Case Reports in Critical Care The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2016 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Hemodynamic Transesophageal Echocardiography-Guided Venous-Arterial Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Support in a Case of Giant Cell Myocarditis Thu, 25 Aug 2016 09:50:40 +0000 Giant cell myocarditis (GCM) is a rare and commonly fatal form of fulminant myocarditis. During the acute phase, while immunosuppressive therapy is initiated, venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) support is commonly used as a bridge to heart transplantation or recovery. Until recently, conventional transesophageal echocardiography and transthoracic echocardiography were the tools available for hemodynamic assessment of patients on this form of mechanical circulatory support. Nevertheless, both techniques have their limitations. We present a case of a 54-year-old man diagnosed with GCM requiring VA-ECMO support that was monitored under a novel miniaturized transesophageal echocardiography (hTEE) probe recently approved for 72 hours of continuous hemodynamic monitoring. Our case highlights the value of this novel, flexible, and disposable device for hemodynamic monitoring, accurate therapy guidance, and potential VA-ECMO weaning process of patients with this form of severe myocarditis. Juan G. Ripoll, Robert A. Ratzlaff, David M. Menke, Maria C. Olave, Joseph J. Maleszewski, and José L. Díaz-Gómez Copyright © 2016 Juan G. Ripoll et al. All rights reserved. Fatal Cerebral Air Embolism: A Case Series and Literature Review Sun, 21 Aug 2016 08:42:57 +0000 Cerebral air embolism (CAE) is an infrequently reported complication of routine medical procedures. We present two cases of CAE. The first patient was a 55-year-old male presenting with vomiting and loss of consciousness one day after his hemodialysis session. Physical exam was significant for hypotension and hypoxia with no focal neurologic deficits. Computed tomography (CT) scan of head showed gas in cerebral venous circulation. The patient did not undergo any procedures prior to presentation, and his last hemodialysis session was uneventful. Retrograde rise of venous air to the cerebral circulation was the likely mechanism for venous CAE. The second patient was a 46-year-old female presenting with fever, shortness of breath, and hematemesis. She was febrile, tachypneic, and tachycardic and required intubation and mechanical ventilation. An orogastric tube inserted drained 2500 mL of bright red blood. Flexible laryngoscopy and esophagogastroduodenoscopy were performed. She also underwent central venous catheter placement. CT scan of head performed the next day due to absent brain stem reflexes revealed intravascular air within cerebral arteries. A transthoracic echocardiogram with bubble study ruled out patent foramen ovale. The patient had a paradoxical CAE in the absence of a patent foramen ovale. Rashmi Mishra, Pavithra Reddy, and Misbahuddin Khaja Copyright © 2016 Rashmi Mishra et al. All rights reserved. Guide Wire Induced Cardiac Tamponade: The Soft J Tip Is Not So Benign Thu, 11 Aug 2016 10:54:43 +0000 Central venous catheter (CVC) insertion rarely causes cardiac tamponade due to perforation. Although it is a rare complication, it can be lethal if not identified early. We report a case of cardiac tamponade caused by internal jugular (IJ) central venous catheter (CVC) insertion using a soft J-tipped guide wire which is considered safe and rarely implicated with cardiac tamponade. A bedside transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) revealed a pericardial effusion with tamponade. An emergent bedside pericardiocentesis was done revealing bloody fluid and resulted in clinical stabilization. Sankalp Dwivedi, Fayez Siddiqui, Milan Patel, and Shaun Cardozo Copyright © 2016 Sankalp Dwivedi et al. All rights reserved. Euglycemic Diabetic Ketoacidosis in a Patient with Cocaine Intoxication Mon, 08 Aug 2016 11:35:13 +0000 Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is characterized by elevated anion gap metabolic acidosis, hyperglycemia, and elevated ketones in urine and blood. Hyperglycemia is a key component of DKA; however, a subset of DKA patients can present with near-normal blood glucose, an entity described as “euglycemic DKA.” This rare phenomenon is thought to be due to starvation and food restriction in insulin dependent diabetic patients. Cocaine abuse is considered a trigger for development of DKA. Cocaine also has anorexic effects. We describe an interesting case of euglycemic DKA in a middle-aged diabetic female presenting with elevated anion gap metabolic acidosis, with near-normal blood glucose, in the settings of noncompliance to insulin and cocaine abuse. We have postulated that cocaine abuse was implicated in the pathophysiology of euglycemic DKA in this case. This case