Category Archives: Case Report

Diagnostic Difficulties in a Severely Ill HIV Patient with Multiple Superinfections – A Case Report

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2019-0020

Introduction: As chronic HIV infection is prone to co-infections more than any other infectious condition, many severely immune-depressed patients require advanced diagnostic investigations and complex treatment.
Case report: The case of a 30-year-old severely immune-depressed patient with AIDS, who developed neurological impairment and was diagnosed with encephalitis is presented. Multiple diagnostic approaches had to be used in order to identify the etiologic agents responsible for the clinical, immunological and biological evolution. Despite using advanced laboratory investigations and complex treatment, the patient developed multiple organ dysfunction syndromes that led to a fatal outcome.
Conclusions: Establishing etiologic relations and treatment priorities in patients with severe immunodeficiency and co-infections can prove difficult, underlining the need of rapid syndromic testing.

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The Management of a Thirteen Weeks Pregnant Woman Rendered Brain-Dead Following a Ruptured Aneurysm

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2019-0015

Introduction: The current lack of clear guidelines on how to manage cases of brain-dead pregnant patients makes this topic controversial and extremely difficult to deal with for both medical and ethical reasons. This report deals with such a situation.
Case presentation: A twenty-seven years old woman, thirteen weeks pregnant, with a ruptured brain aneurysm was admitted to an Intensive Care Unit. She presented with loss of all brain functions, but somatic support was sustained to enable the delivery of her baby.
Conclusion: The case report gives a detailed account of the management of the mother before the successful delivery of her baby. It indicates the need for ongoing contributions to the debate on this delicate subject area to establish guidelines on how to manage brain-dead pregnant patients.

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Locked-In Syndrome Following Cervical Manipulation by a Chiropractor: A Case Report

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2019-0014

Introduction: Vertebrobasilar occlusion poses difficult diagnostic issues and even when properly diagnosed has a poor prognosis. Newer studies highlight a better outcome when thrombectomy was carried out between six and twenty-four hours after an initial diagnosis of stroke. This paper reports a case where a patient suffered a vertebrobasilar stroke secondary to a traumatic bilateral vertebral arteries dissection was treated with late thrombectomy.
Case presentation: A 34-year-old woman was manipulated on the cervical spinal column by a chiropractor. Following three weeks of cervical pain, she presented with severe aphasia and quadriplegia (NIHSS = 28). An MRI scan indicated ischemia of the vertebrobasilar system. Thirty-one hours after the onset of these symptoms, a thrombectomy was performed. After one month, the patient could move her head and the proximal part of her limbs but remained confined to bed (NIHSS = 13).
Conclusion: The current case illustrates the benefit of late mechanical thrombectomy for a posterior cerebral circulation infarct. Although there was a delay in treatment, partial recovery ensued.

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Cervical Spine Spondylitis with an Epidural Abscess in a Patient with Brucellosis: A Case Report

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2019-0013

Introduction: Human brucellosis, the most prevalent zoonotic disease worldwide, is a systemic infection which can involve several organs. Among musculoskeletal complaints, spondylitis is the most frequent complication of brucellosis and primarily affects the lumbar and thoracic vertebrae. The involvement of the cervical spine is infrequent.
Case report: This case report concerns an unusual case of cervical spine spondylitis with an epidural abscess due to Brucella in a 43-year-old man. The diagnosis was based on the patient being domiciled in an endemic region, his symptoms and his occupation. Clinical outcomes improved following antimicrobial therapy of rifampin, doxycycline, and gentamycin, and were confirmed radiologically.
Conclusion: Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for these patients. The timely commencement of medical treatment can help prevent surgery.

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Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex Deficiency: An Unusual Cause of Recurrent Lactic Acidosis in a Paediatric Critical Care Unit

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2019-0012

Pyruvate dehydrogenase complex deficiency (PDCD) is a rare neurodegenerative disorder associated with abnormal mitochondrial metabolism. Structural brain abnormalities are common in PDCD. A case of a patient with PDCD with an unusual presentation is described. A 20-month-old boy with hypotonia and developmental delay, presented with hypoxia and respiratory distress due to bronchiolitis. During hospitalisation, he was prescribed PediaSure® feeds. Two days after starting these feeds, he developed respiratory arrest requiring intubation. His blood gas before arrest revealed lactate of 8.9 mmol/L despite normal haemodynamics. After stabilisation and a period of compulsory fasting, subsequent feeding with PediaSure® resulted in the recurrence of lactic acidosis. A metabolic workup revealed an elevated serum pyruvate level. Brain MRI was normal. Skeletal muscle biopsy confirmed PDCD. The most common cause of PDCD is a mutation in the X-linked PDHA1 gene. The severity of PDCD can range from neonatal death to more delayed onset of symptoms as in our index case. Normal brain MRI is reported in only 2% of patients with PDCD. There is no effective treatment for PDCD. In patients with proximal muscle weakness and feeding intolerance with glucose-containing feeds, the presence of lactic acidosis should raise the suspicion of PDCD irrespective of the patient’s age and normal MRI.

