Category Archives: Case Report

Personalisation of Therapies in COVID-19 Associated Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Using Electrical Impedance Tomography

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0045

Introduction: Each patient suffering from severe coronavirus COVID-19-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), requiring mechanical ventilation, shows different lung mechanics and disease evolution. Therefore, lung protective strategies should be personalised for the individual patient.
Case presentation: A 64-year-old male patient was intubated ten days after the symptoms of COVID-19 infection presented. He was placed in the prone position for sixteen hours, resulting in a marked improvement in oxygenation. However, after being returned to the supine position, his SpO2 rapidly dropped from 98% to 91%, and electrical impedance tomography showed less ventilation at the dorsal region and a ventral shift of ventilation distribution. An incremental and decremental PEEP trial under electrical impedance tomography monitoring was carried out, confirming that the dependent lung regions were recruited with increased pressures and homogenous ventilation distribution could be provided with 14 cmH2O of PEEP. The optimal settings were reassessed next day after returning from the second session of the prone position. After four prone position-sessions in five days, oxygenation was stabilised and eventually the patient was discharged.
Conclusions: Patients with COVID-19 associated ARDS require individualised ventilation support depending on the stage of their disease. Daily PEEP trial monitored by electrical impedance tomography can provide important information to tailor the respiratory therapies.

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COVID -19 complicated by Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Myocarditis, and Pulmonary Embolism. A case report

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0041

A 49-year-old female Qatari woman, with no past medical history, presented at a hospital complaining of a history of cough and shortness of breath. The patient tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome (ARDS) and COVID-19. Subsequently, her course of treatment was complicated by severe acute respiratory distress syndrome, pulmonary embolism and severe myocarditis requiring treatment with venous-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation as a bridge to complete recovery.

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Atypical Variant of Guillain Barre Syndrome in a Patient with COVID-19

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0038

Objective: A rare variant Miller Fisher Syndrome overlap with Guillain Barre Syndrome is described in an adult patient with SARS-COV-2 infection.
Case Presentation: The clinical course of a 45-year-old immunosuppressed man is summarized as a patient who developed ataxia, ophthalmoplegia, and areflexia after upper respiratory infection symptoms began. A nasopharyngeal swab was positive for COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction. He progressed to acute hypoxemic and hypercapnic respiratory failure requiring intubation and rapidly developed tetraparesis. Magnetic resonance imaging of the spine was consistent with Guillain Barre Syndrome. However, the clinical symptoms, along with positive anti-GQ1B antibodies, were consistent with Miller Fisher Syndrome and Guillain Barre Syndrome overlap. The patient required tracheostomy and had limited improvement in his significant neurological symptoms after several months.
Conclusions: The case demonstrates the severe neurological implications, prolonged recovery and implications in the concomitant respiratory failure of COVID-19 patients with neurological symptoms on the spectrum of disorders of Guillain Barre Syndrome.

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Right Heart Thrombus in an Adult COVID-19 Patient: A Case Report

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0039

Introduction: Right heart thrombus (RiHTh) can be considered a rare and severe condition associated with thromboembolic phenomena. A case is described of a COVID-19 patient presenting with an isolated thrombus in the right ventricle.
Case presentation: An 80-years-old Caucasian male was admitted in an intensive care unit (ICU) for COVID-19 related acute respiratory distress syndrome. The patient showed signs of hemodynamic instability, elevated cardiac troponin I and altered coagulation. On further assessment, a thrombotic mass near the apex of the right ventricle was detected. Moreover, the apex and the anteroseptal wall of the right ventricle appeared akinetic. Following the administration of a therapeutic dose of unfractionated heparin over a forty-eight hour period, re-evaluation of the right chambers showed that the thrombotic mass had resolved entirely.
Conclusion: COVID-19 patients could constitute a population at risk of RiHTh. Routine use of echocardiography and a multidisciplinary approach can improve the management of this condition.

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Acute Eosinophilic Pneumonia Due to Vaping-Associated Lung Injury

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0037

A case is described of a 29-year-old female who presented with acute hypoxic respiratory failure due to acute eosinophilic pneumonia, associated with the use of electronic cigarettes to vape tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), together with the contemporary clinical understanding of the syndrome of electronic-cigarette associated lung injury (EVALI). Attention is drawn to acute eosinophilic pneumonia as a potential consequence of vaping-associated lung injury to understand the diagnostic evaluations and therapeutic interventions for acute eosinophilic pneumonia associated with vaping THC.

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Cardiopulmonary Arrest Following a Single 25 mg Dose of Quetiapine: A Case Report

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0035

Introduction: Quetiapine is commonly used in intensive care units (ICU) to treat delirium. Cardiopulmonary arrest caused by low dose quetiapine is unreported. Only two cases in the literature have reported acute respiratory failure after single doses of 50mg and 100mg respectively. We report a case of cardiopulmonary arrest in a patient after the administration of a single 25mg dose of quetiapine.
Case presentation: A 72-year-old Chinese female with multiple cardiovascular co-morbidities was admitted to the ICU intubated, following complications from an elective endovascular repair of an infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm. She was alert and extubated the following day. She subsequently showed signs of delirium and was administered a single 25mg dose of oral quetiapine. Seven hours after ingestion, she developed type 2 respiratory failure and eventually cardiopulmonary arrest. She was successfully resuscitated and other causes for cardiopulmonary arrest were excluded. Twenty-four hours following her cardiopulmonary arrest, her respiratory failure had completely reversed and she was extubated uneventfully.
Conclusion: This case report demonstrates that a single dose of oral quetiapine 25mg is sufficient to cause respiratory failure and cardiopulmonary arrest. Caution is advised when prescribing quetiapine in the elderly, especially in those with impaired drug clearance.