highlights complex physiological interplay between type-1 diabetes, noncompliance to insulin, and cocaine abuse leading to DKA, with starvation physiology causing development of euglycemic DKA. Asma Abu-Abed Abdin, Muhammad Hamza, Muhammad S. Khan, and Awab Ahmed Copyright © 2016 Asma Abu-Abed Abdin et al. All rights reserved. Pentobarbital-Induced Myocardial Stunning in Status Epilepticus Requiring Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation: A Case Report and Literature Review Tue, 26 Jul 2016 13:38:43 +0000 Introduction. Mild hypotension is a well-recognized complication of intravenous pentobarbital; however fulminant cardiopulmonary failure has not been previously reported. Case Report. A 28-year-old woman developed pentobarbital-induced cardiopulmonary failure that was successfully treated with maximal medical management including arteriovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. She made an excellent cardiopulmonary and neurological recovery. Discussion and Conclusion. Pentobarbital is underrecognized as a potential cause of myocardial stunning. The mechanism involves direct myocardial depression and inhibition of autonomic neuroanatomical structures including the medulla and hypothalamus. Early recognition and implementation of aggressive cardiopulmonary support are essential to optimize the likelihood of a favorable outcome. Tapan Kavi, Donna Molaie, Michael Nurok, Axel Rosengart, and Shouri Lahiri Copyright © 2016 Tapan Kavi et al. All rights reserved. A Rare Case of Persistent Lactic Acidosis in the ICU: Glycogenic Hepatopathy and Mauriac Syndrome Mon, 25 Jul 2016 09:59:22 +0000 Mauriac syndrome is a rare disorder that can present with the single feature of glycogenic hepatopathy in children and adults with poorly controlled diabetes mellitus. An often underrecognized finding of glycogenic hepatopathy is lactic acidosis and hyperlactatemia. Primary treatment of glycogenic hepatopathy is improved long-term blood glucose control. Resolution of symptoms and hepatomegaly will occur with improvement in hemoglobin A1C. We present here a case of a young adult female presenting to the intensive care unit with Mauriac syndrome. This case demonstrates exacerbation of lactic acidosis in a patient with glycogenic hepatopathy treated for diabetic ketoacidosis with high dose insulin and dextrose. Kirsten S. Deemer and George F. Alvarez Copyright © 2016 Kirsten S. Deemer and George F. Alvarez. All rights reserved. Iatrogenic Transient Complete Heart Block in a Preexisting LBBB Tue, 12 Jul 2016 12:04:42 +0000 Catheter induced cardiac arrhythmia is a well-known complication encountered during pulmonary artery or cardiac catheterization. Injury to the cardiac conducting system often involves the right bundle branch which in a patient with preexisting left bundle branch block can lead to fatal arrhythmia including asystole. Such a complication during central venous cannulation is rare as it usually does not enter the heart. The guide wire or the cannula itself can cause such an injury during central venous cannulation. The length of the guide wire, its rigidity, and lack of set guidelines for its insertion make it theoretically more prone to cause such an injury. We report a case of LBBB that went into transient complete heart block following guide wire insertion during a central venous cannulation procedure. Adil S. Wani, Adebayo Fasanya, Prachi Kalamkar, Christopher A. Bonnet, and Omer A. Bajwa Copyright © 2016 Adil S. Wani et al. All rights reserved. A Curious Case of Acute Respiratory Failure: Is It Antisynthetase Syndrome? Tue, 28 Jun 2016 15:27:22 +0000 Antisynthetase (AS) syndrome is a major subgroup of inflammatory myopathies seen in a minority of patients with dermatomyositis and polymyositis. Although it is usually associated with elevated creatine phosphokinase level, some patients may have amyopathic dermatomyositis (ADM) like presentation with predominant skin involvement. Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is the main pulmonary manifestation and may be severe thereby determining the prognosis. It may rarely present with a very aggressive course resulting in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). We report a case of a 43-year-old male who presented with nonresolving pneumonia who was eventually diagnosed to have ADM through a skin biopsy without any muscle weakness. ADM may be associated with rapidly progressive course of interstitial lung disease (ADM-ILD) which is associated with high mortality. Differentiation between ADM-ILD and AS syndrome may be difficult in the absence of positive serology and clinical presentation may help in clinching the diagnosis. Gurveen Malhotra, Nitya Ramreddy, Serafin Chua, Mira Iliescu, and Tanjeev Kaur Copyright © 2016 Gurveen Malhotra et al. All rights reserved. Not All Acute Abdomen Cases in Early Pregnancy Are Ectopic; Expect