Lower Extremity Edema

HPI:

51 year-old male with a history of HTN, DM and chronic alcohol abuse presenting with lower extremity swelling. He notes one month of progressive, bilateral lower extremity swelling, in the past two weeks associated with increasing pain and redness and is now no longer able to ambulate due to pain. He denies fevers/chills, chest pain or shortness of breath. He also denies orthopnea and paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea. He states that he has not had these symptoms prior to one month ago. On review of systems he denies nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, and changes in bowel or urinary habits. He has a history of GI bleeding (unknown treatment) but denies hematemesis, hematochezia or melena. He has previously experienced alcohol withdrawal, which manifested as tremors, but no hallucinations or seizures.

PMH:

  • HTN
  • DM
  • Chronic EtOH abuse

PSH:

None

FH:

Unknown

SHx:

  • Drinks 1-2 pints of alcohol daily, last drink this morning.
  • Denies current tobacco or drug abuse, no prior IVDA.

Meds:

None

Allergies:

NKDA

Physical Exam:

VS: T 37.6 HR 86 RR 16 BP 128/84 O2 99% RA
Gen: Adult, non-obese male, lying in bed. Tremors noted in upper extremities.
HEENT: PERRL, EOMI, no scleral icterus. Mucous membranes moist.
CV: RRR, normal S1/S2, no additional heart sounds, JVP 3cm above sternal angle at 30°.
Lungs: CTAB, no crackles.
Abd: Soft, non-distended, with normoactive bowel sounds. Liver edge palpated 1cm below costal margin at mid-clavicular line, non-tender. No rebound/guarding.
Ext: Warm, well-perfused with 2+ distal pulses (PT, DP). 3+ pitting edema symmetric in bilateral lower extremities to knee. Erythema and warmth bilaterally extending from ankles to mid-shin. Mild tenderness to palpation. No pain with passive dorsiflexion. 3x3cm shallow ulceration below medial malleolus on right lower extremity without underlying fluctuance or expression of purulent material. No venous varicosities noted. Decreased sensation to light touch below knee bilaterally.
Rectal: Normal rectal tone, brown stool, guaiac negative.
Neuro: Alert and oriented, CN II-XII intact, gait intact, normal FTN/RAM.

Labs/Studies:

  • CBC: 7.4/13.1/39/180
  • Creatinine: 0.84
  • Albumin: 4.3
  • BNP: 28

Imaging:

Venous Lower Extremity Ultrasound

  1. No DVT.
  2. Pulsatile flow in bilateral EIV (external iliac veins) suggestive of elevated right heart pressure.

Assessment/Plan:

51M with HTN, DM, EtOH abuse presenting with lower extremity edema. Chronic bilateral lower extremity edema likely secondary to chronic venous insufficiency perhaps related to OSA given ultrasound findings of pulsatile flow in EIV’s. Doubt systemic cause: no evidence of heart failure on exam and normal BNP, no stigmata of cirrhosis and normal albumin, normal creatinine. Also, no evidence of DVT on ultrasound though bilateral DVT unlikely. Bilateral cellulitis also unlikely as the patient is afebrile without leukocytosis, however the patient was started on antibiotics including ceftriaxone and TMP/SMX given erythema, warmth and tenderness to palpation. The patient received benzodiazepines which eased withdrawal symptoms and he was admitted for continued treatment.

Mechanisms of Lower Extremity Edema: 1

Mechanisms of Lower Extremity Edema

Differential Diagnosis of Lower Extremity Edema: 1,2

Differential Diagnosis of Lower Extremity Edema

Evaluation:

History 1,2

  • Duration: acute (<72h) vs. chronic
  • Pain: DVT, CRPS, less severe in venous insufficiency
  • Systemic Disease
    • Cardiac: orthopnea, PND
    • Renal: proteinuria
    • Hepatic: jaundice, ascites
  • Malignancy: lymphedema
  • Improvement with elevation/recumbency: venous insufficiency
  • OSA: snoring, daytime somnolence
  • Medications: B-blocker, CCB, hormones, NSAID’s

Physical Exam 1,2

  • Distribution: unilateral, bilateral, generalized
  • Quality: pitting, non-pitting
  • TTP: DVT, cellulitis
  • Varicose veins: venous insufficiency
  • Kaposi-Stemmer: inability to pinch dorsum of foot at base of 2nd toe (lymphedema)
  • Systemic Disease
    • Cardiac: JVD, crackles
    • Hepatic: ascites, scleral icterus, spider angiomas
  • Brawny, medial maleolar involvement: venous insufficiency

Key Features Distinguishing Cellulitis: 3

  • Typically unilateral and acute
  • Often with systemic symptoms (fever, leukocytosis)
  • Risk Factors: immunosuppression, previous episodes, DM, PVD

References:

  1. Trayes, K. P., Studdiford, J. S., Pickle, S., & Tully, A. S. (2013). Edema: diagnosis and management. American family physician, 88(2), 102–110.
  2. Ely, J. W., Osheroff, J. A., Chambliss, M. L., & Ebell, M. H. (2006). Approach to leg edema of unclear etiology. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM, 19(2), 148–160.
  3. Keller, E. C., Tomecki, K. J., & Alraies, M. C. (2012). Distinguishing cellulitis from its mimics. Cleveland Clinic journal of medicine, 79(8), 547–552. doi:10.3949/ccjm.79a.11121
  4. WikEM: Pedal edema

Lymphadenopathy Applied: Lymphoma

HPI:

27 year-old female with no medical history presenting with neck swelling. She describes one month of progressive enlargement of a left-sided neck mass, and in the past two weeks has noted a new right-sided neck mass. This has been associated with worsening dysphagia to solids, describing a sensation of food lodging in the mid-chest and requiring liquids for passage – she attributes her recent 10lb weight loss to this. She also reports a non-productive cough for the past two weeks and generalized fatigue. She otherwise denies fevers, night sweats, chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, or changes in bowel/urinary habits. She has no known sick contacts or TB exposure risk factors. She has no medical history, no prior surgeries, does not take any medications and denies tobacco, alcohol or drug use.

Physical Exam:

VS: T 38.4 HR 98 RR 14 BP 108/68 O2 99% RA
Gen: Well-appearing young female, in no acute distress.
HEENT: PERRL, EOMI, MMM without lesions. There is a 2x3cm firm, non-tender, mobile left supraclavicular lymph node, as well as two 1x1cm firm, non-tender lymph nodes in the left and right anterior cervical chains.
CV: RRR, normal S1/S2, no murmurs. No JVD.
Lungs: Clear to auscultation bilaterally. There is a transition to bronchial breath sounds along the trachea inferior to the sternal angle with normal tracheal sounds superiorly.
Abd: Soft, non-tender without organomegaly.
Ext: Warm and well-perfused with normal peripheral pulses. No axillary or inguinal lymphadenopathy.
Neuro: Alert and oriented, responding appropriately to questions. PERRL, EOMI, facial sensation symmetric, facial muscles symmetric, hearing grossly normal, palate rises symmetrically, tongue movements normal without fasciculation, SCM/trapezius normal. Normal FTN, RAM. Gait intact. Peripheral sensation and motor grossly normal.

Imaging:

CT Chest - Axial

CT Chest - Axial

Anterior mediastinal mass with a wide differential - likely represents lymphoma or germ cell tumor. Less likely thymic or thyroid origin.

CT Chest - Sagittal

CT Chest - Sagittal

Anterior mediastinal mass with a wide differential - likely represents lymphoma or germ cell tumor. Less likely thymic or thyroid origin.

Assessment/Plan:

27F with no PMH presenting with progressive localized lymphadenopathy. Resultant dysphagia, cervical and supraclavicular distribution as well as abnormal tracheal sounds concerning for mediastinal involvement. The patient is currently stable without evidence of airway compromise. A CT of the chest was obtained to evaluate for thoracic malignancy, which showed a large anterior mediastinal mass concerning lymphoma or germ cell tumor. The location of the mass likely explains the patient’s dysphagia due to compression of the esophagus, as well as the abnormal pulmonary exam with compression potentially irritating the trachea and triggering her non-productive cough. The patient was admitted for further workup.

Lymphadenopathy Applied – Lymphoma

This case applies the differential diagnosis of lymphadenopathy. The most abnormal finding on examination was non-tender, left supraclavicular lymphadenopathy. The duration of symptoms and lack of tenderness is concerning for malignancy, and the left supraclavicular location suggests a thoracic or intra-abdominal source.

Lymphadenopathy Applied - Lymphoma

Necrotizing Soft-Tissue Infection (NSTI)

HPI:

40 year-old male with a history of diabetes presents with right foot pain and swelling. His symptoms began 3 days ago with pain on the lateral surface of his right foot, described as aching, non-radiating and exacerbated with walking. Yesterday, he noted more prominent swelling and redness involving 4th and 5th toes. He denies trauma, fevers, and discharge.

PMH:

  • Diabetes mellitus, diagnosed 8yrs ago

PSH:

  • None

FH:

  • Non-contributory

SHx:

  • Lives with wife and 2 children and works an office job.
  • Ten year history of tobacco use, quit 3 years ago.
  • No EtOH or drug abuse.

Meds:

  • Metformin 500mg p.o. b.i.d.
  • Ibuprofen p.r.n. joint pain

Allergies:

NKDA

Physical Exam:

VS: T 101.2 HR 88 RR 14 BP 147/71 O2 100% RA
Gen: Obese male, pleasant and in no acute distress, lying in bed with right foot raised.
HEENT: PERRL, EOMI, dry mucous membranes.
CV: RRR, normal S1/S2, no extra heart sounds, no murmurs.
Lungs: CTAB
Abd: +BS, non-tender.
Ext: Right lower extremity with 8x8cm area of erythema predominantly involving lateral aspect of foot, dorsum of foot and 3-5th digits. There is a shallow, 1x1cm ulcer on the plantar surface of foot near 5th MTP. Area is also notable for ecchymosis and palpable crepitus. There is minimal tenderness to palpation or with active/passive range of motion.
Skin: The remainder of the skin exam is unremarkable.
Neuro: AAOx3.

Labs/Studies:

  • BMP: 134/4.3/104/26/18/1.4/206
  • WBC: 27.3/13.1/40/189 (90% neutrophils)
  • Lactate: 1.2
  • CRP: [pending]

Imaging:

CT Lower Extremity

  1. Calf cellulitis and gas-producing cellulitis in the lateral foot and toes.
  2. Thigh and inguinal lymphadenopathy.
  3. Although gas is seen down to the level of the bone, no definite bony changes are identified to establish a diagnosis of osteomyelitis. Please note that MRI is more sensitive for detection of early osteomyelitis.

Assessment/Plan:

40M with DM and diabetic foot ulcer resulting in a necrotizing soft tissue infection as evidenced by gas on imaging. Recommended surgical debridement and started on broad-spectrum antibiotics including:

  • vancomycin 1g i.v. q.12.h.
  • cefepime 2g i.v. q.8.h.
  • metronidazole 500mg i.v. q.8.h.

