Case of the Week COW#13

CC: Chest Pain

HPI: 49-year-old female brought in via ALS presents complaining of Chest pain. As per the Paramedics, the patient was found to be in no acute distress, stating she had exertional chest pain, which had subsided. The pre-hospital ECG was suspicious for ischemia and she was given ASA. Patient states she was walking home from the store when she began to have a pressure like pain on the left side of her chest, which was non-radiating and persisted when she laid down. She admits to feeling similar symptoms over the past few months, but today was the most severe. Upon arrival to Emergency Department, she denied chest pain, SOB, palpitations, abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting. Denied ETOH or illicit drugs use

 Physical Exam:
BP:128/91, Hr:88, RR: 14, Temp: 98.0, Pulse O2: 100% RA
General: Patient lying comfortably in bed, in no distress
HEENT: NCAT, pupils PERRLA, neck supple
Respiratory: non-labored, CTA B/L, no wheezing, rales or rhonchi
Cardiac: +S1/S2, no MRG, regular rate and rhythm
Abdomen: soft NT ND, + BS
Neuro exam: AAO X 3, lucid, strength is 5/5 in all extremities, muscle tone is intact,
Skin: No rash or peripheral edema.

Pertinent Labs:
CBC: Unremarkable
CMP: Unremarkable
Troponin: Negative (< 0.010)

Pertinent Imaging/ECG
CXR: no acute infiltrate, No Pneumothorax or cardiomegaly. Normal Chest X-ray
Pre-Hospital ECG

ECG in the ED

Working Diagnosis: Left Main Insufficiency

ED Course: Repeat ECG in ED showed NSR and had completely normalized. Case was discussed with Interventional cardiologist on call. A Code STEMI was activated and patient was taken emergently to the Cath lab. She was given a Heparin bolus as well as Plavix.

ED/Hospital course:  The catheterization report revealed 80-90% Distal left main, 30 % mid LAD, and LM stenosis improved partially during catheterization with nitroglycerin. Patient admitted to recently using cocaine. CT surgery was called due to the fact that patient had recent cocaine use and it was believed she might have had Left Main Coronary spasm. On hospital day 2, patient went back for repeat catheterization, which revealed Left main distal 30% and LAD mid 30% stenosis. Patient was transferred to telemetry, and discharged on hospital day 4.

Pearls:

aVR in ACS
Typical ECG findings with left main coronary artery (LMCA) occlusion:

  1. Widespread horizontal ST depression, most prominent in Leads I, II and V4-6
  2. ST elevation in aVR ≥ 1mm
  3. ST elevation in aVR ≥ V1

(Don’t worry so much about STE 0.5mm or less in lead aVR, because it lacks specificity. Using 1.0mm or greater in lead aVR, has better specificity)

ST-Segment Elevation in lead aVR foreshadows a worse prognosis in ACS and often predicts the need for CABG. Patients with NSTEMI and ST elevation ≥ 1mm in aVR are likely to have multi-vessel or LMCA disease and are likely to require CABG, therefore withholding Clopidogrel may be prudent. ST-segment elevation in aVR can be caused by any of the following 4 mechanisms

  1. Critical narrowing of the LMCA causing sub-endocardial ischemia due to insufficient blood flow. (LMCA insufficiency)
  2. Transmural infarction of the basal septum due to a very proximal LAD occlusion or complete LMCA occlusion (patient will be VERY sick)
  3. Severe multi-vessel coronary artery disease.
  4. Diffuse sub-endocardial ischemia from oxygen supply/demand mismatch.

Patients with complete occlusion of the LMCA (mechanism 2), often present in cardiogenic shock and require immediate revascularization. Patients with acute coronary occlusions typically will have active symptoms and look sick!

There is an estimated 70% mortality without immediate PCI. Medical therapy (including thrombolytic) does not improve mortality. Emergency PCI may decrease mortality to 40%.

 What Else can Cause STE in aVR that Won’t Benefit from Going to the Cath Lab?

Other causes of global cardiac ischemia
o Thoracic aortic dissection
o Large pulmonary embolism
o Severe anemia
o Post-arrest (within 15 min. of epinephrine or defibrillation)

oMiscellaneous causes
o Supraventricular Tachycardia (esp. AVRT)
o Left bundle branch block (LBBB) & paced rhythms
o LVH with strain (from severe hypertension)
o Severe hypokalemia
o Na+ channel blockade (TCA toxicity, hyperkalemia, Brugada, etc.)

REMEMBER: ST-Segment Elevation in Lead aVR is NOT SPECIFIC for an acute LMCA Lesion, Acute Proximal LAD Lesion, or Acute Triple Vessel DiseasE

    • Correlate Your ECG with the Patient’s Clinical Status
    • Patients with ACS due to LMCA Blockage, Triple Vessel Disease, or Proximal LAD blockage will look “sick” due to global cardiac ischemia

Case presented by Dr. Kerri Clayton.

