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Open access

Stamatis Karakonstantis, Mina Koulouridi, Kyriakos Pitsillos, Eirini Kalokyri, Anna Kozyri, Galateia Gourniezaki and Charalampos Lydakis

Abstract

Introduction: Several diagnoses have been associated with leukemoid reaction (LR). In patients with LR the diagnostic and prognostic value of detailed manual blood smear counts (such as the percentage of band cells or grading of neutrophil toxic changes) has not been studied previously.

Methods: We prospectively recorded all hospitalized adult (>18 years old) patients with LR (≥30000/ul) of neutrophilic predominance, excluding patients with pre-existing leukocytosis due to hematological malignancies. We examined the diagnoses and prognosis (in-hospital mortality and post-discharge mortality up to a year after the end of the study) of these patients as well as the value of manual peripheral smear review.

Results: We recorded a total of 93 patients with LR from January 2017 to December 2017. Infection was the most common diagnosis (70%), followed by malignancy (7.5%) and bleeding (6.5%). In-hospital mortality (45%) and post-discharge mortality (35% of those discharged) were very high. Among blood smear findings, only neutrophil vacuolation was significantly more common in patients with infections (34%), although it was also observed in many patients without any infection (13%). Blood smear findings were not associated with prognosis

Conclusion: Detailed manual smear review is a labor-intensive procedure and has limited diagnostic and prognostic value in unselected hospitalized patients with neutrophilic LR.

Open access

Mile Bosilkovski, Marija Dimzova, Marija Cvetkova, Kostadin Poposki, Katerina Spasovska and Ivan Vidinic

Abstract

Introduction: The study aimed to compare the etiologic spectrum of diseases causing fever of unknown origin (FUO) and methods for definitive diagnosis in a tertiary care hospital in Republic of North Macedonia during two different time periods.

Patients and methods: retrospectively were analysed the causes for FUO and final diagnostic approaches in 185 patients with classic FUO that were treated at the University Hospital for Infectious diseases in Skopje during two time periods. Seventy nine patients were treated during 1991 to 1995 and 106 patients during 2011 to 2015.

Results: When comparing these two periods, infections were present in 46.8% and 29.2% (p=0.014), non-infective inflammatory disorders in 22.8% and 25.5% (p=0.674), neoplasms in 10.1% and 13.2% (p=0.522), miscellaneous in 8.9% and 12.3% (p=0.461) and undiagnosed cases in 11.4% and 19.8% (p=0.124), respectively. The most common causes for FUO during the first period were abscesses (8.9%), tuberculosis and systemic lupus erythematosus (7.6% each), whereas in the second period the commonest causes were adult onset Still disease and solid organ neoplasm (7.6% each), polymyalgia rheumatica, abscesses and visceral leishmaniasis (5.7% each). The newer imaging techniques and clinical course evaluation had superior diagnostic significance during the second period.

Conclusion: A changing pattern of diseases causing FUO during the examined periods was evident. Infections continue to be the most common cause but with decreasing incidence when compared to 20 year ago. Even nowadays clinical evaluation and follow-up still remain the vital diagnostic tools in determining the etiology of FUO.

Open access

Cristian Baicus, Paul Balanescu, Adriana Gurghean, Camelia Georgeta Badea, Vlad Padureanu, Ciprian Rezus, Florin Mitu, Ruxandra Jurcut, Andra Rodica Balanescu, Ioana Daha, Eugenia Balanescu, Mihai Bojinca, Larisa Pinte, Alexandru Marian Constantin, Nicoleta Dima, Mariana Floria, Maria Magdalena Leon-Constantin, Mihai Roca, Magda Mitu, Silvia Chiriac, Mariana Floria, Codruta Minerva Badescu, Simona Daniela Ionescu, Elena Mitrea, Gabriel Rosu, Georgeta Daniela Ionescu, Ana Maria Visinescu, Gabriela Mihailescu, Emilia Oprisan, Stefan Zeh, Isabelle Scholl and Martin Härter

Abstract

Background: Shared decision making (SDM) is becoming more and more important for the patient-physician interaction. There has not been a study in Romania evaluating patients’ point of view in the SDM process yet. Therefore, the present study aims to evaluate the psychometric parameters of the translated Romanian version of SDM-Q-9.

Material and methods: A multicentric cross-sectional study was performed comprising eight recruitment centers. The sample consisted of in- and outpatients who referred to Hospital Units for treatment for atrial fibrillation or collagen diseases. Furthermore, patients who were members of Autoimmune Disease Patient Society were able to participate via an online survey. All participants completed the Romanian translated SDM-Q-9.

Results: Altogether, 665 questionnaires were filled in within the hospital setting (n = 324; 48.7%) and online (n= 341; 51.3%). The Romanian version had good internal consistency (Cronbach α coefficient of 0.96.) Corrected item correlations were good ranging from 0.64 to 0.89 with low corrected item correlations for item 1 and item 7. PCA found a one-factorial solution (similar with previous reports) but the first item had the lowest loading.