The patient underwent amputation of 3-5th digits with good surgical margins and was discharged on post-operative day three in good condition.

Skin and soft-tissue layers and their infections: 1

Skin and soft-tissue layers and their infections

Necrotizing Soft-Tissue Infections (NSTI):2,3,4

Risk Factors

  • IVDA
  • Comorbid conditions
    • DM
    • Obesity
    • Immunosuppression

Physical Exam

  • Early (non-specific)
    • Swelling
    • Erythema
    • Pain
  • Late (non-sensitive)
    • Tense edema outside affected skin perimeter
    • Disproportionate pain
    • Ecchymosis
    • Bullae
    • Crepitus
    • Systemic signs (fever, tachycardia, hypotension)

Treatment

  • Surgical debridement
  • Antimicrobials
    • Carbapenem, combination B-lactam B-lactamase
    • Vancomycin, linezolid (MRSA coverage)
    • Clindamycin (inhibit protein synthesis)
  • Supportive therapy

LRINEC score 5

Name Value Score
CRP ≥150 4
WBC 15-25
>25
1
2
Hb 11-13.5
<11
1
2
Na <135 2
Creatinine >1.6 2
Glucose >180 1

<5 Low risk, 6-7 Intermediate risk, >8 High risk

References:

  1. Morchi, R. (2/18/14). Emergency Medicine Procedures Cadaver Lab. Clinical Clerkship at UCLA. Los Angeles, CA.
  2. Goldstein, E. J. C., Anaya, D. A., & Dellinger, E. P. (2007). Necrotizing Soft-Tissue Infection: Diagnosis and Management. Clinical infectious diseases, 44(5), 705–710. doi:10.1086/511638
  3. Headley, A. J. (2003). Necrotizing soft tissue infections: a primary care review. American family physician, 68(2), 323–328.
  4. McHenry, C. R., Piotrowski, J. J., Petrinic, D., & Malangoni, M. A. (1995). Determinants of mortality for necrotizing soft-tissue infections. Annals of surgery, 221(5), 558–63.
  5. Wong, C.-H., Khin, L.-W., Heng, K.-S., Tan, K.-C., & Low, C.-O. (2004). The LRINEC (Laboratory Risk Indicator for Necrotizing Fasciitis) score: A tool for distinguishing necrotizing fasciitis from other soft tissue infections. Critical Care Medicine, 32(7), 1535–1541. doi:10.1097/01.CCM.0000129486.35458.7D

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

HPI:

25M with a history of mild asthma transferred from an outside hospital after 10 days in the intensive care unit for continued management of ARDS.

The patient was well until one week prior to admission when he developed intermittent subjective fevers and general malaise associated with a non-productive cough and nausea/vomiting. He presented to the emergency department of an outside hospital with difficulty breathing and was noted to have respiratory distress and was subsequently admitted. Initial CT at the outside hospital revealed pneumomediastinum but no evidence of pulmonary embolism. Results from the outside hospital reveal a wide array of bacterial/fungal cultures and viral serologies including bronchoscopy but no obvious infectious source. The patient was treated with broad spectrum antibiotics for several days but his condition worsened requiring intubation, mechanical ventilation and transfer to the ICU. Further imaging was suggestive of ARDS, and the patient was transferred for additional management.

The patient was well until one week prior to admission when he reported development of malaise and fatigue. On the day of hospitalization, the patient presented to primary care doctor with complaint of cough and shortness of breath and was found to be in respiratory distress and was admitted. The patient received IV antibiotics (cefepime, vancomycin) and was intubated when respiratory distress worsened. Found to have evidence of ARDS on CXR.

PMH:

  • Mild asthma, not requiring medication
  • MRSA skin abscess

PSH:

  • None

FH:

  • Non-contributory.

SHx:

  • Lives with family and works at a local supermarket. Rare alcohol use and no prior tobacco or drug use.
  • No recent travel or sick contacts.

Meds:

  • ciprofloxacin 400mg i.v. q12h
  • linezolid 600mg i.v. q12h
  • meropenem 1g i.v. q8h
  • heparin 5000units s.q. q8h
  • cisatracurium 1.48mcg/kg/min
  • fentanyl 125mcg/hr
  • midazolam 10mg/hr
  • propofol 20mcg/kg/min

Allergies:

NKDA

Physical Exam:

VS: T 97.8 HR 120 RR 35 BP 123/68 O2 96%
Vent: PRVC, VT 320, RR 35, PEEP 6, FiO2 95%
Gen: Young male, thin-appearing, intubated and sedated and not responding to verbal commands
HEENT: PERRL, unable to assess EOM, ET tube in place
CV: RRR, normal S1/S2, no murmurs
Lungs: Coarse breath sounds bilaterally
Abd: Normoactive bowel sounds, soft, non-distended, no hepatosplenomegaly
Ext: No clubbing, cyanosis, edema
Neuro: Unable to assess

Labs/Studies:

  • CBC: 25.06/7.0/21.3/426
  • BMP: 132/3.3/88/32/18/1.1/103
  • ABG: 7.30/97/76/18
  • Blood/sputum/urine cultures: Negative
  • Aspergillus, crypto, cocci: Negative
  • EBV, HIV, influenza, RSV: Negative

Imaging


CT Chest: Evidence of pneumomediastinum and pneumopericardium. Bilateral pulmonary infiltrates, but no pulmonary embolism.

Assessment/Plan:

25M with ARDS transferred from outside hospital for further management.
# ARDS: Severe (P/F ratio <100). Etiology unclear, thorough infectious workup without obvious source. Consider autoimmune or allergic cause.

  • Ventilator: PRVC lung-protective ventilation
  • Consider NMB for dyssynchrony despite sedation
  • Monitor strict I/O, maintain net negative fluid balance.

# Sepsis: Leukocytosis, tachycardia. Continue broad-spectrum antibiotics and monitor cultures.
# Acidosis: Largely respiratory, place dialysis catheter if acute need arises.
# Pneumomediastinum: Possible Boerhaave syndrome given reports of nausea/vomiting.

Pathophysiology of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS):1

ARDS represents a stereotyped response to multiple insults. It is characterized by damaged capillary endothelium and alveolar epithelium resulting in increased permeability and the accumulation of fluid in the alveolar space. This causes diffuse alveolar damage and triggers the release of various cytokines (TNF, IL-1, IL-6) which recruit and activate neutrophils causing oxidative cell damage.

Definition of ARDS (Berlin):2,3

Timing Acute in onset (<1 week)
Chest imaging Bilateral opacities
Origin of pulmonary edema Not explained by heart failure or fluid overload (assessed with echocardiography)
Oxygenation (PaO2/FiO2)
  1. Mild: 200-300
  2. Moderate: 100-200
  3. Severe: <100

Causes of ARDS:2,4

Causes of ARDS


An Introduction to Mechanical Ventilation:5,6,7

This is a simplification of the general principles underlying the most common ventilator modes. For more detail, see the articles cited in the references.
An Introduction to Mechanical Ventilation

Breath Sequences:

Continuous Mandatory Ventilation (CMV)

Continuous Mandatory Ventilation (CMV)

All breaths controlled by ventilator, no triggered breaths.

Assist-Control Ventilation (AC)

Assist-Control Ventilation (AC)

Every patient-triggered breath is fully supported, a backup rate is set. In the absence of patient-triggered breaths, AC acts like CMV.

Synchronized Intermittent Mandatory Ventilation (SIMV)

Synchronized Intermittent Mandatory Ventilation (SIMV)

Preset minimum mandatory breaths are “synchronized” to patient’s efforts. The patient is allowed to breathe spontaneously between supported breaths.

Pressure Support (PS)

Pressure Support (PS)

All breaths are triggered by the patient and each is supported by preset pressure.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

Spontaneous breathing at elevated baseline pressure.

Control Variables:

Volume Control (VC)
Volume Control (VC)

Volume Control (VC)

Volume is set, pressure is variable. With a drop in compliance, the preset minimum volume is maintained with an increase in pressure.

Pressure Control (PC)
Pressure Control (PC)

Pressure Control (PC)

Pressure is set, volume is variable. With a drop in compliance, a smaller volume is delivered to maintain pressures at the preset limit.

Pressure-Regulated Volume Control (PRVC)
Pressure-Regulated Volume Control (PRVC)

Pressure-Regulated Volume Control (PRVC)

Pressure is targeted with a set minimum volume. The ventilator makes breath-to-breath adjustments of pressure to maintain minimum volumes. Breath mechanics are therefore comparable to pressure-control as a defined pressure is delivered based on prior breath’s respiratory mechanics (note pressure and flow tracings for PRVC/PC vs. VC)

References:

  1. Pierrakos C, Karanikolas M, Scolletta S, Karamouzos V, Velissaris D. Acute respiratory distress syndrome: pathophysiology and therapeutic options. J Clin Med Res. 2012;4(1):7–16. doi:10.4021/jocmr761w.
  2. Fanelli V, Vlachou A, Ghannadian S, Simonetti U, Slutsky AS, Zhang H. Acute respiratory distress syndrome: new definition, current and future therapeutic options. J Thorac Dis. 2013;5(3):326–334. doi:10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2013.04.05.
  3. ARDS Definition Task Force, Ranieri VM, Rubenfeld GD, et al. Acute respiratory distress syndrome: the Berlin Definition. In: Vol 307. 2012:2526–2533. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.5669.
  4. Ware LB, Matthay MA. The acute respiratory distress syndrome. N. Engl. J. Med. 2000;342(18):1334–1349. doi:10.1056/NEJM200005043421806.
  5. Deng, J. (10/20/13). Principles of Mechanical Ventilation. Medical Intensive Care Unit Lecture. Los Angeles, CA.
  6. Singer BD, Corbridge TC. Basic invasive mechanical ventilation. South. Med. J. 2009;102(12):1238–1245. doi:10.1097/SMJ.0b013e3181bfac4f.
  7. Hamed HMF, Ibrahim HG, Khater YH, Aziz ES. Ventilation and ventilators in the ICU: What every intensivist must know. Current Anaesthesia & Critical Care. 2006;17(1-2):77–83. doi:10.1016/j.cacc.2006.07.008.

Cervical Lymphadenopathy

32 year-old male, previously healthy, with slowly-progressive right and left cervical lymphadenopathy over the past three years. He first noted the development of a mass on the lateral neck below the ear three years ago. This mass was non-tender and remained stable at approximately the size of a marble for nearly one year. He later developed more and larger masses, but never experienced any constitutional symptoms like fevers, night sweats, fatigue or weight loss. Examination reveals a healthy, well-nourished male with multiple, hard, mobile, non-tender right posterior cervical and submandibular lymph nodes and a large left supraclavicular lymph node, protruding above the clavicle and measuring ~4x3cm.