Case of the week COW #11

CC: Can’t see for 2 months

HPI: 10 year old male with no significant past medical history presents to the Emergency Dept. complaining of painless vision loss in the right eye for 2-3 months. Patient states he has been having difficulty seeing out of his right eye for 2 months despite changing positions in class, taking on and off his glasses and using eye drops. Vision loss has become progressively worse and now he can only distinguish whether lights are on or off. Mother states she did not do anything about this problem because she thought he was kidding and she didn’t’ have money or health insurance to seek medical attention. Patient has been wearing Bifocals for myopia since the age of 6, with corrective vision lenses at age 5. Denies associated trauma. Patient moved to the U.S from Nigeria 5 years ago. He lives with his mother and sister. Vaccines are up to date.

PMH/Birth History: NSVD at 39 weeks, 1 day. Birth took place in Nigeria and mother denies any infection during or after pregnancy. Following birth, patient did not have any complications such as pneumonia, eye infections or rashes.

Social History: Denies drug abuse. Denies exposure to chemicals. Denies contact with dirt, dogs or pigs. Patient did not live on a farm. As per mother, there was no domestic abuse in the family

PHYSICAL EXAM 

Vitals within normal Limits

General: In no acute distress, appears stated age.

Head: Atraumatic, normocephalic. No deformities.

Eye: Right (OD): pupil non-reactive and remains white in color and approximately 2mm. Afferent reflex is present CN II; efferent reflex is absent. There is a complete visual field defect on the right side. Visual Acuity: Can only distinguish between light and dark. Unable to count fingers at any distance or visual objects even in motion. On Fundoscopic exam, the fundus is gray/dull, with no retina visualized. ALL CONSISTENT WITH LEUKOCORIA

Respiratory: Lungs CTA bilaterally.

Cardiac: +S1/S2, no MRG, regular rate and rhythm

Abdomen: soft NT ND

Neuro exam: CN III –XII intact. No motor, sensory, vibratory, temperature or pain deficits. Gait is steady and normal, without any difficulty. Cerebellar function intact, no dysmetria bilaterally.

Extremities: Full ROM in all extremities. 5/5 strength in all extremities

Skin: No edema, rashes, lacerations, or abrasions. Skin is warm, pink, moist and intact.

LABS

CBC: Unremarkable with        WBC: 7.1     Hemoglobin: 13.5       Platelets 211.

CMP: WNL       CRP and ESR = WNL

Tonometry: IOP approx. 17-18 x 3 times

Wood lamp: No corneal abrasion, dendritic ulcers, lesions or depositions OU

Bedside U/S: Completed within 10 minutes of arrival ( Only Right eye is shown)

Working Differential Diagnosis:

  • Retinoblastoma
  • Intraocular Mass
  • Cataract
  • Syphilis
  • Parasitic infiltrate
  • Posterior Infarct

CT Max/Facial w/o Contrast to rule out intracranial pathologies: Negative for masses; positive for homologous material in the right lobe. MRI was recommended for further evaluation

ED/Hospital course:  Ophthalmologist on call was consulted, and said there was nothing more to do. Unfortunately because his vision loss was > 2 months, no life saving surgery was imminent as the retina was already detached causing ischemia to the rods and cones within it.  Patient was to follow up in ophthalmology clinic the following day. Patient’s Pediatrician was also contacted and he referred the patient to a Pediatric Ophthalmic specialist in University Hospital, with a scheduled appointment within the same week. Approximately one week ago, patient underwent surgery and the leading diagnosis was Toxocariasis as per MRI. Biopsy results to follow. As per mother, the patient is still without vision in his right eye.

LEUKOCORIA, UNILATERAL, 10 YO MALE DIFFERENTIALS

Coats disease is an exudative retinal vascular disorder characterized by retinal telangiectasias and subretinal exudation leading to serous retinal detachment. Presenting complaints include decreased visual acuity, strabismus, or leukocoria. The leukocoria in Coats disease is generally more yellow than white due to the presence of subretinal lipid. Coats disease is almost always unilateral and the vast majority of cases occur in boys. The majority of cases presenting with leukocoria are diagnosed between five and nine years of age, which is older than the majority of retinoblastoma patients.

Clinical examination: subretinal lipid and abnormal telangiectatic vessels US: demonstrates complete retinal detachment with massive subretinal lipid. Intraocular calcification is almost never present in Coats disease, another feature that helps to distinguish it from retinoblastoma.

The retinal photograph depicts bullous retinal detachment in the Left eye of a 1-year-old child with Coat’s disease simulating retinoblastoma. The magnetic resonance images confirm the diagnosis of retinal detachment and exclude retinoblastoma because of the absence of intraocular mass.

 

Toxocariasis — Toxocariasis, or visceral larva migrans, is an infection caused by the dog ascarid Toxocara canis or, less commonly, the cat ascarid Toxocara catis. There may be a history of living in an underdeveloped country, and exposure to dirt or undomesticated dogs. It occurs most commonly in children one to five years of age. Common presenting signs of toxocariasis are strabismus and poor vision. The ocular lesion is caused by the inflammatory response to the second-stage larva, which may localize in the one eye or both eyes

Chorioretinitis characteristic of toxoplasmosis. A pigmented scar is seen with an adjacent area of active chorioretinitis. The diagnosis of toxoplasmosis is based primarily on the appearance of the chorioretinal lesion rather than serologic studies. Courtesy of James T Rosenbaum, MD.

 Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) — developmental vascular proliferative disorder that occurs in the incompletely vascularized retina of preterm infants and can lead to retinal detachment and permanent blindness. The most important risk factor for developing ROP is prematurity. There needs to be a history of prematurity, and/or mother mentions patient was on O2 for awhile.

Vitreous hemorrhage — Vitreous hemorrhage causes leukocoria when there is extensive organization of the blood into a clot before degradation. With time, the reddish hue of the blood is lost and the hemorrhage transforms into “whitish debris.” Etiology includes advanced ROP,  trauma (MOST common), leukemia or hemorrhagic disease of newborn

Retinablastoma– Retinoblastoma is the most common primary intraocular malignancy of childhood and accounts for 10 to 15 percent of cancers that occur within the first year of life. Retinoblastoma typically presents as leukocoria in a child under the age of two years. Untreated retinoblastoma is a deadly disease; however, with advances in treatment, survival in the contemporary era is >95 percent. Most common age group is birth- 2 years. Very uncommon in children over the age of 5, although 1-2 case reports have occurred in 18 year old males

 Pearls & Takeaways:

  • Leukocoria Requires further investigation – On exam, History and Diagnostic
  • The use of tonometry, fundoscopy and ocular ultrasound are an easy, noninvasive way to add to your ophthalmic exam. Slit-lamp exam could have been considered here
  • Ocular ultrasound is really cool and fun!
  • Advocate for your patients!  Make sure they have proper follow up with a specialist
  • If any abuse or neglect is suspected, be sure to turn on “Sherlock Holmes” senses and investigate.

 

Case presented by Dr. Sarah Bolan

 

Case of the week COW #10

CC: Nausea and vomiting and “ I think my sugar is low”

HPI: 36-year-old Female with PMH of Diabetes presents to the Emergency Department complaining of multiple episodes of non-bloody, non-bilious vomiting for the past 5 days. Associated symptoms include chills and a mild sore throat. Denies fever, HA, neck pain, chest pain, SOB, abdominal pain, diarrhea or bloody stools. Denies dysuria, hematuria or urinary frequency or urgency. Denies recent travels or sick contacts.   LMP: Currently menstruating

PMH: Diabetes

PSH: C-Section

Meds: None

Allergies: NKDA

Social: Admits to smoking 2 cigarettes per day for the past 10 years. Smokes marijuana daily. Denies alcohol use

 

Physical Exam : 

BP 171/82   HR 82    RR 20     SpO2 100% on RA    Temp 97.8F     108.86 kg

Constitutional: Alert, wake, and in no acute distress. Obese

HEENT: NCAT, pupils PERRLA, neck is supple. Oral mucosa is pink, dry and intact. No lesions. Normal conjuctiva

Respiratory: CTA B/L, no rales, rhonchi, no stridor or wheezing

Cardiac: +S1/S2, regular rate and rhythm, no murmur, rubs or gallop

Abdomen: Soft, with mild tenderness in epigastric area. No rebound or guarding. Normal BS

Neuro: AAO x 3. No focal deficits, moving all four extremities. Steady gate without difficulty.

MSK/Extremities: no edema, tenderness or swelling.

Skin: Moderate ecchymosis overlying RUQ and RUE. Normal moisture. No rash or lesions noted

 

Pertinent Labs:

WBC: 8.4   HGB: 9.3   HCT: 26.8   Platelet: 9L

Na: 136        K: 3.4          Cl: 104        Co2: 26      BUN: 16     Cr: 0.95   Glucose: 109

PT: 14.4   PTT: 28.7     INR: 1.1

Calcium 8.8         Total Bilirubin: 2.8       Alk Phos: 56           AST: 21                 ALT: 12

Lipase: 60

UCG: negative

Urinalysis: Large Blood with negative Nitrites and Leukocyte Esterase without ketones. UA Protein: 100

 Pertinent Images and other tests: Chest X ray: Borderline heart size. NO active disease

Upper Abdominal U/S: Normal Liver and spleen. The spleen measured 10.9 cm in greatest dimension and was homogeneous in echotexture. No focal splenic lesion identified. The liver measured 16.5 cm and appeared normal.

EKG:

 

Working Diagnosis:

Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (TTP)

Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)

Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS)

Anemia due to blood loss

Infection/Sepsis

ED Course: On further questioning, patient states she has been menstruating for 3 weeks now and bleeding is heavier as compared to the previous cycle. In the ED, patient was given NS 0.9% 1000mL IV bolus once, Zofran 4 mg IV once, Reglan 10mg IV once. Type and screen and blood cultures were also sent and patient was admitted to the Medical ICU for thrombocytopenia and anemia.