the Unexpected: Renal Angiomyolipoma Causing Massive Retroperitoneal Haemorrhage Sun, 26 Jun 2016 09:37:01 +0000 Retroperitoneal haemorrhage (or retroperitoneal haematoma) refers to an accumulation of blood found in the retroperitoneal space. It is a rare clinical entity with variable aetiology including anticoagulation, ruptured aortic aneurysm, acute pancreatitis, malignancy, and bleeding from renal aneurysm. Diagnosis of retroperitoneal bleed is sometimes missed or delayed as presentation is often nonspecific. Multislice CT and arteriography are important for diagnosis. There is no consensus about the best management plan for patients with retroperitoneal haematoma. Stable patients can be managed with fluid resuscitation, correction of coagulopathy if any, and blood transfusion. Endovascular options involving selective intra-arterial embolisation or stent-grafts are clearly getting more and more popularity. Open repair is usually reserved for cases when there is failure of conservative or endovascular measures to control the bleeding or expertise is unavailable and in cases where the patient is unstable. Mortality of patients with retroperitoneal haematoma remains high if appropriate and timely measures are not taken. Haemorrhage from a benign renal tumour is a rarer entity which is described in this case report which emphasizes that physicians should have a wide index of suspicion when dealing with patients presenting with significant groin, flank, abdominal, or back pain, or haemodynamic instability of unclear cause. Our patient presented with features of acute abdomen and, being pregnant, was thought of having a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. Muhammad Asim Rana, Ahmed F. Mady, Nagesh Jakaraddi, Shahzad A. Mumtaz, Habib Ahmad, and Kamal Naser Copyright © 2016 Muhammad Asim Rana et al. All rights reserved. Use of Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy for Removal of Dabigatran in a Patient in Need of Emergent Surgery Thu, 26 May 2016 07:05:35 +0000 Purpose. To report the ability to remove serum dabigatran using continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) in a patient with life-threatening bleeding. Summary. A 77-year-old female with history of atrial fibrillation who takes dabigatran for stroke prevention presented with abdominal pain. Patient was found to have bleeding and possible mesenteric ischemia and was taken to the operating room and had continued bleeding postoperatively. CRRT was initiated for the removal of any remaining dabigatran, with serum dabigatran levels collected to evaluate removal of dabigatran with CRRT. This patient had an increased dabigatran level prior to intervention, which decreased to an undetectable level after use of CRRT. Greater than 80% of the drug was removed due to 4 hours of CRRT and residual kidney function. Reversal of dabigatran is an area of current research with recent FDA approval of idarucizumab for use. Conclusion. Bleeding may occur as a result of the use of dabigatran and change in patient’s clinical condition. Use of CRRT may be an option in removing serum dabigatran in the case of a life-threatening bleed. Sara E. Parli, Melissa L. Thompson Bastin, and Daniel A. Lewis Copyright © 2016 Sara E. Parli et al. All rights reserved. Left Lung Torsion: Complication of Lobar Resection for an Early Stage Lung Adenocarcinoma Tue, 17 May 2016 13:00:42 +0000 Lobar torsion is a fatal but fortunately rare occurrence following lung resection. Early clinical signs and radiographic features may be nonspecific resulting in diagnostic delay. A high index of suspicion is vital for early diagnosis and intervention to avoid further parenchymal necrosis and deadly gangrene. We report a case of left lower lobe torsion in a 76-year-old female following elective upper lobectomy for underlying lung adenocarcinoma. Diagnosis was made following highly suggestive radiographic findings prompting bronchoscopy and revision thoracotomy. An emergency detorsion failed to restore lung viability and was followed by completion pneumonectomy. The patient recovered and was discharged on the seventh postoperative day. Wissam Mansour, Elias Moussaly, Ali Abou Yassine, John Nabagiez, and Rabih Maroun Copyright © 2016 Wissam Mansour et al. All rights reserved. Pancreaticopericardial Fistula: A Case Report and Literature Review Sun, 17 Apr 2016 12:38:21 +0000 Purpose. Pancreaticopericardial fistula (PPF) is an extremely rare complication of acute or chronic pancreatitis. This paper presents a rare case of PPF and provides systematic review of existing cases from 1970 to 2014. Methods. A PubMed search using key words was performed for all the cases of PPF from January 1970 to December 2014. Fourteen cases were included in the study. The cases were reviewed for demographic characteristics, diagnostic modalities, and treatment. Descriptive analysis of these variables was performed. Results. Median age was 43 years. 