Imaging:

Cervical Lymphadenopathy - Axial

Cervical Lymphadenopathy - Axial

- Left supra-clavicular lymph node, 4.5 x 2.9 cm
- Right posterior submandibular lymph node, 3.5 x 2.7 cm
- Multiple other small cervical lymph nodes, more on the right

Cervical Lymphadenopathy - Coronal

Cervical Lymphadenopathy - Coronal

- Left supra-clavicular lymph node, 4.5 x 2.9 cm
- Right posterior submandibular lymph node, 3.5 x 2.7 cm
- Multiple other small cervical lymph nodes, more on the right

He has undergone several diagnostic procedures during this time including aspirations and core biopsies with inconclusive pathology and he is currently admitted for an excisional biopsy of the supraclavicular lymph node. Infectious and rheumatologic workup has remained negative including: HIV, bartonella, Quantiferon TB Gold, cocci, histo, toxo, CMV, EBV, ANA, RF, ACE.

The patient tolerated the excisional biopsy without complication and was discharged. Preliminary pathology suggests Castleman’s disease.

Lymph nodes and their drainage: 1,2

Lymph Nodes of the Body
Lymph Nodes of the Head and Neck

Evaluation of Lymphadenopathy: 2,3,4

Evaluation of Lymphadenopathy

References:

  1. Ferrer R. Lymphadenopathy: differential diagnosis and evaluation. Am Fam Physician. 1998;58(6):1313–1320.
  2. Henry PH, Longo DL. Chapter 59. Enlargement of Lymph Nodes and Spleen. In: Longo DL, Fauci AS, Kasper DL, Hauser SL, Jameson J, Loscalzo J. eds. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 18e. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2012.
  3. Armitage JO. Chapter 171. Approach to the Patient With Lymphadenopathy and Splenomegaly In: Cecil, Russell L., Lee Goldman, and Andrew I. Schafer. Goldman’s Cecil medicine. Philadelphia: Elsevier/Saunders, 2011.
  4. Motyckova G, Steensma DP. Why does my patient have lymphadenopathy or splenomegaly? Hematol. Oncol. Clin. North Am. 2012;26(2):395–408– ix. doi:10.1016/j.hoc.2012.02.005.

Hepatic Abscess

HPI:

42M with 1.5 weeks of fevers. Initially presented to ER 1wk ago and treated for possible otitis media, however follow-up ENT appointment showed no evidence of OM on exam. Fevers persisted and he developed headaches and went to urgent care where a CT head and LP were negative. A mild elevation of serum transaminases was noted and the following CT abdomen/pelvis was obtained. He denied GI symptoms.

Imaging:

Hepatic Abscess - Axial

Hepatic Abscess - Axial

- 7.4 cm cystic lesion in the inferior right lobe of the liver most consistent in appearance with hepatic abscess.
- Multiple calcified gallstones with a 10 mm gallstone in the neck of the gallbladder or possibly in the cystic duct.

Hepatic Abscess - Coronal

Hepatic Abscess - Coronal

- 7.4 cm cystic lesion in the inferior right lobe of the liver most consistent in appearance with hepatic abscess.
- Multiple calcified gallstones with a 10 mm gallstone in the neck of the gallbladder or possibly in the cystic duct.

Assessment & Plan:

# Liver abscess: likely pyogenic s/p CT-guided drainage with 60cc purulent fluid removed. Gram stain showed GNR and WBC’s, culture grew Klebsiella pneumonia. Treated with ceftriaxone 2g IV q24h, metronidazole 500mg PO TID.

Differential Diagnosis of Hepatic Abscess:1

Differential Diagnosis of Hepatic Abscess

References:

  1. Krige J, Beckingham IJ. Liver abscesses and hydatid disease. BMJ. 2001;322(7285):537–540.

Hyponatremia

HPI:

62M with a history of hepatitis C cirrhosis complicated by hepatocellular carcinoma s/p radiofrequency ablation presenting after referral from hepatology clinic for hyponatremia. One week ago, the patient developed abdominal distension and shortness of breath that resolved after large-volume paracentesis and was started on furosemide 40mg p.o. daily and aldactone 100mg p.o. daily.

After initiating diuretics, the patient noted worsening lower extremity edema, and increased thirst/fluid intake.

He reports two days of fatigue and intermittent confusion supported by family members who reported slowed speech. He otherwise denies abdominal pain, distension, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea/constipation, chest pain or shortness of breath. In the ED, the patient received 1L NS bolus.

PMH:

  • Hepatitis C cirrhosis c/b HCC s/p RFA
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, well-controlled without medications

PSH:

  • None

FH:

  • Non-contributory.

SHx:

  • Lives with partner, denies current or prior t/e/d abuse
  • HepC contracted from blood transfusions

Meds:

  • Furosemide 40mg p.o. daily
  • Spironolactone 100mg p.o. daily
  • Rifaximin 550mg p.o. b.i.d.

Allergies:

NKDA

Physical Exam:

VS: T 98.2 HR 80 RR 14 BP 95/70 O2 98% RA
Vent: PRVC, VT 320, RR 35, PEEP 6, FiO2 95%
Gen: Elderly female in no acute distress, alert and answering questions appropriately.
HEENT: NC/AT, PERRL, EOMI, no scleral icterus, MMM.
CV: RRR, normal S1/S2, no murmurs. JVP 8cm.
Lungs: Faint basilar crackles on bilateral lung bases.
Abd: Normoactive bowel sounds, non-distended, non-tender, without rebound/guarding.
Ext: 2+ pitting edema in lower extremities to knees bilaterally. 2+ peripheral pulses, warm and well perfused.
Neuro: AAOx3. CN II-XII intact. No asterixis. Normal gait. Normal FTN/RAM.

Labs/Studies:

  • BMP (admission): 112/5.6/88/22/28/1.1/97
  • BMP (+10h): 118/5.4/93/23/26/1.0/133
  • sOsm: 264
  • Urine: Na <20, K 26, Osm 453
  • BNP: 40
  • AST/ALT/AP/TB/Alb: 74/57/91/2.4/2.2

Assessment/Plan:

62M hx HepC cirrhosis, newly decompensated with e/o decompensation (new-onset ascites) and hyponatremia.
# hyponatremia: Sodium 114, likely chronic, patient currently asymptomatic without concerning findings on neurological exam. Clinical findings suggestive of hypervolemic hyponatremia 2/2 decompensated cirrhosis resulting in decreased effective arterial blood volume and volume retention. However, the recent initiation of diuretics, mild AKI and early response to isotonic fluids in the ED suggests possible hypovolemic component.

  • 1L fluid restriction
  • q.4.h. sodium check, goal increase of 8mEq per 24h
  • hold diuretics

# hyperkalemia: Potassium 5.6, asymptomatic, AKI vs. medication-induced (aldactone). Continue monitoring.
# AKI: Elevated creatinine 1.1 from baseline 0.7. Likely pre-renal given recent initiation of diuretics. Consider hepatorenal syndrome given decompensated cirrhosis. Follow-up repeat creatinine after 1L NS bolus in ED.
# hepatitis C: decompensated with new-onset ascites. No e/o encephalopathy, continue home rifaximin.

Physiology of Hyponatremia: 1,2,3,4

Physiology of Hyponatremia

Differential Diagnosis of Hyponatremia: 5

Differential Diagnosis of Hyponatremia

Evaluation of Hyponatremia: 2

  1. Identification of onset (acute vs. chronic)
  2. Presence of symptoms (HA, nausea, confusion, seizures)
  3. Assessment of volume status (edema, JVD, skin turgor, postural BP)
  4. Medical history (cardiac, liver, renal disease), drug history

References:

  1. Freda BJ, Davidson MB, Hall PM. Evaluation of hyponatremia: a little physiology goes a long way. Cleve Clin J Med. 2004;71(8):639–650.
  2. Biswas M, Davies JS. Hyponatraemia in clinical practice. Postgrad Med J. 2007;83(980):373–378. doi:10.1136/pgmj.2006.056515.
  3. Adrogué HJ, Madias NE. Hyponatremia. N. Engl. J. Med. 2000;342(21):1581–1589. doi:10.1056/NEJM200005253422107.
  4. Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, Adams JG. Rosen’s emergency medicine: concepts and clinical practice. 2010;1.
  5. Milionis HJ, Liamis GL, Elisaf MS. The hyponatremic patient: a systematic approach to laboratory diagnosis. CMAJ. 2002;166(8):1056–1062.

Alcoholic Hepatitis

HPI:

43 year-old female with a history of alcohol abuse and alcoholic hepatitis, presenting after referral from breast clinic for abnormal labs (notable for total bilirubin 18.1). The patient was well until two weeks ago when she noted increasing fatigue associated with morning nausea/vomiting (non-bloody) as well as yellowing of skin and eyes. She also reports darkening of urine, but no dysuria, change in volume of urine, or visible blood. She also denies fevers/chills, increased abdominal girth, abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits or bloody/dark stools.

She reports drinking 1 pint of vodka daily for the past 15 years, and perhaps more in the past 3 weeks. Her last drink was in the morning on the day of admission, she denies any history of seizures and reports withdrawal symptoms (tremor, nausea) relieved with more alcohol. She currently denies anxiety/agitation, tactile/visual/auditory hallucinations.

The patient was in breast clinic for evaluation of a painful breast mass which developed after biopsy of a lesion which was ultimately found to be benign. The patient noted the mass was growing in size and becoming more painful over the past month.

PMH:

  • EtOH abuse
  • Alcoholic hepatitis

PSH:

  • None

FH:

  • No family history of breast/gynecologic malignancy.
  • Mother with history of stroke. Father with diabetes.

SHx:

  • Lives alone.
  • Denies current or previous tobacco/drug use. Drinks 1 pint of whiskey daily for the past 15 years.
  • Not currently sexually active, no history of STI.

Meds:

  • None

Allergies:

NKDA

Physical Exam:

VS: T 98.9 HR 104 RR 19 BP 117/67 O2 99% RA
Gen: Well-appearing obese female in no acute distress
HEENT: PERRL, marked scleral icterus, sublingual icterus, MMM, no lesions
CV: Tachycardia, regular rhythm, normal S1/S2, no M/R/G
Lungs: CTAB, no crackles/wheezing
Abd: +BS, soft, non-distended, liver edge palpated 6cm below costal margin, irregular texture slightly tender to palpation, spleen not palpated, no fluid wave or shifting dullness, no rebound/guarding.
Ext: Warm, well-perfused, 2+ pulses (DP/PT), slight yellowing.
Skin: Vascular spiders on anterior chest, left breast with 5x5cm ecchymosis and tender underlying mass, no erythema, warmth, skin dimpling, nipple discharge.
Neuro: AAOx4, CN II-XII intact, no tremor noted, gait normal.