Hospital Course:

In the Medical ICU, further lab results demonstrated elevated the following:

LDH: 699         Fibrinogen: 410     Haptoglobin: < 10              Troponin 0.44

Blood Cultures: No Growth

Urine Toxicology: Positive for cannabinoids

Hepatitis C antibody: < 0.1

HIV Ag/Ab: Non reactive

In the ICU, patient was given a 125mg bolus of IV Solu-Medrol and then started on 60mg IV every 8 hours. She was transfused 1 Unit of platelet with no response, as the following day, platelets actually dropped to 5.Hematology/Oncology was also consulted. They stated that the occasional schistocytes seen on blood smear with low Haptoglobin levels and elevated reticulocyte count and LDH was suggestive of microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, making TTP a more likely diagnosis. Heme/Onc recommended against any further platelet transfusion and ADAMS 13 levels were sent. On hospital day #3, patient’s LDH levels had increased to 1586 and Troponin was elevated to 1.2 with symptoms of dyspnea. Patient also had worsening anemia as hemoglobin dropped to 7.0, and platelets remained at 9. The same day, Surgery was consulted and patient was transfused 2 Units of PRBs and 2 Units of FFP in preparation for Shiley Catheter insertion for plasmapheresis. Cardiology was also consulted for the elevated troponin, which they attributed to ongoing demand ischemia without any evidence of ACS. Unfortunately, the following night at 1:25 AM and before a Shiley was ever placed, the patient became minimally responsive and Saturating at 90% on RA. Immediately, she became bradycardic and lost pulses. CPR was initiated as patient was simultaneously intubated. Total duration of CPR was 60 minutes. The patient received Epinephrine x 20, Amiodarone 300 mg x 1 and Insulin with 1 amp of D50W, Calcium chloride and Sodium Bicarbonate for Potassium of 6.1 on ABG. Sadly, the patient was pronounced at 2:25AM.

PEARLS : Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP)

PENTAD = ‘FAT RN”

  1. Fever (50%)
    • Uncommon if they present early in the disease
    • High fever and chills suggest sepsis, so look for a source of infection.
  2. Thrombocytopenia
    • MAJOR diagnostic criterion
    • Mean platelet of 25, 000 but they reach 5000.
  3. Microangiopathic Hemolytic Anemia
    • MAJOR diagnostic criterion
    • Non-immune hemolysis with schistocytes
    • Results in elevated LDH, Low haptoglobin and high indirect bilirubin
    • Severely elevated LDH has been associated with MI, arrhythmias, shock and heart failure.
  4. Renal Failure
    • Due to renal thrombotic microangiopathy
    • Urinalysis will show mild proteinuria +/- hematuria
    • Acute Rena insufficiency may be present and may require dialysis.
  5. Neurological Symptoms: (Seizure, AMS, HA, coma, hemiplegia, aphasia, etc.)
    • Focal Deficits less prevalent
    • Occurs in 25-60% of patients
    • Symptoms are usually transient and subtle, so you must ask the patient about prior symptoms!

*** KEEP in mind; all features of the PENTAD do NOT to be present at the same time for diagnosis to be made.

Risk Factors

  • Obesity
  • African American race
  • Female
  • Ages 30-50 years
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Rheumatologic/autoimmune disease history

 Clinical Presentation

  • Fatigue, tachycardia, pallor, SOB or chest pain
  • Abdominal pain, back pain, Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • New Onset jaundice and dark colored urine

Physical Exam

  • Diffuse, non-palpable petechial/purpuric rash.

Etiology

  • ADAMTS-13 protease enzyme deficiency
    • 60% of cases
    • Enzyme cleaves von Willebrand factor (vWF) multimers. Without it, excessive platelet aggregation, thrombocytopenia and thrombosis occurs
  • Idiopathic or Secondary Causes
    • 40% of cases
    • (i.e. HIV, malignancy, Infection, Pregnancy, pancreatitis, autoimmune disease, pancreatitis and medications such s Acyclovir, Quinine, Oxymorphoine, Plavix and Tacrolimus)
  • Diagnosis/Lab findings
    • NORMAL PT, PTT and Fibrinogen levels (Unlike in DIC)
    • Thrombocytopenia
    • Anemia and elevated indirect bilirubin
    • A peripheral smear is important for diagnosis, as 100% of patients will have schistocytes present during the course of the disease
    • ADAMTS-13 activity < 10% (normal activity is > 50%)

*** Remember that TTP is a clinical diagnosis. Do NOT delay treatment!

  • Differential Diagnosis
    • Other Causes of Microangiopathic Hemolytic Anemia (MAHA)
      • DIC, HUS, HELLP Syndrome, Malignant Hypertension, Heparin induced thrombocytopenia, Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria, etc.
    • ITP
    • Sepsis
    • SLE
    • Viral infections (HIV, mumps, varicella, EBVS)
  • Management
    • Consult Hematology!
    • AVOID Platelet Transfusion if possible!
      • It can lead to renal failure, higher rates of arterial thrombosis and death
      • Should be AVOIDED EXCEPT in life-threatening bleeding or ICH
    • Plasma Exchange (Plasmapheresis) is First Line treatment!
      • Replaces defective or insufficient ADAMTS-13 and clears vWF multimers
      • LDH can be used to evaluate for treatment response
    • FFP Transfusion
      • Contains ADAMTS-13
      • Can be helpful if delay in plasmapheresis
    • Transfusion of RBCs (indicated ONLY in severe bleeding with a delay in plasma exchange)
    • Glucocorticoids
      • Adjunct Treatment and do not replace plasmapheresis
      • 1mg/kg Prednisone PO or Solu-Medrol 125mg IV
    • IVIG
      • Not first line but may be used in those who fail plasmapheresis
    •  Splenectomy
      • Last line therapy after stabilization
      • Inhibitor antibody is made in the spleen

Suspect TTP in any patient with MAHA and thrombocytopenia!