78% were known alcoholics and 73.3% had chronic pancreatitis. Dyspnea was present in 78%. Cardiac tamponade was present in 53%; 75% of patients had known chronic pancreatitis (RR = 0.74). Surgery was associated with best treatment outcomes and 50% of patients who underwent endoscopic treatment survived. Conclusion. PPF is a rare disease. This paper indicates that acute cardiac tamponade in patients with history of alcoholism and chronic pancreatitis could be a sign of an existing pancreaticopericardial fistula and early surgical intervention could be life-saving. Muhammad S. Khan, Najmi Shahbaz, Hassaan A. Zia, Muhammad Hamza, Henna Iqbal, and Ahmed Awab Copyright © 2016 Muhammad S. Khan et al. All rights reserved. Fatal Nonhepatic Hyperammonemia in ICU Setting: A Rare but Serious Complication following Bariatric Surgery Sun, 10 Apr 2016 09:28:37 +0000 Bariatric surgery is well established in reducing weight and improving the obesity-associated morbidity and mortality. Hyperammonemic encephalopathy following bariatric surgery is rare but highly fatal if not diagnosed in time and managed aggressively. Both macro- and micronutrients deficiencies play a role. A 42-year-old Hispanic female with a history of Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Procedure was brought to ED for progressive altered mental status. Physical exam was remarkable for drowsiness with Glasgow Coma Scale 11, ascites, and bilateral pedal edema. Labs showed elevated ammonia, low hemoglobin, low serum prealbumin, albumin, HDL, and positive toxicology. She remained obtunded despite the treatment with Narcan and flumazenil and the serum ammonia level fluctuated despite standard treatment with lactulose and rifaximin. Laboratory investigations helped to elucidate the etiology of the hyperammonemia most likely secondary to unmasking the functional deficiency of the urea cycle enzymes. Hyperammonemia in the context of normal liver function tests becomes diagnostically challenging for physicians. Severe hyperammonemia is highly fatal. Early diagnosis and aggressive treatment can alter the prognosis favorably. Gyanendra Acharya, Sunil Mehra, Ronakkumar Patel, Simona Frunza-Stefan, and Harmanjot Kaur Copyright © 2016 Gyanendra Acharya et al. All rights reserved. Severe Sepsis Associated with Lemierre’s Syndrome: A Rare but Life-Threatening Disease Tue, 05 Apr 2016 13:42:45 +0000 Background. The incidence of Lemierre’s syndrome has increased in the past decade. This posttonsillitis complication may be life threatening. Case Presentation. A 19-year-old patient was admitted to Surgical Intensive Care Unit of a French University Hospital for high fever, low blood pressure, and haemoptysis following a sore throat episode. Blood analysis revealed a thrombopenia, an acute renal failure, and an elevated lactate serum. Fusobacterium necrophorum was found in blood cultures. Computed tomography of the neck and lungs confirmed the diagnosis of Lemierre’s syndrome: pleural effusions, bilateral lung infiltrates, and an internal jugular vein thrombosis. Fluid administration and antibiotic treatment were quickly initiated. Patient left the unit four days after his admission without any organ dysfunction. Conclusion. Lemierre’s syndrome may lead to multiorgan dysfunction and should be rapidly identified. Audrey Tawa, Raphaëlle Larmet, Yannick Malledant, and Philippe Seguin Copyright © 2016 Audrey Tawa et al. All rights reserved. Severe Ketoacidosis Associated with Canagliflozin (Invokana): A Safety Concern Mon, 21 Mar 2016 14:26:33 +0000 Canagliflozin (Invokana) is a selective sodium glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitor that was first introduced in 2013 for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). Though not FDA approved yet, its use in type 1 DM has been justified by the fact that its mechanism of action is independent of insulin secretion or action. However, some serious side effects, including severe anion gap metabolic acidosis and euglycemic diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), have been reported. Prompt identification of the causal association and initiation of appropriate therapy should be instituted for this life threatening condition. Alehegn Gelaye, Abdallah Haidar, Christina Kassab, Syed Kazmi, and Prabhat Sinha Copyright © 2016 Alehegn Gelaye et al. All rights reserved. Retracted: Clinical Brain Death with False Positive Radionuclide Cerebral Perfusion Scans Tue, 15 Mar 2016 13:32:50 +0000 Case Reports in Critical Care Copyright © 2016 Case Reports in Critical Care. All rights reserved. Acute Warfarin Toxicity as Initial Manifestation of Metastatic Liver Disease Wed, 02 Mar 2016 07:09:15 +0000 Near complete infiltration of the liver secondary to metastasis from the head and neck cancer is a rare occurrence. The prognosis of liver