Labs/Studies:

1mo prior to admission:

  • AST/ALT/AP/TB: 444/77/234/2.5

Day 1:

  • AST/ALT/AP/TB: 185/61/184/18.1
  • PT/PTT/INR: 14.7/37.0/1.2

Day 4:

  • AST/ALT/AP/TB: 142/50/153/25.5
  • PT/PTT/INR: 20.1/38.9/1.7

Imaging:

Abdominal US

  1. Markedly echogenic and enlarged liver with a nodular surface of cirrhosis.
  2. Markedly blunted hepatic vein waveforms commonly seen due to decreased hepatic parenchymal compliance although other etiologies causes of obstruction to hepatic venous outflow.
  3. Splenomegaly.

Assessment/Plan:

44F hx EtOH abuse, alcoholic hepatitis, presenting with acute alcoholic hepatitis.
# Alcoholic hepatitis: Rapid onset of jaundice, tender hepatomegaly, and elevation of transaminases (AST > ALTx2) in the setting of chronic alcohol use suggestive of alcoholic hepatitis. Initial Maddrey discriminant hepatic function (mDH) score 37 suggestive of severe disease with high short-term mortality. Initiated trental 400mg p.o. t.i.d.
# EtOH withdrawal: Last drink <24h ago, monitor for signs of withdrawal, treat with Ativan per withdrawal protocol. # Cirrhosis: Newly diagnosed on abdominal ultrasound. Complicated by coagulopathy, and likely portal hypertension given splenomegaly/thrombocytopenia. Plan for outpatient screening EGD and continued GI follow-up. # Breast mass: Likely hematoma 2/2 biopsy associated given increased size associated with progression of coagulopathy/thrombocytopenia. Outpatient ultrasound and follow-up scheduled. # Anemia: Macrocytic, potentially related to vitamin deficiency vs. bone-marrow suppression associated with chronic alcohol use. Start thiamine/folate/multivitamin. # FEN/GI/PPx: Encourage p.o. intake (2g sodium restriction), continue ondansetron p.r.n. nausea/vomiting, obtain nutrition consult.

Hospital Course

Patient’s liver function continued to decline as evidenced by worsening coagulopathy and increased serum bilirubin. mDH had increased to 58 by day four of hospitalization and steroids were added.

Pathophysiology of Alcoholic Hepatitis: 1

Ethanol promotes translocation of bacterial components (lipopolysaccharide) across the intestinal wall, into the portal venous system and liver. These trigger a local and systemic inflammatory response which leads to hepatocellular injury and systemic effects such as fever, anorexia and weight loss.

Evaluation of Alcoholic Hepatitis: 1,2

Clinical features:

  • Rapid onset jaundice
  • Tender hepatomegaly
  • Fever
  • Ascites
  • Proximal muscle loss
  • Encephalopathy

Labs:

  • AST > ALT (x2), generally < 300IU/mL
  • Leukocytosis
  • ↑Total serum bilirubin
  • ↑INR
  • ↑Creatinine associated with poor prognosis

Other studies:

  • Screening for infection: PNA, UTI, SBP
  • Abdominal US to evaluate hepatic abscess, HCC, extrahepatic biliary obstruction

Management of Alcoholic Hepatitis: 1,2

Grading Severity:

  • Maddrey’s discriminant function
  • Glasgow score
  • Lille score (assess response to corticosteroids after 1wk)

Treatment:

  • Immediate and lifetime abstinence from alcohol
  • Trental 400mg p.o. t.i.d.
  • Prednisolone 40mg p.o. daily (controversial, some benefit in subgroup with Maddrey > 32)
  • Ascites: Sodium restriction, diuretics
  • Encephalopathy: Lactulose, rifaximin
  • Hepatorenal syndrome: albumin, vasopressors
  • Nutritional support

Interpretation of Liver Function Tests: 3

Disorder Bilirubin AST/ALT Albumin PT
Hemolysis
Gilbert
↑(indirect)
No bilirubinuria
Acute hepatocellular necrosis ↑ALT > AST
> 500IU

(poor prognosis if elevated)
Chronic liver disease

< 300IU

Alcoholic hepatitis

AST:ALT > 2

Intra- extra-hepatic cholestasis

< 500IU

↑↑

(>4x normal)

Features of Components of Liver Function Tests: 3,4

Features of Components of Liver Function Tests

References:

  1. Lucey, M. R., Mathurin, P., & Morgan, T. R. (2009). Alcoholic hepatitis. The New England journal of medicine, 360(26), 2758–2769. doi:10.1056/NEJMra0805786
  2. Sohail, U., & Satapathy, S. K. (2012). Diagnosis and management of alcoholic hepatitis. Clinics in liver disease, 16(4), 717–736. doi:10.1016/j.cld.2012.08.005
  3. Kaplan MM. Chapter 302. Evaluation of Liver Function. In: Longo DL, Fauci AS, Kasper DL, Hauser SL, Jameson JL, Loscalzo J, eds. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2012.
  4. Johnston, D. E. (1999). Special considerations in interpreting liver function tests. American family physician, 59(8), 2223–2230.

Joint Pain and Tremor

HPI:

47 year-old female with a history of arthritis, gout and AVP (5/2013) resulting in tib/fib fracture s/p ORIF presenting with severe joint pain, worsening in the past week such that she has been unable to walk. While she reported significant diffuse joint pain, it was predominantly focused on her left leg, bilateral knees, and left shoulder. Joint pain progressively worsens over the course of the day and is worse with activity (better at rest). She reported occasional joint swelling, but no redness, fevers/chills, new trauma, recent travel, and is not sexually active. She reports suffering from joint pain for over 10 years, previously well-controlled with OTC pain medications (ibuprofen), however this had grown ineffective in the past week. She had been prescribed Norco after her surgery but was unable to afford it. She denies any recent intake of foods that have previously been triggers for acute gouty flares.

PMH:

  • Arthritis
  • Gout

PSH:

  • Left tib/fib fracture s/p ORIF

FH:

  • No family history of RA, SLE or joint disease.

SHx:

  • No t/e/d use
  • Lives at home alone

Meds:

  • Ibuprofen 800mg p.o. p.r.n. pain

Allergies:

NKDA

Physical Exam:

VS: T 98.1 HR 109 RR 18 BP 108/66 O2 95% RA
Gen: Thin female, appearing older than her stated age, in significant pain when helped to transfer to bed for examination
HEENT: PERRL, MMM, no lesions
CV: RRR, normal S1/S2, no M/R/G
Lungs: CTAB, no crackles/wheezing
Abd: +BS, soft, NT/ND, no masses
Ext: Knees appear symmetric, no deformities, no erythema or warmth to touch, no effusion detected, significant tenderness to light touch of bilateral knees. Significant decreased ROM 2/2 pain in b/l lower extremities, limited to 30 degrees of knee flexion, unable to test strength 2/2 pain.Left lower extremity with 6cm longitudinal incisions on lateral and medial aspects of leg. Incisions appear well-healed without erythema/discharge. Decreased sensation on lateral and medial aspects of left leg.

Left shoulder appears normal, no obvious deformities, no bony tenderness. Decreased ROM to 15 degrees of abduction/flexion/extension 2/2 pain.

Neuro: AAOx4, CN II-XII intact, gait not tested. A high-frequency, high-amplitude tremor is noted in the bilateral upper extremities at rest and with activity. Tremor appears associated with patient’s distress and pain.

Labs/Studies:

  • CBC: 9.4/12.8/38.1/311
  • BMP: 135/3.9/100/27/14/0.60/113
  • CRP: 0.18
  • ESRW: 20
  • Uric Acid: 2.6
  • XR Left Tibia/Fibula: There is a metallic fixation device noted in the tibia.  There is no evidence of loosening of the metallic components.  The bones appear to be in gross anatomic alignment.

Assessment/Plan:

47F w/hx arthritis, gout, recent tib/fib fx s/p ORIF presenting with worsening polyarticular arthralgia unresponsive to OTC medications admitted for evaluation and pain management.

# Polyarticular arthralgia: Multiple joints affected, however patient notes most significant in bilateral knees and recently operated left leg. Polyarticular involvement, symmetric distribution and predominant involvement of large joints is suggestive of osteoarthritis. Also, given patient’s significant distress and multiple points of tenderness, potential extra-articular cause such as complex regional pain syndrome. Unlikely inflammatory arthritis (infectious, crystal arthropathy, rheumatic disease) given distribution and no significant erythema, warmth or effusion which could be aspirated. Obtained imaging of LLE to evaluate recent surgical repair of tib/fib fracture, with no evidence of loosening of fixation components or misalignment. Patient’s symptoms improved with morphine 5mg i.v. x2 in ED. Will admit for continued evaluation and pain management, consider addition of gabapentin for potential neuropathic pain associated with recent surgery.

# Tremor: High-frequency, high-amplitude rest and action tremor suggestive of essential tremor or exaggerated physiological tremor associated with pain and emotional distress. No other neurological symptoms (HA, weakness) and non-focal neurological exam (aside from anesthesia localized around recent surgical incisions in LLE). Will continue monitoring, no need for imaging at this time.

# Gout: Patient with history of gout, however, doubt that current arthralgia associated with acute gouty flare. Will continue monitoring exam and consider ortho consultation for joint aspiration.

Differential Diagnosis of Monoarticular Arthralgia: 1,2

Differential Diagnosis of Monoarticular Arthralgia

Differential Diagnosis of Polyarticular Arthralgia 1,3

Differential Diagnosis of Polyarticular Arthralgia

Use of Serum Uric Acid in Acute Gout 4

In this patient, serum uric acid levels were checked. However, a normal serum urate (SU) does not exclude an acute gout flare. Studies have shown 12-43% of patients with acute gout flares have normal SU. An elevated SU (>8.0mg/dL) may support the diagnosis of a gout flare but is not itself diagnostic.

Approach to Joint Pain: 3

Approach to Joint Pain

Certain key historical elements can help narrow the differential diagnosis.