Case presented by Dr. Yenisleidy Paez Perez, DO

Case of the Week COW #9

CC: “Post Surgical Pain” ; Abdominal pain

HPI: 8 year old Male with PMH of Sickle Cell Disease (HbSC), Post-opt Day 10 for laparoscopic splenectomy for recurrent sequestration crises presents to the Emergency Department (ED) complaining of abdominal pain x 2 days. The pain is described as diffuse and worse in the RUQ. Denies exacerbating or relieving factors. Pain is associated with constipation; last Bowel movement was 7 days prior. Mother states he did have one small BM shortly after surgery. He is tolerating PO without difficulty and does report flatus. She has been giving him Oxycodone 2mg every 6 hours for pain with minimal relief. Upon review of systems, patient reports feeling hot for the past 2 days but without a recorded temperature at home. Additionally, patient complained of a non-productive cough for 2 days and has been “breathing fast” for the same duration of time.

Physical Exam:

BP 112/74    HR 129     RR 24   SpO2 93% on RA   Temp 99.9F      26.3 kg

Constitutional: Well developed, well-nourished child who is awake, alert and in moderate distress due to pain and feeling hot; making tears

HEENT: NCAT, pupils PERRLA, neck supple

Respiratory: CTA B/L, no wheezing, rales or rhonchi

Chest/Axilla: Normal symmetrical motion, no tenderness

Cardiac: +S1/S2, RRR, no MRG,

Abdomen: Scars noted over splenectomy site which are clean dry and intact, healing well without discharge; Diminished Bowel Sounds in all quadrants; soft, non-distended with mild tenderness in all 4 quadrants. No rebound or guarding.

Neuro exam: AAO x 3. No deficits

Extremities: no edema, no tenderness or swelling

Pertinent Labs:

CBC: 42.1

HBG: 12.5

HCT: 36.9

Platelets: 721

Seg: 79

Lymphs: 9

Mono: 12

Reticulocyte count: reported as normal

Pertinent Imaging and other tests:

Working Diagnosis:

Generalized abdominal pains

Elevated WBC

Abscess of spleen

ED/Hospital course:

Surgery was consulted in the ED and they believed the pain was not related to the surgery. Abdominal U/S performed at their request showed “s/p splenectomy with gallbladder sludge.” Patient had moderate improvement in his pain after Toradol 15mg IV and Morphine 2mg IV were given in the ED. Patient also received Rocephin 75mg/kg and NS 500mL IV Fluid bolus for presumed infection with the leukocytosis of 42.1.

The patient was admitted to Pediatric Step down for further evaluation and management. Overnight, he remained comfortable with stable vital signs, afebrile and saturating 94-96% on 2L NC. On Hospital day #1, patient became febrile to 103F and continued to deny chest pain, SOB or difficulty breathing. The cough remained unchanged since admission. A repeat Chest X-Ray was obtained and the patient was diagnosed with Acute Chest Syndrome and received exchange transfusion the same day (Refer to Image below) Additionally, he received Ceftriaxone, Azithromycin, Nitric oxide and IVF at ¾ maintenance ate throughout hospitalization. On Hospital Day #4 he was discharged home.

Pearls:

Acute Chest Syndrome

  • It is the leading cause of death in patients with SCD in the United States
  • Most often occurs as a single episode, but patients may have multiple attacks resulting in chronic lung disease
  • Multiple Etiologies
    • Pulmonary infections
    • Iatrogenic cause including aggressive hydration for sickle cell painful crisis ——à causing Pulmonary Edema
    • Opioid use —–à Decreased inspiratory effort——à Atelectasis
  • New infiltrate identified on Chest X-Ray with at least one of the following: Fever, cough, wheezing, tachypnea, chest pain, hypoxemia.
  • Radiographic changes often lag behind clinical features so initially the Chest X-Ray may actually be normal (as in our case)
  • Treatment
    • Supportive: Early Supplemental Oxygen, analgesics and IV Hydration up to 1.5x maintenance rate
    • Antibiotic irrespective of cultures
    • Transfusion is believed to be lifesaving; recommendations based on empirical observations and not on firm evidence
    • Exchange transfusion seems to be more advantageous, especially in patients with a hemoglobin of > 9.0
      • It decreases the concentration of sickled hemoglobin with little iron gain
    • Inhaled Nitrous Oxide is beneficial
      • Due to its vasodilatory effects –à improved ventilation/perfusion in damaged lung tissue
      • Reduced RBC and leukocyte adhesion to endothelial cells, therefore affecting disease progression
    • Hydroxyurea reduces occurrence of acute chest syndrome

Case Presented by Greg Cassidy, MD

 

References:

  1. Stapczynski, J. S., & Tintinalli, J. E. (2016). Tintinalli’s emergency medicine: A comprehensive study guide (8th ed.). New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education LLC..

