinoma

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    BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) causes premature death and loss of life expectancy worldwide. Its primary and secondary prevention can result in a significant number of years of life saved. AIM: To assess how many years of life are lost after HCC diagnosis. METHODS: Data from 5346 patients with first HCC diagnosis were used to estimate lifespan and number of years of life lost after tumour onset, using a semi-parametric extrapolation having as reference an age-, sex- and year-of-onset-matched population derived from national life tables. RESULTS: Between 1986 and 2014, HCC lead to an average of 11.5 years-of-life lost for each patient. The youngest age-quartile group (18-61 years) had the highest number of years-of-life lost, representing approximately 41% of the overall benefit obtainable from prevention. Advancements in HCC management have progressively reduced the number of years-of-life lost from 12.6 years in 1986-1999, to 10.7 in 2000-2006 and 7.4 years in 2007-2014. Currently, an HCC diagnosis when a single tumour <2 cm results in 3.7 years-of-life lost while the diagnosis when a single tumour 65 2 cm or 2/3 nodules still within the Milan criteria, results in 5.0 years-of-life lost, representing the loss of only approximately 5.5% and 7.2%, respectively, of the entire lifespan from birth. CONCLUSIONS: Hepatocellular carcinoma occurrence results in the loss of a considerable number of years-of-life, especially for younger patients. In recent years, the increased possibility of effectively treating this tumour has improved life expectancy, thus reducing years-of-life lost
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