  1. Inflammation:
    1. Definition: Presence of erythema, warmth, swelling, pain with passive ROM, morning stiffness suggests inflammatory cause (arthritis)
    2. Common causes: Infection, gout, RA, SLE
  2. Chronology:
    1. Definition: Acute <6wks, chronic > 6wks
  3. Distribution:
    1. Definition: Location (large/small), symmetry
    2. Common causes:
      1. OA: DIP + PIP, spares wrists, elbows, ankles
      2. RA: PIP + MCP
      3. Spondylarthropathies (large joints)
      4. Symmetric involvement: RA, SLE
      5. Asymmetric involvement: Psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, gout
  4. Course:
    1. Definition: Intermittent (gout), migrating (GC, Lyme, SLE)
  5. Demographics:
    1. Female <50: RA, SLE
    2. Male > 40: gout (♂ 20yr after puberty, ♀ 20yr after menopause)
  6. Extra-articular manifestations:
    1. Malar rash, oral ulcers: SLE
    2. Proximal muscle weakness: polymyositis
    3. Psoriatic skin/nail lesions: psoriatic arthritis
    4. Oral ulcers, vesicopustules on palms/soles, recent diarrheal illness: reactive arthritis

Differential Diagnosis of Tremor: 5,6

Differential Diagnosis of Joint Pain

References:

  1. Cush JJ, Lipsky PE. Chapter 331. Approach to Articular and Musculoskeletal Disorders. In: Longo DL, Fauci AS, Kasper DL, Hauser SL, Jameson JL, Loscalzo J, eds. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=9139045. Accessed August 27, 2013.
  2. Siva, C., Velazquez, C., Mody, A., & Brasington, R. (2003). Diagnosing acute monoarthritis in adults: a practical approach for the family physician. American family physician, 68(1), 83–90.
  3. Mies Richie, A., & Francis, M. L. (2003). Diagnostic approach to polyarticular joint pain. American family physician, 68(6), 1151–1160.
  4. Schlesinger, N., Norquist, J. M., & Watson, D. J. (2009). Serum urate during acute gout. The Journal of rheumatology, 36(6), 1287–1289. doi:10.3899/jrheum.080938
  5. Hess, C. W., & Pullman, S. L. (2012). Tremor: clinical phenomenology and assessment techniques. Tremor and other hyperkinetic movements (New York, N.Y.).
  6. Crawford, P., & Zimmerman, E. E. (2011). Differentiation and diagnosis of tremor. American family physician, 83(6), 697–702.

Hyperglycemic Crises

CC:

Blurred vision, numbness

HPI:

56 year-old male with a history of DM, questionable HTN presenting with blurred vision, numbness of fingertips/toes for 2wks. Associated symptoms include dry mouth, polydipsia/polyuria. He states that these symptoms coincide with elevated measurements of blood glucose at home (>500). He ran out of his diabetes medication (metformin) 8mo ago but states his BG was typically between 100-200 with diet/exercise until 2wks ago. He reports recent dietary indiscretions on a trip to Las Vegas.

He denies fevers/chills, CP/SOB, cough, abdominal pain, N/V, or dysuria.

PMH:

  • DM II
  • HTN

PSH:

None

FH:

Several maternal family members with DM.

SHx:

  • No tobacco/drug use
  • 5-6 alcoholic drinks/wk

Meds:

  • Metformin 500mg p.o. b.i.d.

Allergies:

NKDA

Physical Exam:

VS: T 37.8 HR 60 RR 14 BP 165/90 O2 99% RA
Gen: Well-appearing, no acute distress, obese
HEENT: PERRL, EOMI, optic discs sharp b/l, no abnormalities visualized
CV: RRR, normal S1/S2, no M/R/G, no additional heart sounds
Lungs: CTAB, no wheezes/crackles
Abd: +BS, soft, NT/ND, no rebound/guarding
Ext: Warm, well-perfused, 2+ pulses, no clubbing/cyanosis/edema
Neuro: AAOx3, CN II-XII intact

Labs/Studies:

  • BMP: 135/3.8/102/24/18/1.1/378
  • CBC: 7.4/14.1/42.0/403
  • UA: + glucose, – ketones

Assessment/Plan:

56M, hx DM with poor medication adherence presenting with vision changes and stocking/glove paresthesias for 2wks after reported dietary indiscretion found to be hyperglycemic. DKA/HHS unlikely given stable vital signs, normal metabolic panel with exception of isolated hyperglycemia (slight hyponatremia likely related to osmotic effect of elevated serum glucose). Also, no evidence of concerning precipitates for hyperglycemic crisis (no CP/SOB, no F/C, no cough, no abdominal pain, no change in mental status). Patient was discharged home with education on importance of medication adherence, refill of metformin, and follow-up with primary care physician for further management of DM and possible hypertension.

Evaluation of hyperglycemic crises in patients with diabetes:1,2

Evaluation of Hyperglycemic Crises in Patients with Diabetes

Key signs/symptoms of HHS/DKA:

  • Both: Polyuria, polydipsia, weight loss, hypovolemia (dry MM, skin turgor, tachycardia, hypotension)
  • DKA: Short course (<24h), N/V, diffuse abdominal pain, Kussmaul respirations
  • HHS: Longer course (days/weeks), altered mental status (lethargy, coma, seizure)

Admission Laboratory Data of Patients with HHS vs. DKA:1

DKA HHS
Glucose (mg/dl) 616 930
pH 7.12 7.30
3-β-hydroxybutyrate (mmol/l) 9.1 1.0
Serum osmolality 323 380
Delta gap (AG-12) 17 11
Na (mEq/l) 134 149
K (mEq/l) 4.5 3.9
Bicarbonate (mEq/l) 9 18

References:

  1. Kitabchi, A. E., Umpierrez, G. E., Miles, J. M., & Fisher, J. N. (2009). Hyperglycemic crises in adult patients with diabetes. Diabetes care, 32(7), 1335–1343. doi:10.2337/dc09-9032
  2. De Beer, K., Michael, S., Thacker, M., Wynne, E., Pattni, C., Gomm, M., Ball, C., et al. (2008). Diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar syndrome – clinical guidelines. Nursing in critical care, 13(1), 5–11. doi:10.1111/j.1478-5153.2007.00259.x
  3. Stoner, G. D. (2005). Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state. American family physician, 71(9), 1723–1730.

Renal Failure in Cirrhosis

CC:

Consult for acute kidney injury

HPI:

63M with a history of liver cirrhosis of cryptogenic etiology, portal vein thrombosis, and esophageal varices s/p banding (2011) who was admitted to an OSH for altered mental status and hypotension requiring dopamine and was transferred to this facility for a higher level of care.

The nephrology service was consulted for elevated serum creatinine concerning for AKI. The patient has a baseline creatinine of 1.1 (3/2013), 1.9 on transfer and continued worsening to peak of 2.6 today.

PMH:

  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Cirrhosis (PVT, encephalopathy)
  • Inguinal hernia (recurrent)

PSH:

  • Appendectomy
  • Bilateral inguinal hernia repair

FH:

  • Non-contributory

SHx:

  • Married
  • Denies t/e/d use

Meds:

  • albumin 25g i.v. q.6.h.
  • erythromycin 1,000mg p.o. q.1.h.
  • fluticasone-salmeterol 1 puff b.i.d.
  • lactulose 45g p.o. q.6.h.
  • neomycin 1,000mg p.o. q.1.h.
  • pantoprazole 40mg i.v. daily
  • rifaximin 550mg p.o. b.i.d.
  • sodium benzoate 5g p.o. b.i.d.

Allergies:

  • Sulfa

Physical Exam:

VS: T 37.4 HR 90 RR 15 BP 86/48 O2 97% RA
Gen: Chronically ill-appearing.
HEENT: PERRL, scleral icterus, MMM
CV: RRR
Lungs: CTAB
Abd: +BS, soft, non-tender, non-distended
GU: Large ascites filled scrotum, testicles/inguinal canal not easily palpated
Ext: Warm, well-perfused
Skin: No palmar erythema, no vascular spiders
Neuro: AAOx4, CN II-XII grossly intact

Labs:

  • BMP: 134/4.5/103/20/41/3.0/106 (Ca 9.3, Mg 3.7, PO4 2.4)
  • LFT: AST 89, ALT 33, TB 26.6, CB 16.1, Alb 2.7
  • NH4 167

Imaging:

Pleural Effusion

Pleural Effusion

Large right pleural effusion with underlying compressive atelectasis.

Cirrhosis and Portal Hypertension

Cirrhosis and Portal Hypertension

Shrunken/nodular liver with sequelae of portal hypertension including perisplenic collaterals, and splenomegaly.

SMV Thrombosis

SMV Thrombosis

Near-total thrombosis of the portal vein extending down to superior mesenteric vein.

B/L Inguinal Hernias

B/L Inguinal Hernias

Large volume abdominal ascites with a large amount of fluid extending into the bilateral inguinal canals.

Large Right Inguinal Hernia

Large Right Inguinal Hernia

Large volume abdominal ascites with a large amount of fluid extending into the bilateral inguinal canals.

CT Abdomen/Pelvis (PVT)

CT Abdomen/Pelvis (PVT)

Assessment/Plan:

63M with a history of liver cirrhosis of cryptogenic etiology, recently with hypotension prior to transfer to this facility and increase in creatinine from 1.9-3.0 on current admission (from baseline 1.1).

These findings indicate acute kidney injury, likely hepatorenal syndrome vs. acute tubular necrosis 2/2 prolonged hypotension. Plan to discontinue diuretics and start albumin challenge (1g/kg/day divided q6h x2d). Will also check UA, urine Na/cr/urea/eos, renal US (evaluate obstruction, kidney size). Start midodrine/octreotide for underlying HRS.

  1. Neuro: Intermittent confusion. Lactulose, rifaximin, benzoate.
  2. Resp: 2L NC. ABG 7.36/51/87/27.7/+2. CXR: Large R effusion.
  3. CV: Levo 0.075. Midodrine 15 TID. MAPs 60, HR 80s.
  4. GI: NPO/NGT. TPN.
  5. Renal: See above.
  6. Heme: Coagulopathy, keep INR <2.5
  7. ID: Afebrile. No abx.
  8. Endo: Euglycemic

Renal Failure in Cirrhosis:

Renal failure in cirrhosis is associated with higher mortality both before and after transplant. The main causes of renal failure in cirrhosis are detailed below, with particular attention to an entity unique to cirrhosis: the hepatorenal syndrome.1

Disorder Pathogenesis Diagnosis Management
HRS Dilation of splanchnic arteries initially compensated by increased CO eventually decompensates with activation of mechanisms to preserve ECBV (RAAS, SNS, ADH) leading to fluid retention (ascites, edema) and renal failure due to intrarenal vasoconstriction.Bacterial translocation and the resulting inflammatory response may contribute to splanchnic vasodilation (through production of vasoactive factors like NO).
  • Serum creatinine > 1.5mg/dl-  Not reduced with 1g/kg albumin
  • No confounding factors (2d off diuretics, no nephrotoxic agents, no shock, no e/o intrinsic renal disease)
  • Type 1: doubling creatinine > 2.5mg/dL in <2wk
  • Type 2: stable, slower progression
  • Vasoconstrictor therapy-  Albumin
  • Portasystemic shunting
  • Renal replacement therapy
  • Prevention
    • Norfloxacin
    • Albumin
Intrinsic renal Some causes of liver disease are also associated with intrinsic renal pathology (ex. GN associated with HBV, HCV).
  • Proteinuria, hematuria
  • Renal bx
  • Active urinary sediment
  • Antiviral therapy if appropriate
Pre-renal AKI Hemorrhage (GIB), fluid losses (excess diuresis, diarrhea from lactulose).
  • Suspected from patient history
  • Low FENa, bland urine sediment
  • Hemorrhage: replace volume with fluids, blood products. Control bleeding.
  • Discontinue diuretics, administer fluids if tolerated
ATN Severe ischemic or toxic (NSAID’s, nephrotoxic medications)
  • Renal tubular epithelial cells favor ATN (granular casts common in ATN, HRS)
  • Withdraw therapy
  • Avoid nephrotoxic agents

Pathophysiology of Hepatorenal Syndrome:

Pathophysiology of Hepatorenal Syndrome

Evaluation:

The evaluation of suspected renal failure in patients with cirrhosis involves assessment of renal function for evidence of acute impairment, as well as analaysis of urine for protein or active sediment to suggest intrinsic renal disease (possibly warranting renal ultrasonography or biopsy). Additionally, patients should be evaluated for evidence of bacterial infection including assessment of ascites if present as SBP produces a more severe form of the inflammatory vasodilation mechanism suspected to play a role in HRS.