failure associated with malignant infiltration is extremely poor; the survival time of patients is extremely low. We present a case of acute warfarin toxicity as initial manifestation of metastatic liver disease. Our patient is a 64-year-old woman presenting with epigastric pain and discomfort, found to have unrecordable International Normalized Ratio. She rapidly deteriorated with acute respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation, profound shock requiring high dose vasopressor infusion, severe coagulopathy, worsening liver enzymes with worsening of lactic acidosis and severe metabolic abnormalities, and refractory to aggressive supportive care and died in less than 48 hours. Autopsy revealed that >90% of the liver was replaced by tumor masses. Varalaxmi Bhavani Nannaka, Nihar Jani, Masooma Niazi, and Dmitry Lvovsky Copyright © 2016 Varalaxmi Bhavani Nannaka et al. All rights reserved. Adrenergic Inhibition with Dexmedetomidine to Treat Stress Cardiomyopathy during Alcohol Withdrawal: A Case Report and Literature Review Wed, 24 Feb 2016 10:00:24 +0000 Stress (Takotsubo) cardiomyopathy is a form of reversible left ventricular dysfunction with a heightened risk of ventricular arrhythmia thought to be caused by high circulating catecholamines. We report a case of stress cardiomyopathy that developed during severe alcohol withdrawal successfully treated with dexmedetomidine. The case involves a 53-year-old man with a significant history of alcohol abuse who presented to a teaching hospital with new-onset seizures. His symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal were initially treated with benzodiazepines, but the patient later developed hypotension, and stress cardiomyopathy was suspected based on ECG and echocardiographic findings. Adjunctive treatment with the alpha-2-adrenergic agonist, dexmedetomidine, was initiated to curtail excessive sympathetic outflow of the withdrawal syndrome, thereby targeting the presumed pathophysiology of the cardiomyopathy. Significant clinical improvement was observed within one day of initiation of dexmedetomidine. These findings are consistent with other reports suggesting that sympathetic dysregulation during alcohol withdrawal produces ideal pathobiology for stress cardiomyopathy and leads to ventricular arrhythmogenicity. Stress cardiomyopathy should be recognized as a complication of alcohol withdrawal that significantly increases cardiac-related mortality. By helping to correct autonomic dysregulation of the withdrawal syndrome, dexmedetomidine may be useful in the treatment of stress-induced cardiomyopathy. Zachary M. Harris, Alvaro Alonso, and Thomas P. Kennedy Copyright © 2016 Zachary M. Harris et al. All rights reserved. Early Recognition of Foreign Body Aspiration as the Cause of Cardiac Arrest Tue, 23 Feb 2016 13:05:03 +0000 Foreign body aspiration (FBA) is uncommon in the adult population but can be a life-threatening condition. Clinical manifestations vary according to the degree of airway obstruction, and, in some cases, making the correct diagnosis requires a high level of clinical suspicion combined with a detailed history and exam. Sudden cardiac arrest after FBA may occur secondary to asphyxiation. We present a 48-year-old male with no history of cardiac disease brought to the emergency department after an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). The patient was resuscitated after 15 minutes of cardiac arrest. He was initially managed with therapeutic hypothermia (TH). Subsequent history suggested FBA as a possible etiology of the cardiac arrest, and fiberoptic bronchoscopy demonstrated a piece of meat and bone lodged in the left main stem bronchus. The foreign body was removed with the bronchoscope and the patient clinically improved with full neurological recovery. Therapeutic hypothermia following cardiac arrest due to asphyxia has been reported to have high mortality and poor neurological outcomes. This case highlights the importance of early identification of FBA causing cardiac arrest, and we report a positive neurological outcome for postresuscitation therapeutic hypothermia following cardiac arrest due to asphyxia. Muhammad Kashif, Hafiz Rizwan Talib Hashmi, and Misbahuddin Khaja Copyright © 2016 Muhammad Kashif et al. All rights reserved. A Rare but Reversible Cause of Hematemesis: “Downhill” Esophageal Varices Thu, 18 Feb 2016 12:46:49 +0000 “Downhill” varices are a rare cause of acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding and are generally due to obstruction of the superior vena cava (SVC). Often these cases of “downhill” varices are missed diagnoses as portal hypertension but fail to improve with medical treatment to reduce portal pressure. We report a similar case where recurrent variceal bleeding was initially diagnosed as portal hypertension but later found to have SVC thrombosis presenting with recurrent hematemesis. A 39-year-old female with history of end-stage renal disease presented with recurrent hematemesis. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) revealed multiple varices. Banding and sclerotherapy were performed. Extensive evaluation did not show overt portal hypertension or cirrhosis. Due to ongoing bleeding requiring resuscitation, she underwent internal jugular (IJ) and SVC venogram in preparation for transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS), which demonstrated complete IJ and SVC occlusion. She underwent balloon angioplasty with stent placement across SVC occlusion with complete resolution of her varices and resolved hematemesis. “Downhill” varices are extremely rare, though previously well described. Frequently, patients are misdiagnosed with underlying liver disease. High index of suspicion and investigation of alternative causes of varices is prudent in those without underlying liver diseases. Prompt diagnosis and appropriate intervention can significantly improve morbidity and mortality. Lam-Phuong Nguyen, Narin Sriratanaviriyakul, and Christian Sandrock Copyright © 2016 Lam-Phuong Nguyen et al. All rights reserved. Wernicke’s Encephalopathy Complicating Hyperemesis during Pregnancy Tue, 16 Feb 2016 16:35:09 +0000 Wernicke’s encephalopathy is caused by severe thiamine deficiency; it is mostly observed in alcoholic patients. We report the case of a 28-year-old woman, at 17 weeks of gestational age, with severe hyperemesis gravidarum. She presented with disturbance of consciousness, nystagmus, ophthalmoplegia, and ataxia. The resonance magnetic imagery showed bilaterally symmetrical hyperintensities of thalamus and periaqueductal area. The case was managed with very large doses of thiamine. The diagnosis of Wernicke’s encephalopathy was confirmed later by a low thiamine serum level. The patient was discharged home on day 46 with mild ataxia and persistent nystagmus. Wernicke’s encephalopathy is a rare complication of hyperemesis gravidarum. It should be diagnosed as early as possible to prevent long-term neurological sequela or death. Thiamine supplementation in pregnant women with prolonged vomiting should be initiated, especially before parenteral dextrose infusion. Early thiamine replacement will reduce maternal morbidity and fetal loss rate. Mohamed Adnane Berdai, Smael Labib, and Mustapha Harandou Copyright © 2016 Mohamed Adnane Berdai et al. All rights reserved. Spurious Hyperchloremia and Negative Anion Gap in a Child with Refractory Epilepsy Thu, 11 Feb 2016 11:18:23 +0000 We report a case with spurious hyperchloremia with negative anion gap in a child who was taking potassium bromide for refractory epilepsy. Blood chemistry showed a high chloride level (171 mEq/L) and a negative anion gap (−52 mEq/L). Plasma chloride concentration is measured by an ion-selective electrode method; however the presence of other anions like bromide and iodides can interfere with chloride level and largely overestimates the chloride concentration. Thus hyperchloremia with a negative anion gap is a clue to the diagnosis of halides like bromide and iodide ingestion. Madhuradhar Chegondi and Balagangadhar R. Totapally Copyright © 2016 Madhuradhar Chegondi and Balagangadhar R. Totapally. All rights reserved. A Case of Waterhouse-Friderichsen Syndrome Resulting from an Invasive Pneumococcal Infection in a Patient with a Hypoplastic Spleen Thu, 28 Jan 2016 13:06:41 +0000 A 50-year-old male was brought to our emergency department by ambulance with complaints of pain and numbness in both legs. At arrival, purple spots were evident on his neck and face. Examination of the vital sign indicated septic shock. Laboratory data and blood gas analysis revealed disseminated intravascular coagulation, multiple organ failure, and metabolic acidosis. Peripheral blood smears revealed Howell-Jolly bodies, indicating decreased splenic function. A rapid urinary pneumococcal antigen test was also found to be positive. After admission to the intensive care unit, extensive treatment, including polymyxin-B direct hemoperfusion and administration of methylprednisolone and broad spectrum antibiotics was immediately initiated. Despite of our efforts to save his life, the patient died six hours after the arrival. The following day, blood cultures revealed the presence of Streptococcus pneumoniae. An autopsy revealed a hypoplastic spleen and a bilateral adrenal hemorrhage, indicating acute adrenal insufficiency caused by sepsis. Finally, the patient was diagnosed with Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome. Although severe infection may be seen in the splenectomized patients, it should be noted that patients with a hypoplastic spleen may have acute severe infections. We, therefore, report a case of Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome resulting from an invasive