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Journal: Journal of community hospital internal medicine perspectives


A patient with a known biopsy of polyarteritis nodosa diagnosis presented with cyclic fevers, acute kidney injury, and progression of rash from macular to pustular, worsening despite being on antibiotics, without evidence of infection on multiple cultures. The patient had a pathological diagnosis from a skin biopsy of acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis syndrome, with a total resolution of rash, fevers, and acute kidney injury on treatment with pulse steroids.

Concepts: Inflammation, Biopsy, Pathology, Rheumatology, Vasculitis, Acute kidney injury, Polyarteritis nodosa, Diseases involving the fasciae


The pronounced prevalence of delirium in geriatric patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and its increased morbidity and mortality is a well-established phenomenon. The purpose of this review is to explore the potential use of dexmedetomidine in preventing or managing ICU delirium in older patients. Articles used were identified and selected through multiple search engines, including Google Scholar, PubMed, and MEDLINE. Keywords such as dexmedetomidine, delirium, geriatric, ICU delirium, delirium in elderly, and palliative were used to obtain the specific articles used for this paper and restricted to articles published in 1990 or later. Articles specifically looking at the use of dexmedetomidine as compared to a study drug and its potential for use in ICU patients, as opposed to overall reviews of dexmedetomidine, were compared. When compared to benzodiazepines for the prevention or treatment of ICU delirium in the elderly, dexmedetomidine was associated with a reduction in delirium, as well as decreased morbidity and mortality. Dexmedetomidine has also been shown to be effective in limiting risk factors associated with ICU delirium such as length and depth of sedation. As opposed to benzodiazepines or opiates, dexmedetomidine provides effective analgesia, sympatholysis, and anxiolysis without causing respiratory depression and allows a patient to more effectively interact with practitioners. The review of these nine articles indicates that these favorable attributes and overall decreased duration and incidence of delirium make dexmedetomidine a viable option in preventing or reducing ICU delirium in high-risk geriatric patients and as a palliative adjunct to help control symptoms and stressors.

Concepts: Geriatrics


Opioid dependence treatment traditionally involves methadone clinics, for which dispensing schedules can be cumbersome. Buprenorphine, a partial agonist of the mu receptor and antagonist of the kappa receptor, is a potential outpatient alternative to methadone. Funded by a grant from the State of Maryland’s Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC), the Buprenorphine Outpatient Outcomes Project (BOOP) evaluates the outcome of Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) treatment on abstinence from heroin use, rates of emergency room visits and hospitalizations, legal issues, and quality of life.

Concepts: Opioid, Receptor antagonist, Morphine, Opioid receptor, Naloxone, Buprenorphine, Methadone, Drug rehabilitation


Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a rare multisystem microvascular disorder, which is characterized by pentad of thrombocytopenia, microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, and organ dysfunction due to occlusive thrombi. The proposed pathophysiology involves an imbalance between unusually large von Willebrand factor multimers and the cleaving protease ADAMTS13. Acute pancreatitis is a well-described consequence of TTP, but TTP secondary to acute pancreatitis is a rare phenomenon. We present a patient who developed TTP due to post-ERCP pancreatitis with hematologic, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and renal complications and is the first case of this kind. Despite early initiation of therapy, the patient did not recover making it among the 10% of cases of TTP that prove fatal despite appropriate therapy.

Concepts: Red blood cell, Platelet, Anemia, Hematology, Blood disorders, Von Willebrand factor, Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura


We report that two young adult patients who were initiated with clozapine for severe psychosis during a hospital-wide gastroenteritis outbreak went into severe shock. Neither patient had troponin elevation. Each required left ventricular assist device support for myocarditis. Endomyocardial biopsy revealed lymphocytic myocarditis in one patient and eosinophilic myocarditis in the other. The former patient expired. Polymerase chain reaction testing was negative for Coxsackie virus. These two patients illustrate that myocarditis can occur at usual incipient doses and that there may be an epidemiologic risk associated with gastroenteritis. Although the white blood cell (WBC) count is expected to decrease with clozapine, these patients had persistently elevated WBC counts. In conclusion, physicians should exercise caution when prescribing clozapine, especially for those with diarrhea.

Concepts: White blood cell, DNA, Polymerase chain reaction, Blood, Cardiology, Heart, Physician, Ventricular assist device


Troponins are known to be released in response to cardiac damage and therefore are the biomarkers of choice for the early diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), improving outcome in patients presenting with chest pain. However, false results can occur due to interference from other substances in the blood.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Heart, Cardiac muscle, Cardiac arrest, Artery, Troponin, Chest pain


Epiploic appendagitis (EA) is an uncommon cause of abdominal pain. It is a benign condition but may mimic other serious causes of acute abdomen such as appendicitis, diverticulitis, and gynecological emergency in severe cases. Knowledge of this condition in the differential diagnosis of abdominal pain can save unnecessary hospital admission, antibiotics, and surgery. In this article, we present the case of a 43-year-old female who presented to our hospital with a 2-day history of right lower quadrant abdominal pain and diarrhea. She was diagnosed with EA with computed tomography of abdomen with contrast and was managed conservatively with good outcome.

Concepts: Medical terms, Medical imaging, Abdominal pain, Abdomen, Differential diagnosis, Peritonitis, Human abdomen, Epiploic appendagitis


Medications, especially non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and antimicrobials, have been most commonly associated with acute interstitial nephritis (AIN); antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are rarely known to cause AIN. This is a case of a 27-year-old male who was recently started on treatment with lamotrigine for bipolar disorder and was found to have rapidly progressive renal failure. Renal biopsy features were suggestive of AIN. Lamotrigine-induced AIN was suspected to be the most likely cause. Discontinuation of the drug and treatment with steroids resulted in complete renal recovery. Lamotrigine use has been recently gaining popularity, not only as an AED but also as a mood stabilizer. With the use of this drug becoming more popular, it is important to emphasize that - although rare - AIN is one of its potential complications.

Concepts: Kidney, Anticonvulsant, Bipolar disorder, Mood stabilizer, Mania, Valproic acid, Carbamazepine, Lamotrigine


HIV has been linked to several autoimmune disorders since its emergence in the 1980s. By affecting different cells and pathways in the immune system, HIV induces the development of certain autoimmune diseases while prohibiting the emergence of others. Dermatomyositis has been rarely described in patients with HIV. We present a case of dermatomyositis in a patient with HIV and explore the pathogenesis of autoimmune disorders in HIV focusing on dermatomyositis.

Concepts: Immune system, Infectious disease, Immunology, Humoral immunity, Immunity


Schistosomiasis is an important parasitic disease with various clinical presentations caused by trematode blood flukes. It can present with asymptomatic, chronic colonic ulcerations, strictures, or inflammatory mass causing bowel obstruction. Intestinal polyps are uncommon and induced by antigens released from the schistosome eggs that trigger a cell-mediated inflammatory response with granuloma formation involving T cells, macrophages, and necrosis. This is very relevant while evaluating chronic intermittent gastrointestinal symptoms and eosinophilia in an immigrant patient from endemic areas of schistosomiasis. Here, we describe a case of chronic intestinal schistosomiasis which was found to have schistosomiasis-induced colonic polyp with non-necrotizing granuloma. With increase in immigrant population from the endemic areas of schistosomiasis in the United States, physicians should be aware of this disease and its various manifestations. Gastroenterologist should keep this as one of the differentials for colonic polyps. Diagnosis and treatment in time prevents further progression of the disease and its complications.

Concepts: Immune system, Medicine, Bacteria, Medical terms, Schistosoma, Colon, Intestine, Gastroenterology