Treatment:

For renal failure not caused by the hepatorenal syndrome, identification and management of the underlying cause is critical (intrinsic renal disease, hypovolemia/hemorrhage, nephrotoxicity, infection). For suspected HRS, management is dependent on the acuity and setting. In the intensive care unit, vasoconstrictor therapy (norepinephrine, vasopressin) in association with albumin is effective in the treatment of HRS.2,3  In less acute settings, a combination of midodrine, octreotide and albumin improves renal function and is associated with lower short-term mortality.4 Alternatives for patients who do not respond to medical therapy include TIPS, dialysis and transplant.

Summary:

Renal failure in ESLD is due to the causes, complications or management of cirrhosis and has important implications, with HRS in particular offering the worst prognosis.5 Early recognition and management is critical to improving outcomes.

References:

  1. Ginès, P., & Schrier, R. W. (2009). Renal failure in cirrhosis. The New England journal of medicine, 361(13), 1279–1290. doi:10.1056/NEJMra0809139
  2. Singh, V., Ghosh, S., Singh, B., Kumar, P., Sharma, N., Bhalla, A., Sharma, A. K., et al. (2012). Noradrenaline vs. terlipressin in the treatment of hepatorenal syndrome: a randomized study. Journal of hepatology, 56(6), 1293–1298. doi:10.1016/j.jhep.2012.01.012
  3. Kiser, T. H., Fish, D. N., Obritsch, M. D., Jung, R., MacLaren, R., & Parikh, C. R. (2005). Vasopressin, not octreotide, may be beneficial in the treatment of hepatorenal syndrome: a retrospective study. Nephrology, dialysis, transplantation, 20(9), 1813–1820. doi:10.1093/ndt/gfh930
  4. Esrailian, E., Pantangco, E. R., Kyulo, N. L., Hu, K.-Q., & Runyon, B. A. (2007). Octreotide/Midodrine therapy significantly improves renal function and 30-day survival in patients with type 1 hepatorenal syndrome. Digestive diseases and sciences, 52(3), 742–748. doi:10.1007/s10620-006-9312-0
  5. Alessandria, C., Ozdogan, O., Guevara, M., Restuccia, T., Jiménez, W., Arroyo, V., Rodés, J., et al. (2005). MELD score and clinical type predict prognosis in hepatorenal syndrome: relevance to liver transplantation. Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.), 41(6), 1282–1289. doi:10.1002/hep.20687

Hyperbilirubinemia

Gray's: Pancreas Anatomy

CC:

Yellow eyes

HPI:

51yo AA male with hx DM, HTN, sarcoidosis presents with yellowing of eyes and full-body itching x3wks. This was associated with dark urine and loose, light-brown stools. He denies N/V, abdominal pain, PO intolerance, F/C, recent travel, weight loss. He states that this has not occurred in the past, and he does not have any prior history of post-prandial abdominal pain.

PMH:

  • DM
  • HTN
  • Sarcoidosis

 PSH:

  • None

FH:

  • No GI malignancy

 SHx:

  • No tobacco or drug use, 10 years of 10 drinks/wk stopped 1yr ago

Meds:

  • lisinopril 20mg p.o. daily
  • pioglitazone 15mg p.o. daily
  • sitagliptin 100mg p.o. daily
  • lansoprazole 15mg p.o. daily

Allergies:

  • Vicodin (rash)

Physical Exam:

VS: T 97.9 HR 102 RR 12 BP 128/68 O2 99% RA
Gen: WA, NAD
HEENT: Marked scleral icterus, PERRL, yellowing of posterior oropharynx and floor of mouth, MMM, no cervical lymphadenopathy
CV: RRR, S1/S2 normal, no murmurs
Lungs: CTAB with good air movement
Abd: Obese, +BS, soft, NT/ND, no rebound/guarding, no palpable organomegaly, negative Murphy
GU: No inguinal lymphadenopathy
Ext: Warm, well-perfused, no LE edema, peripheral pulses 2+
Skin: No visible skin lesions
Neuro: AAOx3

Labs:

  • CBC: 16/12.4/35.1/281
  • LFT: AST 281, ALT 302, AP 264, T.bili 22.1, D.bili 16.8

Studies:

  • RUQ US: Biliary sludge, no stones, no GBW thickening, no pericholycystic fluid
  • ERCP: 3cm stricture of distal CBD, biopsies taken

Assessment/Plan:

51AAM w/DM, HTN, sarcoidosis with 3wks painless jaundice. Obstructive pattern along with only modest elevation of liver enzymes suggests the obstruction is likely extrahepatic which was supported by ERCP finding of a distal CBD stricture. Patient has no history of prior instrumentation to cause iatrogenic stricture, and while sarcoidosis is associated with cholestatic complications (portal granulomas), pathology from biopsy showed papillary adenocarcinoma. The patient was scheduled for surgery with a plan for initial laparoscopic survey of the abdomen followed by Whipple if no evidence of widespread disease.

Imaging:

ERCP

ERCP

3cm stricture of distal CBD

MRCP

MRCP

Filling defect in the common bile duct with marked dilatation of the common duct and intrahepatic ducts.
Findings may reflect an intraluminal mass or stone.

CT Abdomen/Pelvis

CT Abdomen/Pelvis

Common bile duct stent present
Expected air in the intrahepatic biliary tree and mild biliary ductal dilatation

Differential Diagnosis of Hyperbilirubinemia: 1, 2

A System for Hyperbilirubinemia

Evaluation of Hyperbilirubinemia: 3

Evaluation of Hyperbilirubinemia

References:

  1. Heathcote, E. J. (2007). Diagnosis and Management of Cholestatic Liver Disease. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 5(7), 776–782. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2007.05.008
  2. Hirschfield, G. M., Heathcote, E. J., & Gershwin, M. E. (2010). Pathogenesis of cholestatic liver disease and therapeutic approaches. Gastroenterology, 139(5), 1481–1496. doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2010.09.004
  3. McGill, J. M., & Kwiatkowski, A. P. (1998). Cholestatic liver diseases in adults. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 93(5), 684–691. doi:10.1111/j.1572-0241.1998.206_a.x

Nausea and Vomiting

Neurologic pathways involved in pathogenesis of nausea and vomiting

HPI:

57yo male with a history of HTN, DM, and MI s/p stent in 2011 presenting with nausea/vomiting and hypotension. The patient had one episode of non-bloody, non-bilious emesis approximately 6 hours ago. He felt unwell so a friend checked his blood pressure which was found to be 75/50, prompting a visit to this emergency department.
The patient’s emesis came 2 hours following a normal meal (frozen dinner), and was associated with chills/sweats but no abdominal pain. The patient had some associated shortness of breath (baselines), but no chest pain, arm or jaw pain, or palpitations.

He states that these symptoms are unlike what he experienced during his MI. He reported no change in bowel or urinary habits.

PMH:

  • HTN
  • DM
  • CAD
  • MI
  • Hyperlipidemia

 PSH:

  • Stent placement (2011)
  • Right knee neuroma excision (2012)

FH:

  • Non-contributory

 SHx:

  • No current t/e/d
  • 80 pack-year smoking history

Meds:

  • carvedilol 6.25mg p.o. b.i.d.
  • metformin 1000mg p.o. b.i.d.
  • atorvastatin 20mg p.o. daily
  • aspirin 81mg p.o. daily

Allergies:

  • NKDA

Physical Exam:

VS: T 98.4 HR 65 RR 17 BP 96/56 O2 95% 2L NC
Gen: No acute distress, speaking in complete sentences
HEENT: PERRL, MMM no lesions, no cervical lymphadenopathy
CV: RRR, normal S1/S2, no murmurs, no extra heart sounds, no jugular venous distension
Lungs: CTAB, no crackles
Abd: +BS, soft, NT/ND, no rebound/guarding, no organomegaly
Ext: Warm, well-perfused, peripheral pulses equal b/l, no LE edema
Neuro: AAOx3

Labs:

  • EKG: normal sinus rhythm, anterior lead q-waves suggestive of old infarct, no T/ST changes
  • Troponin: <0.01
  • CBC: 7.4/15.5/47/228
  • BMP: 139/5.1/107/26/8/1.19/112 (baseline creatinine 1.06 in 2/2013)

Studies:

  • CXR: no effusion, no cardiomegaly, no focal consolidation
  • Bedside US: normal cardiac wall motion, estimated EF 40-45%, retrohepatic IVC collapses with respiration

Assessment/Plan:

57M hx HTN, DM, MI s/p stent presenting with nausea/vomiting x1 and hypotension. The patient’s symptoms and history were concerning for acute myocardial infarction; however, early EKG and troponins were reassuring. Additionally, the absence of characteristic physical findings that would be associated with an acute MI causing cardiogenic shock (elevated JVP, extra heart sounds, pulmonary crackles) were not present. Evidence of end-organ damage was also absent.

Other potential causes for nausea/vomiting include SBO, however, the patient reported normal BM’s and has no history of abdominal surgery. Though occurring after a meal, a single episode of emesis without associated abdominal pain lowers suspicion for biliary disease. This patient’s emesis is most likely due to acute gastroenteritis.

Given the evidence of hypovolemia on bedside ultrasound, the patient was bolused with a total of 1.5L NS and noted symptomatic improvement as well recovery of blood pressure.

Differential Diagnosis of Nausea/Vomiting: 1, 2

A System for Nausea/Vomiting

Pathophysiology: 3, 4, 5

  • Nausea: Sensation associated with increased gastrointestinal motility (tachygastria).
  • Vomiting:
    • Chemoreceptor trigger zone (area postrema of 4th ventricle): sensitive to drugs/toxins (emetics, radiation), neurotransmitters. Located outside BBB.
    • Nucleus tractus solitaries (medulla): pattern generator for vomiting, receives vagal input from GI tract and nociceptive stimuli from peripheral nervous system – transmits to hypothalamus, limbic system and cortex. Stimulated by tickling the back of the throat, gastric distention, and vestibular input.