pneumococcal infection in a patient with a hypoplastic spleen. Kazumasa Emori, Nobuhiro Takeuchi, and Junichi Soneda Copyright © 2016 Kazumasa Emori et al. All rights reserved. DRESS Syndrome in the ICU: When a Patient Is Treated with Multiple Drugs Sun, 24 Jan 2016 13:57:38 +0000 The Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS) syndrome is life-threatening. It associates a skin condition with hematological and visceral disorders. The DRESS syndrome diagnosis in the intensive care unit (ICU) is difficult as clinical features are nonspecific. Furthermore, the need to treat patients with multiple drugs usually prevents the identification of the causative drug. We report the case of a patient who developed two bouts of DRESS caused by piperacillin-tazobactam, the first being complicated with a distributive shock. Cases of DRESS occurring inside ICU are seldom reported. However, any intensivist may encounter this situation during his career and should be aware of its diagnostic and management specific aspects. Florent Moriceau, Johanne Prothet, Benjamin J. Blaise, Benoit Ben Said, Mathieu Page, Charles-Eric Ber, Jullien Crozon, and Thomas Rimmelé Copyright © 2016 Florent Moriceau et al. All rights reserved. Beta Lactamase Producing Clostridium perfringens Bacteremia in an Elderly Man with Acute Pancreatitis Sun, 24 Jan 2016 08:41:46 +0000 Clostridium perfringens bacteremia is associated with adverse outcomes. Known risk factors include chronic kidney disease, malignancy, diabetes mellitus, and gastrointestinal disease. We present a 74-year-old man admitted with confusion, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Exam revealed tachycardia, hypotension, lethargy, distended abdomen, and cold extremities. He required intubation and aggressive resuscitation for septic shock. Laboratory data showed leukocytosis, metabolic acidosis, acute kidney injury, and elevated lipase. CT scan of abdomen revealed acute pancreatitis and small bowel ileus. He was started on vancomycin and piperacillin-tazobactam. Initial blood cultures were positive for C. perfringens on day five. Metronidazole and clindamycin were added to the regimen. Repeat CT (day 7) revealed pancreatic necrosis. The patient developed profound circulatory shock requiring multiple vasopressors, renal failure requiring dialysis, and bacteremia with vancomycin-resistant enterococci. Hemodynamic instability precluded surgical intervention and he succumbed to multiorgan failure. Interestingly, our isolate was beta lactamase producing. We review the epidemiology, risk factors, presentation, and management of C. perfringens bacteremia. This case indicates a need for high clinical suspicion for clostridial sepsis and that extended spectrum beta lactam antibiotic coverage may be inadequate and should be supplemented with use of clindamycin or metronidazole if culture is positive, until sensitivities are known. Rashmi Mishra, Nupur Sinha, and Richard Duncalf Copyright © 2016 Rashmi Mishra et al. All rights reserved. Identification Bracelet Precipitated Acute Compartment Syndrome during Intravenous Infusion in an Obtunded Patient Tue, 19 Jan 2016 16:21:26 +0000 Acute compartment syndrome is a serious condition requiring immediate medical care. A lack of urgent medical treatment can result in serious complications such as loss of function and even amputation. While the pathophysiology of acute compartment syndrome is well understood, numerous potential causes are still being discovered. A rare cause of acute compartment syndrome is IV infiltration. We present a case of acute compartment syndrome resulting from intravenous infusion due to proximal placement of a patient identification bracelet. We conclude that both routine evaluation for IV infiltration and proximal placement of IV lines are essential for prevention of acute compartment syndrome. Wahib Zafar, Benjamin Chaucer, Suleyman Felek, Edward L. Arsura, and Jay Nfonoyim Copyright © 2016 Wahib Zafar et al. All rights reserved. Cytokine Reduction in the Setting of an ARDS-Associated Inflammatory Response with Multiple Organ Failure Sun, 17 Jan 2016 13:52:27 +0000 A 45-year-old male was admitted to our hospital with a small bowel obstruction due to torsion and was immediately scheduled for surgical intervention. At anesthesia induction, the patient aspirated and subsequently developed a severe SIRS with ARDS and multiple organ failure requiring the use of ECMO, CRRT, antibiotics, and low dose steroids. Due to a rapid deterioration in clinical status and a concurrent surge in inflammatory biomarkers, an extracorporeal cytokine adsorber (CytoSorb) was added to the CRRT blood circuit. The combined treatment resulted in a rapid and significant reduction in the levels of circulating inflammatory mediators. This decrease was paralleled by marked clinical stabilization of the patient including a significant improvement