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The Prolonged Use of VV ECMO Support in COVID-19: A Case Report

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0034

COVID-19 has resulted in unprecedented global health and economic challenges. The reported mortality in patients with COVID-19 requiring mechanical ventilation is high. VV ECMO may serve as a lifesaving rescue therapy for a minority of patients with COVID-19; however, its impact on overall survival of these patients is unknown. To date, few reports describe successful discharge from ECMO in COVID-19 after a prolonged ECMO run. The only Australian case of a COVID-19 patient, supported by prolonged VV ECMO in conjunction with prone ventilation, complicated by significant airway bleeding, and successfully decannulated after forty-two days, is described. VV ECMO is a resource-intense form of respiratory support. Providing complex therapies such as VV ECMO during a pandemic has its unique challenges. This case report provides a unique insight into the potential clinical sequelae of COVID-19, supported in an intensive care environment which was not resource-limited at the time, and adds to the evolving experience of prolonged VV ECMO support for ARDS with a goal to lung recovery.

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Rhabdomyolysis-Induced Acute Renal Injury in a Schizophrenic Patient

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0032

Nowadays, schizophrenia is treated with atypical antipsychotics that can determine neuroleptic malignant syndrome or rhabdomyolysis appearance. In addition to trauma and muscular hypoxia, there are some drugs and toxins associated with rhabdomyolysis development, among which olanzapine. A case of severe rhabdomyolysis syndrome, with extremely high levels of serum creatine kinase (CK), followed by acute kidney failure, secondary to olanzapine overdose and prolonged immobilization is outlined. Continuous renal replacement therapy was performed, with a slow clearance of serum CK levels. Under supportive therapy, systemic alkalinisation with volume resuscitation and corticotherapy, patient’s general condition was improved, as well as his lower limb paresis. He followed frequent psychiatric evaluations and psychotherapies, before and after being transferred to a medical service. Rhabdomyolysis diagnosis is difficult in mild cases due to non-specific signs and symptoms, but it also has some typical manifestation, generically called “the rhabdomyolysis syndrome triad”. The treatment is usually supportive; renal replacement therapy is required in the presence of acute kidney injury unresponsive to aggressive volume resuscitation. The systemic myoglobin release is responsible for renal injury. Olanzapine muscle toxicity can lead to severe rhabdomyolysis syndrome complicated with acute kidney injury and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. Rapid identification and aggressive therapeutic management are essential for improving patients’ outcome and prevent the occurrence of irreversible injuries.

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Bilateral Ocular Exophthalmia – A Case of Atypical Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia in a Child

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0031

Introduction: In acute myeloblastic leukaemia (AML) explosive proliferation and accumulation of immature myeloid cell clones take place, replacing the bone marrow, with the possibility of the formation of extramedullary tumour masses composed of myeloid cells. The onset of the disease less frequently consists of symptoms of extramedullary manifestation.
Case presentation: A Caucasian male child aged three years and 11 months was hospitalized for bilateral exophthalmos and otorrhea, due to an alteration in his general condition. Ocular ultrasound revealed an inhomogeneous thickening of the upper right muscles superior to the eyeball. A complete blood count showed severe anaemia, leucocytosis with neutropenia and thrombocytopenia. A peripheral blood smear evidenced myeloblasts. The result of the cytology of bone marrow confirmed the diagnosis of AML. Following blood product replacements and cytostatic treatment (AML-BFM 2004 HR protocol), the remission of exophthalmos and the correction of haematological parameters were favourable.
Conclusion: In a child with a sudden onset of exophthalmia and altered general condition, the diagnosis of acute leukaemia should be considered. The importance of performing a peripheral blood smear and bone marrow examination is emphasized so that diagnosis and initiation of treatment are not delayed.

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Role of Transesophageal Echocardiography in the Diagnosis of Multi-chamber Intracardiac Thrombosis During Liver Transplantation: A Case Series

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0029

Intra-cardiac thrombosis is one of the most devastating complications during liver transplantation. In the majority of cases, ICT, followed by massive pulmonary embolism, is commonly occurring shortly after liver graft reperfusion, but it has been reported to occur at any stage of the surgery. We present a series of 3 cases of intra-cardiac thrombosis during orthotopic liver transplantation surgery, including a case of four-chamber intra-cardiac clot formation during the pre-anhepatic stage. This article represents a single-centre 14 year-long experience. Intra-operative TEE is the gold standard to diagnose intra-cardiac thrombosis, monitoring its size, location and dynamics, as well as myocardial performance and the effects of resuscitation efforts.

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