Important history/physical associations: 4

  • Abdominal pain: suggests organic disease, affected organ dependent on location of pain. (See figure)
  • Abdominal distension: suggests bowel obstruction.
  • Heartburn: suggests GERD.
  • Vertigo/nystagmus: suggests vestibular etiology.
  • Positional/projectile: suggests neurogenic etiology.

Differential Diagnosis of Abdominal Pain By Location:

Abdominal Pain by Location

References:

  1. Scorza, K., Williams, A., Phillips, J. D., & Shaw, J. (2007). Evaluation of nausea and vomiting. American family physician, 76(1), 76–84.
  2. Bork S, Ditkoff J, Hang BS. Chapter 75. Nausea and Vomiting. In: Tintinalli JE, Stapczynski JS, Cline DM, Ma OJ, Cydulka RK, Meckler GD, eds. Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=6360091. Accessed June 15, 2013.
  3. Koch, K. L., Stern, R. M., Vasey, M. W., Seaton, J. F., Demers, L. M., & Harrison, T. S. (1990). Neuroendocrine and gastric myoelectrical responses to illusory self-motion in humans. The American journal of physiology, 258(2 Pt 1), E304–10.
  4. Longstreth, G. F. Approach to the adult with nausea and vomiting. In: UpToDate, Basow, DS (Ed), UpToDate, Waltham, MA, 2013.
  5. Costanzo, L. (2011). Physiology. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  6. Patanwala, A. E., Amini, R., Hays, D. P., & Rosen, P. (2010). Antiemetic therapy for nausea and vomiting in the emergency department. The Journal of emergency medicine, 39(3), 330–336. doi:10.1016/j.jemermed.2009.08.060

Hemoptysis

Source: Mulpuru, S., Touchie, C., Karpinski, J., & Humphrey-Murto, S. (2010). Coexistent Wegener“s granulomatosis and Goodpasture”s disease. The Journal of rheumatology, 37(8), 1786–1787. doi:10.3899/jrheum.091404

Linear IgG deposits consistent with anti-GBM disease.

CC:

“bad cough”

HPI:

61yo African American female w/hx of HTN presenting with 1mo of persistent cough productive of green-yellow sputum, noticed streaks of blood for the past 5 days. She came to the ED today because she has been feeling increasingly fatigued. She reports subjective fevers at the onset of symptoms which has resolved. She denies shortness of breath, chest pain, chills, night sweats. She sought medical care for this problem 2wk ago and was treated with amoxicillin and a cough suppressant. She recalls a coworker was ill one month ago. She is US-born, had a negative PPD in the past and has no known exposures to tuberculosis.

Of note, the patient reports her urine had a foamy appearance and has been darker in color beginning 3 weeks ago, but this had resolved. She denied dysuria, or frank hematuria.

PMH:

  • HTN
  • Asthma – last required medications >30yrs ago

 PSH:

  • None

FH:

  • Non-contributory

 SHx:

  • No t/e/d
  • Works as librarian

Meds:

  • benazepril
  • amlodipine
  • amoxicillin
  • promethazine

Allergies:

  • NKDA

Physical Exam:

VS: T 99.4 HR 97 BP 132/60 RR 20 O2 92%
Gen: Well-appearing, pleasant, speaking in complete sentences
HEENT: PERRL, MMM no lesions, no cervical lymphadenopathy
CV: RRR, normal S1/S2, no murmur appreciated
Lungs: Crackles in posterior: right middle/inferior and left inferior fields, no wheezing, no dullness to percussion
Abd: +BS, soft, non-tender, no CVAT
Ext: Warm, well-perfused, 2+ peripheral pulses, 1+ pitting edema to knee
Skin: No lesions on exposed skin
Neuro: AAO

Labs:

  • CBC: 12.3/6.7/19.8/52.3 (S: 94, B: 1, L: 4, M: 1, MCV: 92.3); baseline Hb/Hct (1/11/2012) 13.4
  • BMP: 136/3.6/101/25/46/3.43/126; baseline creatinine (1/11/2012) 1.18
  • UA: brown, trace LE, – nitrites, 2+ protein, 81 RBC

Imaging:

CXR PA

  • Right mid-lung zone consolidation is present, suggests pneumonia if acute.
  • Mild asymmetric right parenchymal increased density is seen diffusely as well.

Assessment/Plan:

65AAF w/hx HTN presents with persistent productive cough, recently with hemoptysis.

# Cough: Symptoms and physical findings of abnormal breath sounds (crackles, though no strict consolidation) concerning for community-acquired pneumonia. Addition of hemoptysis raises concern for TB, particularly when taking into consideration the duration of cough and presence of constitutional symptoms. CBC shows leukocytosis with left shift, CXR with right mid/lower lob infiltrates consistent with pneumonia. Recommend admission and isolation to rule out TB, start empiric therapy for community acquired pneumonia with ceftriaxone, azithromycin. Obtain induced sputum samples for culture, AFB smear and culture.

# Abnormal urine: Patient describes changes in urine suggestive of proteinuria and hematuria. Acuity of onset and apparent spontaneous resolution suggests a chronic kidney injury 2/2 hypertension is unlikely. Absence of dysuria, or tenderness (suprapubic, costovertebral) suggests complicated UTI unlikely. Urinalysis notable for 2+ protein and significant RBC’s, possible nephritic syndrome. In the setting of hemoptysis, this raises concern for anti-GBM disease vs. vasculitis.

# Anemia: Normocytic anemia. No evidence of acute, life-threatening hemorrhage as patient is currently hemodynamically stable. Possible sites of blood loss include alveoli, glomeruli. Given that patient sought care today for worsening fatigue, will monitor hemoglobin closely and consider transfusion. Obtain iron studies.

# HTN: BP stable, hold home medications.

Interval History:

The patient was admitted for management of community-acquired pneumonia and isolation to rule out TB. Empiric therapy with CTX + azithromycin was continued. On HOD1, the patient was transfused two units of PRBC’s. On HOD2, the patient underwent CT chest/abdomen/pelvis due to worsening respiratory status despite antimicrobial therapy. On HOD3, the patient went into atrial fibrillation with RVR which was converted to sinus rhythm with metoprolol 5mg IV x3. On HOD5, nephrology consult recommended starting steroid therapy, plasmapheresis and obtaining a renal biopsy, however the biopsy was delayed due to worsening respiratory status.

Interval Labs:

  • Iron studies: Fe 8, TIBC 203, Ferritin 468, haptoglobin 333, retics 2.7
  • Inflammatory markers: ESR 120, CRP 34
  • Micro: BCx NGTD, RCx moderate Candida, sputum AFB smear negative x3
  • LFT: AST 34, ALT 29, ALP 52, protein 6.3, albumin 2.4, T.bil 0.8, D.bil 0.2
  • Quant-gold: negative
  • Anti-GBM 1.2 (nl <1.0)
  • p-ANCA: positive 1:640, [ELISA pending]
  • ANA: positive 1:320, speckled
  • HIV: negative

Interval Imaging:

CT Chest

  • Diffuse right lung, tree and bud opacities, ground-glass opacities and areas of confluence with scattered air bronchograms. Less severe similar pattern in the left lung as well particular at the base.
  • Right paratracheal, subcarinal and perihilar LAD.
  • Findings concerning for primary TB in the right clinical setting. DDx nonspecific bacterial PNA and fungal PNA.

CT Abdomen/Pelvis

  • Mild nonspecific R > L perinephric stranding.

Interval Assessment/Plan:

# Acute respiratory failure: Unlikely simple CA-PNA given worsening status while on appropriate antibiotic therapy. Active tuberculosis possible given history of chronic productive cough with hemoptysis, constitutional symptoms and imaging findings. IGRA’s of limited utility in diagnosis of active disease, further, while three negative sputum AFB smears decreases the likelihood of TB, additional testing with NAAT and culture is required. Another possibility is a vasculitic process given concomitant hematuria and acute renal failure, with respiratory symptoms now 2/2 alveolar hemorrhage. This was evaluated with ANCA assay which was positive for p-ANCA with high titer. This is often suggestive of primary vasculitis (in this case likely microscopic polyangiitis vs. Churg-Strauss), however ELISA for target antigen is of particular importance as p-ANCA with specificity for antigens other than MPO can be associated with another condition on the differential: Goodpasture’s syndrome. This patient was found to have elevated anti-GBM antibodies which are highly suggestive of Goodpasture’s syndrome, and can be associated with ANCA-positivity (often suggesting a poorer prognosis with decreased likelihood of recovery of renal function).1

# Acute kidney injury: The patient had significant elevation of serum creatinine compared to last-recorded baseline. She also described darkening and foamy appearance of urine 3 weeks prior to admission, suggestive of proteinuria/hematuria of relatively acute onset. This was supported by urinalysis findings of protein and RBC’s (with casts). Given presence of anti-GBM antibodies, high specificity of such findings, and correlation with glomerulonephritis with evidence of pulmonary alveolar hemorrhage, this appears to be the most likely cause at this time. Definitive diagnosis with renal biopsy to be obtained following stabilization of respiratory status. Patient will be started on plasmapheresis and immunosuppressive therapy (corticosteroids, cyclophosphamide).

# Normocytic Anemia: Likely combination of acute blood loss (2/2 hematuria, pulmonary alveolar hemorrhage) and chronic disease. Normocytic anemia with some reticulocytosis suggestive of acute blood loss, however iron studies with low Fe, TIBC and elevated ferritin suggest chronic disease as an associated factor.

Differential Diagnosis of Hemoptysis: 2, 3

A System for Hemoptysis

A System for the Diagnosis of Tuberculosis: 4, 5

A System for the Diagnosis of Tuberculosis

 

A System for Vasculitides: 8, 9

A System for Vasculitidies

 

Vasculitis Mimics: 9

Vasculitis Mimics

 

Interpretation of antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies (ANCA): 10

Pattern Target Associated vasculitis Other diseases
C-ANCA PR3
  • Granulomatosis with polangiitis (Wegener’s)
  • Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Churg-Strauss)
  • Microscopic polyangiitis
  • Pauci-immune glomerulonephritis
C-ANCA (atypical) BPIMPO
  • IBD
  • Cystic fibrosis

 

P-ANCA MPO
  • Microscopic polyangiitis
  • Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Churg-Strauss)
  • Pauci-immune glomerulonephritis
Non-MPO
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • IBD, PSC
  • SLE, RA
  • Drugs
  • Infection (HIV, fungal)

Differential Diagnosis of Anemias: 11

A System for Anemias

References:

  1. Levy, J. B., Hammad, T., Coulthart, A., Dougan, T., & Pusey, C. D. (2004). Clinical features and outcome of patients with both ANCA and anti-GBM antibodies. Kidney international, 66(4), 1535–1540. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1755.2004.00917.x
  2. Bidwell, J. L., & Pachner, R. W. (2005). Hemoptysis: diagnosis and management. American family physician, 72(7), 1253–1260.
  3. Hirshberg, B., Biran, I., Glazer, M., & Kramer, M. R. (1997). Hemoptysis: etiology, evaluation, and outcome in a tertiary referral hospital. Chest, 112(2), 440–444. doi:10.1378/chest.112.2.440
  4. Campbell, I. A., & Bah-Sow, O. (2006). Pulmonary tuberculosis: diagnosis and treatment. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 332(7551), 1194–1197. doi:10.1136/bmj.332.7551.1194
  5. Zumla, A., Raviglione, M., Hafner, R., & Reyn, von, C. F. (2013). Tuberculosis. The New England journal of medicine, 368(8), 745–755. doi:10.1056/NEJMra1200894
  6. Diagnostic Standards and Classification of Tuberculosis in Adults and Children. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine. doi:10.1164/ajrccm.161.4.16141
  7. Laraque, F., Griggs, A., Slopen, M., & Munsiff, S. S. (2009). Performance of nucleic acid amplification tests for diagnosis of tuberculosis in a large urban setting. Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, 49(1), 46–54. doi:10.1086/599037
  8. Gross, W. L., Trabandt, A., & Reinhold-Keller, E. (2000). Diagnosis and evaluation of vasculitis. Rheumatology (Oxford, England), 39(3), 245–252.
  9. Suresh, E. (2006). Diagnostic approach to patients with suspected vasculitis. Postgraduate medical journal, 82(970), 483–488. doi:10.1136/pgmj.2005.042648
  10. Rus, V., & Handwerger, B. S. (2000). Clinical value of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies. Current rheumatology reports, 2(5), 383–389.
  11. Goljan, E. (2011). Pathology. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby/Elsevier.