in hemodynamic stability and a reduced need for norepinephrine and improved respiratory function as measured by PaO2/FIO2, ventilator parameters, lung mechanics, and indirect measures of capillary leak syndrome. The patient could be discharged to a respiratory weaning unit where successful respiratory weaning could be achieved later on. We attribute the clinical improvement to the rapid control of the hyperinflammatory response and the reduction of inflammatory mediators using a combination of CytoSorb and these other therapies. CytoSorb treatment was safe and well tolerated, with no device-related adverse effects observed. Karl Träger, Christian Schütz, Günther Fischer, Janpeter Schröder, Christian Skrabal, Andreas Liebold, and Helmut Reinelt Copyright © 2016 Karl Träger et al. All rights reserved. The Wide and Unpredictable Scope of Synthetic Cannabinoids Toxicity Mon, 14 Dec 2015 12:51:46 +0000 Drug use and abuse continue to be a large public health concern worldwide. Over the past decade, novel or atypical drugs have emerged and become increasingly popular. In the recent past, compounds similar to tetrahydrocannabinoid (THC), the active ingredient of marijuana, have been synthetically produced and offered commercially as legal substances. Since the initial communications of their abuse in 2008, few case reports have been published illustrating the misuse of these substances with signs and symptoms of intoxication. Even though synthetic cannabinoids have been restricted, they are still readily available across USA and their use has been dramatically increasing, with a concomitant increment in reports to poison control centers and emergency department (ED) visits. We describe a case of acute hypoxemic/hypercapnic respiratory failure as a consequence of acute congestive heart failure (CHF) developed from myocardial stunning resulting from a non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (MI) following the consumption of synthetic cannabinoids. Jose Orsini, Christa Blaak, Eric Tam, Salil Rajayer, Joaquin Morante, Angela Yeh, and Ashvin Butala Copyright © 2015 Jose Orsini et al. All rights reserved. Myasthenic Crisis in an Elderly Patient with Positive Antibodies against Acetylcholine and Anti-MuSK, Successfully Treated with Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation Thu, 10 Dec 2015 08:45:37 +0000 Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease characterized by muscle weakness. Subjects with antibodies against acetylcholine usually have greater ocular symptoms, lower bulbar weakness, and fewer respiratory complications, compared to individuals with anti-MuSK antibodies. The presence of positivity to both types of antibodies in the same patient is uncommon, and the clinical behavior of these individuals is uncertain. A myasthenic crisis is characterized by respiratory and bulbar muscle weakness, causing acute respiratory failure which requires mechanical ventilatory support. We present the case of a 73-year-old man with a medical history of myasthenia gravis and positive antibody titers against acetylcholine and anti-MuSK, who sought for medical assessment because of respiratory tract infection symptoms, dysphagia, and generalized weakness. Initially, no respiratory distress was found. After 24 hours the patient showed respiratory deterioration and neurological impairment. Endotracheal intubation was rejected, so ventilatory support with noninvasive ventilation was started. The patient was supported by intense respiratory therapy, and infusion of immunoglobulin was initiated. The individual responded favorably, improving his general condition. Weaning from noninvasive mechanical ventilation was possible after six days. Our case illustrates that noninvasive ventilation, properly supported by intense respiratory therapy, can be a great option to avoid intubation in the myasthenic patient. José A. Fernández, Antonio Fernández-Valiñas, Daniel Hernández, Joel Orozco, and Antonio Lugo Copyright © 2015 José A. Fernández et al. All rights reserved. Ventricular Tachycardia from a Central Line Fracture Fragment Embolus: A Rare Complication of a Commonly Used Procedure—A Case Report and Review of the Relevant Literature Thu, 03 Dec 2015 13:55:45 +0000 A 22-year-old male admitted with multiple gunshot wounds (GSW) had central line placed initially for hemodynamic monitoring and later for long term antibiotics and total parenteral nutrition (TPN). On postoperative day 4 he presented with bouts of nonsustained ventricular tachycardia; the cause was unknown initially and later attributed to a catheter fragment accidentally severed and lodged in the right heart. Percutaneous retrieval technique was used to successfully extract the catheter fragment and complete recovery was achieved. Saptarshi Biswas and Patrick McNerney Copyright © 2015 Saptarshi Biswas and Patrick McNerney. All rights reserved.