 

Case of the Week COW #7

CC: Numbness and palpitations

HPI: 21-year-old Female presents to the Emergency Department (ED) complaining of palpitations and left arm weakness with perioral numbness, which began just prior to arrival. The patient states the episode lasted 30 minutes before completely resolving on its own. In the ED, she denies any other complaints except for a mild headache. Patient notes she experienced a similar episode of palpitations yesterday afternoon, while resting, which she described as “skipping beats”. On further questioning, the patient admitted to being hospitalized to a NYC hospital 2 weeks ago where she had a Cardiac Echocardiogram done which showed “hypertrophy.” Patient never followed up with cardiologist as instructed. In the past, a doctor in her country prescribed her an unknown antihypertensive medication, which she took for one year but stopped taking it once she moved to NJ. Denies fever, dizziness, chest pain, and shortness of breath, recent travels, calf pain or swelling.

Physical Exam:

BP 109/72   HR 82     RR 18     SpO2 100% on RA    Temp 97.0F

General: Well appearing female, in non-acute distress

HEENT: NCAT, pupils PERRLA, neck supple

Respiratory: CTA B/L, no wheezing, rales or rhonchi

Cardiac: +S1/S2, no MRG, regular rhythm

Abdomen: soft NT ND

Neuro exam: AAO X 3, No focal deficits

Extremities: no edema, no tenderness or swelling, 5/5 strength in all extremities. Sensory intact

Skin: pink and warm, No diaphoresis, no rashes, lacerations, or abrasions

Pertinent Labs: Troponin 0.308

Pertinent Imaging and other tests:

  • Chest X-Ray: Cardiomegaly with a boot shaped heart, which may indicated right heart failure.
  • CT Head: Normal 
  •  ECG: Normal Sinus Rhythm, Bi-atrial enlargement, RBBB, LVH

Working Diagnosis: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCOM)

ED/Hospital course:  Patient was given 324 mg of ASA and admitted to Telemetry with a diagnosis of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. While still in the ED waiting for a bed on Telemetry the patient had multiple runs of non-sustained V-Tach and Cardiology was consulted. The patient was started on ASA and Metoprolol PO. A 2D ECHO was done which was consistent with HCOM. Patient remained stable on Telemetry for 3 days prior to discharge. The patient’s Troponin was trended daily, 0.308 in the ED, 0.288 on day 1 of admission, and 0.314 on day 2 of admission. Patient was told to follow up with Cardiology Clinic for possible AICD placement planning.

Pearls:

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is one of the most common inherited cardiac disorders (affecting ~ 1 in 500 people) and is the number one cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes. Annual mortality is estimated at 1-2 %.

  • Pathology and Pathophysiology:
    • Dynamic Obstruction of the Left Ventricular Outflow Obstruction (LVOT)
    • Primarily Autosomal Dominant Inheritance
    • Left Ventricular diastolic dysfunction resulting from impaired relaxation and filling of the stiff and hypertrophied left ventricle (often associated with increased filling pressure)
    • Abnormal intramural coronary arteries with thickened walls and narrow lumens
    • Chaotic, disorganized left ventricular architecture (“ cellular disarray’) predisposing to abnormal transmission of electrical impulses and thus serving as a substrate for the formation of arrhythmia.
  • Clinical Manifestation
    • Exertional syncope or pre-syncope – this is the most worrisome symptom, suggesting dynamic LVOT obstruction with or without dysrhythmia, with the potential for sudden cardiac death.
    • Symptoms of pulmonary congestions due to left ventricular dysfunction (e.g. exertional dyspnea, fatigue, orthopnea, paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea)
    • Chest pain – may be typical angina pain due to increased demand (thicker myocardial walls) and reduced supply (aberrant coronary arteries).
    • Palpitations due to supraventricular or ventricular arrhythmias.
  • ECG Features:
    • Left atrial enlargement
    • Left ventricular hypertrophy with associated ST segment / T-wave abnormalities
    • Deep, narrow (“dagger-like”) Q waves in the Lateral (V5-6, I, aVL) and inferior (II, III, aVF) leads. Most common in Lateral vs. Inferior
    • Giant precordial T-wave inversions in apical HCM
    • Signs of WPW (Short PR, delta wave)
    • Dysrhythmias: Atrial Fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia, PACs, PVCs, VT

*** Infarction Q Waves are wider with a different morphology compared to HCM.

Pathologic Q Waves:

  • Usually > 40 ms (1mm) wide
  • > 2mm Deep
  • > 25% of depth of QRS Complex
  • Best seen in V1-V3

 