Quick Case: Pleuritic Chest Pain

Image from: Maeng, C. H., Chin, S. O., Yang, B. H., Kim, S.-Y., Youn, H.-J., Cho, K. S., Baek, S. K., et al. (2007). A case of organizing pneumonia associated with rituximab. Cancer research and treatment : official journal of Korean Cancer Association, 39(2), 88–91. doi:10.4143/crt.2007.39.2.88

30yo male presenting with forearm cellulitis, also complaining of right-sided sharp chest pain worse with deep inspiration and some movements of the ipsilateral shoulder. Found to have multiple pulmonary nodules (suggestive of metastasis) with the largest being a subpleural nodule in the superior/anterior portion of the RUL (roughly the location of the patient’s pain).

 

Differential Diagnosis of Pleuritic Chest Pain

Causes of Pleuritic CP

Location of Referred Pain

Referred Pain

 

Pediatric Fever

CXR with infiltrates

ID:

5yo girl brought to the pediatric emergency department by her mother due to 3 days of fever.

HPI:

The patient’s fever was first noted 3 days ago, measured at home to 103°F. It is associated with a moist cough, vomiting, and decreased PO intake. Her mother reports that she appears lethargic and has been urinating less frequently. The patient denies headache, changes in vision, burning with urination, or ear pain. No known sick contacts, attends day care.

PMH (Birth History):

No significant medical/surgical history. Ex-term born NSVD with no complications.

PE:

  • VS: 95/65mmHg, 100bpm, 102.6°, 22/min
  • General: Well-appearing, mildly irritated but consolable
  • HEENT: NC/AT, PERRL, oropharynx without erythema, no cervical LAD
  • CV: RRR, no M/G/R
  • Lungs: No evidence of respiratory distress (retractions, flaring), faint crackles over right inferior lung fields
  • Abd: +BS, soft, non-distended, TTP RLQ > LLQ, no rebound/guarding
  • Back: No CVAT

Labs/Imaging:

  • CXR PA/Lateral: RML/RLL infiltrate

Assessment:

5yo with 3 days persistent high fever and cough. These symptoms along with examination findings of crackles warranted further imaging (CXR) which revealed infiltrate in the right inferior lung field. The patient appeared clinically stable and was tolerating PO intake in the ED and was discharged home with azithromycin 5mg/kg/dose (with loading dose), clinic follow-up and strict return precautions.

Evaluation and Management of Pediatric Fever

Algorithm for the Evaluation of Pediatric Fever

A System for Pediatric Fever:

Pathophysiology:

Pathophysiology

Diagnosis:

  • <3mo: 38.0°C, 100.4°F
  • 3-36mo: 39.0°C, 102.2°F
  • Rectal > oral > axillary

Differential Diagnosis of Pediatric Fever:

Causes Of Fever

Serious Bacterial Illness (SBI):

1) UTI and pyelonephritis

  • Most common cause of SBI
  • Accounts for 3-8% of uncharacterized fevers
  • Female > male, uncircumcised > circumcised
  • Consider BCx, CSF evaluation as 5-10% bacteremic at presentation
  • Urinalysis: LE 75% specificity, Nitrites 97% specificity

2) Pneumonia and sinusitis

  • Sinusitis uncommon <3yo (sinuses unformed)
  • PNA diagnosed with CXR, obtain if findings of respiratory distress (grunting, tachypnea, hypoxemia) or rales on exam

3) Meningitis

  • Diagnose with LP
  • Meningitis suggested if:
    • ANC > 1,000
    • Protein > 80
    • Seizure (particularly complex febrile seizure)

Diagnosis by Age Group:

<3mo

  • Physical exam findings:
    • Tachypnea, hypoxemia → LRT infection
    • Irritability, inconsolability, bulging anterior fontanelle → meningitis
    • Vomiting/diarrhea → non-specific, GE, AOM, UTI, meningitis
  • History
    • Recent immunization: increased risk of SBI (usually UTI) 24-72h after immunization
    • Confirmed bronchiolitis (viral): enterovirus/parainfluenza associated with SBI

3-36mo

  • Physical exam findings:
    • Viral (URTI, GE) → vomiting, diarrhea, rhinorrhea, cough, rash; still playful and responsive
    • UTI → fever, foul-smelling urine, crying when urinating
    • Meningitis → irritability with handling, vomiting, bulging anterior fontanelle, complex febrile seizures

>36mo

  • Physical exam findings: presentation more adult-like
  • Watch for:
    • Group A Streptococcal pharyngitis
    • Infectious mononulceosis
    • Kawasaki: high fever (>5d), strawberry tongue, conjunctivitis, desquamating rash on palms/soles

External Links

Syncope

ID:

A 50 year-old male with a reported two-year history of infrequent spells, presenting with two spells in the past two days.

HPI:

The patient’s spells began two years ago, he recounts that he was watching television when he lost consciousness and a friend noted he started shaking; he does not recall the event, and awoke in the hospital. The next spell occurred one year later, though the patient is unable to recall much about this episode. The patient remained spell-free until yesterday when he was on a bus, lost consciousness and awoke in a hospital. He notes that he had bit his tongue and lost control of his bladder. He was discharged hours later with a prescription for an AED which he was unable to fill. This morning, the patient had another spell while in the bathroom. His roommate heard him fall, found him on the ground, and noted that his mouth was moving but did not see any other movements.

The patient’s episodes are all associated with loss of consciousness and are followed by 5-10 minutes of disorientation after which he recovers fully. The episodes are sometimes preceded by a feeling of “euphoria”, though this feeling sometimes occurs without subsequent LOC.

The patient denies any associated palpitations, dizziness/LH, chest pain or muscle pain.  He has not had any recent fevers/chills, dysuria, cough, headache, changes in vision, numbness/tingling, weakness, difficulty speaking or swallowing or weight loss. He also denies any history of head trauma.

Physical Examination:

  • VS: Stable and WNL
  • General: Well-appearing, pleasant, and in NAD.
  • HEENT: NC/AT. MMM. Small lesion on tongue.
  • Lungs: CTAB.
  • CV: RRR with occasional ectopic beats, no M/R/G.
  • Abdomen: S/NT/ND. Bowel sounds present.
  • Neurological exam: AAOx4, CN II-XII intact, motor/sensation/reflexes/coordination/gait WNL

Imaging/Studies:

  • EKG: Occasional PAC/PVC
  • CT Brain: Unremarkable except for mild age-related cerebral atrophy

Assessment & Plan:

50 year-old male with a history of HTN and a reported two-year history of infrequent spells presenting with two spells in the past two days. The description of the patient’s episodes could be consistent with seizures. Aspects supporting this notion include loss of consciousness and period of confusion following each episode. One of the recent episodes was also associated with tongue-biting and loss of bladder control. Additionally, some episodes are associated with a sensation of euphoria rising from the abdomen to the head which could be indicative of an aura. Characteristics that suggest other causes include the absence of noted convulsions and non-stereotyped nature of each episode which could be due to the patient’s poor recollection of these events and absence of reliable witnesses. In the case of true seizures, the possible etiologies in this patient include a mass, metabolic abnormalities, substance use, or concomitant infection exacerbating an existing propensity for seizure activity. Other, non-seizure causes warranting evaluation include cardiogenic syncope particularly given the evidence of ectopic beats on examination and electrocardiogram.

Differential Diagnosis of Syncope

First, is it syncope? History is very important for distinguishing syncope from other causes (seizure, dizziness, vertigo, presyncope). Ask about precipitating events, prodromal symptoms, post-ictal confusion. Common causes of syncope and their associated symptoms are detailed in the figure below.

References:

  1. Kapoor, W. N. (2000). Syncope. The New England journal of medicine, 343(25), 1856–1862. doi:10.1056/NEJM200012213432507

Delirium

ID:

A 70 year-old female with a PMH of HTN, DM, hyperlipidemia and stage I breast cancer s/p lumpectomy with sentinel LN biopsy several years ago presented for elective surgery complicated by post-operative bleeding. She is now 4 days post-op and was found to be confused, somnolent and occasionally agitated.

HPI:

The patient could not be interviewed.

PE:

  • VS: Stable and within normal limits
  • General: unremarkable except for crackles in bilateral lung bases
  • MSE: only arouses to sternal rub and becomes agitated, moving all four extremities spontaneously and symmetrically.
  • Reflexes: corneal and gag reflexes present, suppresses eye movements with head turn, deep tendon reflexes 3+ throughout UE/LE bilaterally.

Assessment:

70 year-old woman with a history of HTN, DM, hyperlipidemia and breast cancer presents with worsening confusion, somnolence and occasional agitation four days after surgery. The combination of significantly altered consciousness and absence of focal neurological findings, all in the setting of a complicated surgical course suggest delirium.

Differential Diagnosis of Altered Mental Status:

Levels of consciousness

There are different levels of consciousness, they are named in the diagram below but are better described by the characteristics observed.

Initial assessment

Differential Diagnosis for Altered Mental Status

References:

  1. Inouye, S. K. (2006). Delirium in Older Persons. The New England journal of medicine, 354(11), 1157–1165. doi:10.1056/NEJMra052321
  2. Blueprints neurology. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott William & Wilkins, 2009.
  3. Tindall SC. Level of Consciousness. In: Walker HK, Hall WD, Hurst JW, editors. Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition. Boston: Butterworths; 1990. Chapter 57. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK380/