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Increased Susceptibility to Postoperative PCA Morphine-Induced Respiratory Depression in a Patient with an Undiagnosed Traumatic Porencephalic Cyst – A Case Report

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2019-0011

Introduction: Patient-controlled analgesia with morphine is routinely used for postoperative pain management. Due to the safety profiles of the technique, which are patient/disease related or technique/equipment related, severe respiratory depression requiring opioid antagonists or airway management are uncommon.
Case presentation: The case of a patient with right colon carcinoma who was operated on for hemicolectomy under general anaesthesia and who presented with apnoea, after postoperatively receiving an initial bolus of 1mg of morphine. A large post-traumatic porencephalic cyst of the left brain hemisphere, previously undiagnosed, was found on the computed tomography scan. We excluded human errors, technique and equipment factors, and the patient did not have any other predisposing conditions like sleep apnoea, obesity, recent head injury or concurrent use of other sedatives. Previously the patient had been entirely asymptomatic, and her increased susceptibility to respiratory depression was the only clinical manifestation of porencephaly.
Conclusion: Adult acquired porencephaly is seldom reported in the literature, clinical manifestations depending on the location and size of the cyst. In the present reported case, increased susceptibility to low-dose opioids might be associated with the structural and functional reorganisation of the brain after head trauma with the occurrence of the porencephalic cyst of the brain.

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Refractory Lactic Acidosis and an Approach to Its Management – A Case Report

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2019-0010

Background: Lactic acidosis (LA) is a complication of diseases commonly seen in intensive care patients which carries an increased risk of mortality. It is classified by its pathophysiology; Type A results from tissue hypo-perfusion and hypoxia, and Type B results from abnormal metabolic activity in the absence of hypoxia. Reports of the co-occurrence of both types have been rarely reported in the literature relating to intensive care patients. This case report describes the challenging management of a patient diagnosed with both Type A and Type B LA.
Case presentation: A 55-year-old female with newly diagnosed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) developed hospital-acquired pneumonia, respiratory failure, shock and intra-abdominal septicaemia from a bowel perforation. Blood gases revealed a mixed picture lactic acidosis. Correction of septic shock, respiratory failure and surgical repair caused initial improvement to the lactic acidosis, but this gradually worsened in the intensive care unit. Only upon starting chemotherapy and renal replacement therapy was full resolution of the lactic acidosis achieved. The patient was discharged but succumbed to her DLBCL several months later.
Conclusion: Type A and Type B LA can co-occur, making management difficult. A systematic approach can help diagnose any underlying pathology and aid in early management.

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Pulseless Electrical Activity Arrest as the First Symptom of Testicular Cancer with Subsequent Phlegmasia Cerulea Dolens

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2019-0009

Introduction: Phlegmasia cerulea dolens (PCD) is a severe, rare complication of deep vein thrombosis, which is characterised by compartment syndrome, arterial compromise, venous gangrene, and shock. Prothrombotic states are the primary risk factor for PCD, which, in most cases, is associated with pulmonary embolism and carries a high mortality.
Case report: A 46-year-old male presented following a pulseless electrical activity (PEA) arrest due to saddle pulmonary embolism (PE). He subsequently developed PCD and venous gangrene secondary to inferior vena cava obstruction, in the setting of a new diagnosis of testicular germ cell tumour.
Discussion: PEA arrest, as the initial presenting problem in malignancy, is rare. It is extreme for the first indication of cancer to be a PEA arrest from massive PE. While hypoxic brain injury from the cardiac arrest precluded intervention in this case, a surgical approach entailing en bloc resection of aortocaval metastasis, with subsequent IVC reconstruction, followed by lower limb venous thrombectomy would have been favoured as it was considered that an endovascular approach would not have been successful.
Conclusion: A case of a patient with phlegmasia cerulea dolens secondary to testicular cancer, who presented following PEA arrest is described.

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Hypercalcaemic Crisis Due to Primary Hyperparathyroidism: Report of Two Cases

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2019-0004

Introduction: A hypercalcaemic crisis, also called para thyrotoxicosis, hyper parathyroid crisis or parathyroid storm, is a complication of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) and an endocrinology emergency that can have dramatic or even fatal consequences if it is not recognised and treated in time.
Case presentation: Two cases presented in the emergency department with critical hypercalcaemic symptoms and severe elevation of serum calcium and parathyroid hormone levels, consistent with a hypercalcaemic crisis. The first case, a 16-year-old female patient, had imaging data that highlighted a single right inferior parathyroid adenoma and a targeted surgical approach was used. The second case, a 35-year-old man was admitted for abdominal pain, poor appetite, nausea, and vomiting. Laboratory tests revealed severe hypercalcemia, hypophosphatemia, and an increased serum iPth level. There was no correlation between scintigraphy and ultrasonography, and a bilateral exploration of the neck was preferred, resulting in the exposure of two parathyroid adenomas. The patients were referred for surgery and recovery in both cases was uneventful
Conclusion: These cases support the evidence that surgery remains the best approach for patients with a hypercalcaemic crisis of hyperparathyroidism origin, ensuring the rapid improvement of both the symptomatology and biochemical alterations of this critical disease.

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Management of Pneumomediastinum Associated with H1N1 Pneumonia: A Case Report

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2019-0001

H1N1 is seen in tropical countries like India, occurring irrespective of the season. Complications of the disease are frequently encountered and there is little in the way or guidelines as to the how these should be managed. The treatment of one such complication, a recurrent pneumiomediastinum is the subject of the current paper. The management followed guidance for the treatment of a similar condition known as primary spontaneous pneumomediastinum, an uncommon condition resulting from alveolar rupture-otherwise known as the Macklin phenomenon.

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