Post by Tyler Manis, MD, PGY4

Case of the Week (COW) #5

CC: Vomiting for 2 days

HPI: 47 year old female with PMHX of HTN and ETOH abuse presents with abdominal pain. Patient states that beginning two days ago she was woken up from her sleep with sudden onset non-bloody vomiting as well as epigastric pain which radiates to the back and is sharp in nature. She admits to over 15 episodes of vomiting. She is also having cramping of her feet bilaterally. She admits to daily ETOH use, and states her last intake was two days ago, denies illicit drug use. Denies taking any medication prior to arrival. Denies fever, chills, chest pain, SOB or dysuria. Denies recent travel or sick contacts. PMHX/PSHX: none Meds: none Allergies: none

Physical Exam: Vitals: BP 150/96 P 98 RR 16 O2 sat 98% RA General: Awake, alert, anxious Cardiac: Regular rate, no murmurs Lungs: CTAB, no rales, no rhonchi, no wheezing Abd: soft, non-distended, Mild tenderness to palpation epigastric area

Labs: Magnesium- 1.3 Potassium- 3.5 Troponin- 0.017

EKG:

DX: Prolonged QT interval with non-sustained polymorphic Ventricular tachycardia secondary to Hypomagnesemia

ED/Hospital course:  Upon arrival to ED patient had Epigastric pain with vomiting, Patient started on IVF and received Pepcid and Zofran. EKG at this time showed QT prolongation and patient found to have magnesium of 1.3. While waiting for magnesium, she started to have short runs of polymorphic ventricular tachycardia and during these times she complained of chest tightness. After 2 grams of magnesium patients repeat EKG showed normal QT and runs of ventricular tachycardia stopped. She received another 2mg of Magnesium and 40 mEq of Potassium Chloride. Patient was then admitted to Telemetry floor. Patient observed for 24hours and discharged to home with follow up with a cardiologist and Norvasc 5 mg 1tab PO daily, Losartan 100 mg 1tab PO daily, Ranitidine 150mg 1tab PO BI.

Pearls:

  • An abnormally prolonged QTc, especially >500 is associated with an increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias, Torsade’s de Pointes
  • Prolonged QT with prolonged T wave is due to: HypoK, HypoMg, Medications, Elevated ICP, Cardiac ischemia, Congenital.
  • Prolonged QT with prolonged ST-segment is due to: HypoCa, Hypothermia.
  • If EKG reveals long QT start by reviewing drug history and checking electrolytes. Stop any offending agents. Suppress early after depolarization with IV magnesium sulfate and keep potassium >4.5meq/L.
  • If non responsive to magnesium, may consider cardiac pacing and rarely isoproterenol infusion. Acceleration of the heart rate may produce suppression of arrhythmias, with a reduction in the QT interval.
  • Unstable patients should undergo non-synchronized electrical defibrillation.

Post by: Dr. Kerri Clayton, DO

 

Case of the Week (COW) #4

 

 

CC: Generalized Weakness

HPI: 55 y/o male presents complaining of 4 days of gradually worsening weakness in bilateral arms and legs. The patient also reports lower extremity pain one week ago, which resolved. Patient also complains of intermittent left sided back pain for the past couple of months that is exacerbated by walking. ROS: Positive for non-bloody diarrhea 2 weeks prior to presentation. Denies fever and vomiting at any time. No recent travels or sick contacts. Denies HA, dizziness, CP, SOB, or abdominal pain

Pertinent PE and Vitals: BP 172 / 82; Pulse 89; Resp 16; Temp 97.1; Pulse Ox 100% on R/A

GEN: Awake NAD.

EYES: PERRL, EOMI

NECK: supple, FROM, no meningismus

PULM: CTA in all fields, no tachypnea CARD: S1/S2 Normal. Normal rate.

NEURO: AAOX3. Lucid. Follows commands. CN 2-12 intact. No dysmetria bilaterally. No focal neurological deficits appreciated. Sensory intact. No drifts present in upper extremities. No dysarthria. Back: Mild painful ROM of lumbar region. No midline vertebral tenderness. No deformities. Deep tendon reflexes intact. 5/5 strength in all extremities.

Pertinent Labs (if any):

WBC 15.8 without any shift.

ED & Hospital Course: Patient was walked to evaluate gait in the setting of generalized weakness. She was able to ambulate with no ataxia. However, she was moving very slow and appeared globally weak. Patient stated this was not how she usually walks. A CT Head w/o Contrast followed by a lumbar puncture was then performed.

Lumbar Puncture (CSF Labs): RBC : 17,515   WBC: 21    Glucose: 103    Total Protein : 109

*LP was a traumatic 2nd attempt PLUS the samples were accidentally sent in a tube to the lab and dropped by the receiving lab tech. This contributed to the high RBC. Bonus Pearl – CSF tubes should always be hand delivered.

Working Diagnosis at time of Disposition : Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS)

Neurology was consulted. Negative Inspiratory Force was performed with normal results. Patient was admitted to Neurology Floor with diagnosis of GBS. The patient improved after multiple doses of IVIG and was discharged from the hospital 1 week later with outpatient Neurology follow up

Pearls & Takeaways

Get a thorough history. Diarrhea is usually never important but in this case it was helpful in making the diagnosis. Ø Always walk your patients prior to discharge. Ø GBS is typically followed by a viral illness. Signs and symptoms include symmetric motor weakness that is usually ascending with little to no sensory involvement. Ø Progression of disease is over days to weeks. Ø Paralysis can ascend to the diaphragm. A Negative Inspiratory Force (NIF) test should be performed to evaluate the respiratory muscles. Intubate if FVC <15 mL/kg or negative inspiratory pressure < -25 cm H2O. Ø Albumin-cytological dissociation of CSF (high protein (>45) and low WBC count

 

Case of the Week #2 – I can’t pee!!