Conclusion: SDM-Q-9 is a useful tool for evaluation and improvement in health care that was validated in Romania and can be used in clinical setting in this country.

Open access

Ho So, Victor Tak Lung Wong, Hin Ting Pang, Virginia Wen Nga Lao and Ronald Man Lung Yip

Abstract

We report a male patient who had refractory idiopathic inflammatory myopathy (IIM) presented with antisynthetase syndrome, being treated by potent immunosuppressants for years, developed Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated lymphoma. Despite the stepping down of the immunosuppressives and active lymphoma therapy, the patient died. On top of the typical association of IIM and malignancy, rare EBV-associated tumors related to EBV infection secondary to the use of potent immunosuppressive therapies could occur. Further investigations are advisable if there are new symptoms and signs or in refractory IIM cases. This report serves as a diagnostic alert that the causation by EBV infection in unusual tumors found in patients with IIM should be considered, as both the treatment and prognosis may differ. A balance between the risks and benefits of immunosuppressive therapies should always be achieved.

Open access

Caterina Delcea, Camelia Badea, Ciprian Jurcut, Adrian Purcarea, Silvia Sovaila, Emma Weiss, Elena Alistar, Horia Balan and Cristian Baicus

Abstract

Quality of care in medicine is not necessarily proportional to quantity of care and excess is often useless or even more, potentially detrimental to our patients. Adhering to the European Federation of Internal Medicine’s initiative, the Romanian Society of Internal Medicine (SRMI) launched the Choosing Wisely in Internal Medicine Campaign, aiming to cut down diagnostic procedures or therapeutics overused in our country. A Working Group was formed and from 200 published recommendations from previous international campaigns, 36 were voted as most important. These were submitted for voting to the members of the SRMI and posted on a social media platform. After the two voting rounds, the top six recommendations were established.

Open access

Cheuk Man Ho and Chi Chiu Mok

Abstract

The development of immunotherapy has revolutionized the cancer treatment in the recent years. Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICPis) such as anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (anti-CTLA-4) and anti-programmed cell death protein (anti-PD1) and its ligand (anti-PDL1) have become part of the standard treatment of various malignancies. Immune-related adverse events (irAEs) were common in patients treated with ICPis. Rheumatologists should be aware of the upcoming challenges in the management of irAEs in a patient receiving treatment with ICPis.

Open access

Chiu Sum Chu, Chi Hung To and Chi Chiu Mok

Abstract

Takayasu’s arteritis (TAK) is a systemic vasculitis mainly affecting the aorta and its first branches. The initial presentation can be very non-specific while its sequelae can be debilitating and fatal. Apart from clinical and biochemical tests, imaging studies remain pivotal for the diagnosis of this rare disease. Delay in treatment may result in vascular stenosis, leading to morbidity and mortality. We report a case of a young woman who presented with anemia with no obvious causes. Subsequently she developed ischemic symptoms and the diagnosis of TAK was established with magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). Our case illustrates the importance of recognition of the possibility of TAK in young women who presented with non-specific systemic upset and anemia of chronic inflammation. A high index of suspicion is needed and imaging studies should be considered early. The treatment of TAK will also be briefly reviewed.

Open access

Hüseyin Avni Findikli, Ayşe Şahin Tutak and Hakan Aydin

Abstract

Introduction: Changes in thyroid hormone level can affect the cardiovascular system. The aim of this study was to show how the Tpeak -Tend (Tpe) interval, which is a new marker of ventricular arrythmia, is affected in patients who have become euthyroid following Levothyroxine treatment for hypothyroidism, as this has not been examined previously in literature. Materials and Methods: This, cross-sectional study included a total of 119 females aged 18-45 years, separated into 3 groups as hypothyroid, euthyroid and control groups. For evaluation of the QTc and Tpe intervals, examination on precordial V5 lead was made of all the ECGs taken routinely on presentation of the patients. Results: The Tpe and QTc intervals of the hypothyroid group were determined to be significantly prolonged compared to those of the euthyroid and control groups (p<0.001) and the values of the euthyroid and control groups were similar. A positive correlation was determined between TSH levels and Tpe and QTc intervals. Tpe interval AUC= 0.801,(%95 CI: 0,719 - 0,884) was higher than that of QTc AUC= 0.689, (%95 CI: 0,591 - 0,786) Conclussions: The Tpe duration was evaluated in respect of the risk of arrythmia in hypothyroid patients. In patients who had become euthyroid, the Tpe interval was found to be similar to that of healthy individuals and was more predictive than QTc. In the light of these findings it can be recommended that measurement of the Tpe interval should be preferred to QTc as a marker of the arrythmogenic effect in hypothyroid patients.