CC: Urinary retention

HPI: 44 yo F presents with suprapubic abdominal pain since this AM. She also complains of dysuria and denies fever, chills, hematuria, vaginal bleeding or discharge, flank pain, N/V/D, CP, SOB or any other symptoms. This is her third visit to the ED in the past 3 days for urinary retention. On patient’s initial visit, she c/o pelvic pain, dysuria and urinary retention for 12 hours.  A straight urinary catheter was placed, and 2 liters of urine was drained and the pt was d/c’d home and told to follow up with her PMD. Yesterday, pt returned once again to the ED c/o urinary retention during which a Foley catheter was placed and 900 cc of urine was collected. No UTI was documented. Today, pt still c/o a sense of fullness and has been unable to urinate since 4 am despite having the Foley catheter in place and emptying the bag. Pt called her PMD last night during which he prescribed her Ciprofloxacin for a presumed UTI.

PMH/PSH: None

Meds/Allergies: None

Social: Denies

Physical Exam: Vitals: BP 130/84 P 144 RR 17 O2 sat 100% RA Temp 98.2F

General: Awake, alert, in no acute distress, comfortable
Cardiac: RRR , S1 S2, no murmurs
Lungs: CTAB, no rales, no rhonchi, no wheezing
Abd: Soft, with mild tenderness in suprapubic area. No distention. No rebound or guarding
Back: No CVA tenderness
GU: Foley catheter in place with empty bag
Extremities: No edema or rashes. Able to move all extremities
Neuro: AAO x 3

Labs

WBC: 10. 5
Hg/Hct: 13.3/40
Platelet: 215

Na: 141
K+4.6
CL –: 102
CO2: 26
BUN: 9
Cr: 0.83

Urine HCG: Negative

Urinalysis:
Ketones: Small
Blood: Small
Nitrite Urine: NEG
Leukocyte Esterase: Moderate
RBC: 0-3
WBC: 11-20
Bacteria: Rare

Imaging: 

DDX: Vaginal Mass vs Urinary Retention vs UTI

ED Course: 

Upon evaluation, the Foley catheter’s leg bag straps were fitted incorrectly causing a drainage bag obstruction. In the ED, the obstruction was resolved and catheter was successful draining urine.

The reading of the CT abd/pelvis was: CT Abd/Pelvis W/ and w/o Contrast: There is a 9.9 x 9.4 x 9.9 cm vaginal mass, which displaces the uterus cephalad, and likely the cervix and the bladder anteriorly which is quite effaced. The mass is likely centered in the mid and posterior vagina, which is worrisome for a vaginal or possibly a cervical malignancy although could be of other etiology and warrants a follow up MRI. The most worrisome component is anteriorly to the left where there is either a lymph node measuring 3.7 x 2.5 x 4.7 cm or extrusion of the mass. A left ovary is likely seen with an involuting cyst measuring 2.1 x 1.6 x 1.7 cm quite cephalad to the lesion

OB/GYN was consulted. They came down to evaluate the patient and perform a vaginal speculum exam, which revealed a small amount of malodorous thick discharge similar to pus and a palpable mass in left vaginal wall. OB-GYN recommended patient continues to take Ciprofloxacin as prescribed by her PMD and return to the Emergency Dept. in 3-4 days for re-evaluation and admission to the hospital for a Diagnostic laparoscopy

Pt returned to the ED 4 days later, during which she was admitted and underwent a diagnostic laparoscopy, Left salpingo-oophorectomy and resection of vaginal mass. Foley Catheter was inserted in operating room and pt was d/c home from Same day Surgery.

Discussion:

• Acute Urinary Retention (AUR) in women is rare. It is estimated that are 3 cases of AUR per 100,000 women per year.

• The female to male incidence ration is 1:13

• The most common cause of AUR is obstruction. In women, it is usually secondary to anatomic distortion, including pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic masses, or less likely urethral diverticulum.

• Other less common etiologies include neurogenic causes (MS, Cauda equine syndrome, metastatic spinal cord lesion, neuropathy) and infectious causes (cystitis, Herpes simplex (genital), local abscess, PID).

• Evaluation should include: UA with urine cultures, Chemistry, CBC if you suspect infection or massive hematuria, and a bedside ultrasound to verify retention. Then bladder decompression by inserting Foley catheter. Incomplete retention is PVR > 50mL and > 100mL in patients > 65 years of age

• Pearls: Urinary retention in women is rare. Think of a pelvic mass as a cause, especially if urine is clean. Have a low threshold for obtaining a CT Abd/pelvis to confirm diagnosis.

Post by: Dr. Yenis Paez-Perez, DO