West Nile virus infection in 2002: morbidity and mortality among patients admitted to hospital in southcentral Ontario. (17/148)

BACKGROUND: In August and September 2002 an outbreak of West Nile virus (WNV) infection occurred in southern Ontario. We encountered a number of seriously ill patients at our hospitals. In this article we document the clinical characteristics of these cases. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective chart review of patients who came to the attention of infectious disease or neurology consultants or the microbiology laboratories at 7 hospitals in the municipalities of Toronto, Peel and Halton, Ont. Patients were included if they had been admitted to hospital or stayed overnight in the emergency department, had serological evidence of WNV infection and had clinical evidence of WNV fever, aseptic meningitis, encephalomyelitis or motor neuronopathy. RESULTS: In all, 64 patients met the inclusion criteria; 57 had encephalitis or neuromuscular weakness or both, 5 had aseptic meningitis, and 2 had WNV fever. The mean age was 61 years (range 26-87). The patients were predominantly active, middle-aged or elderly people living independently in the community. Seven patients were immunocompromised A febrile prodromal illness preceded the neurological symptoms in almost all cases. The most common neurological abnormality was decreased level of consciousness; this frequently evolved to severe lower motor neuron neuromuscular weakness. Ataxia and swallowing disorders were frequent and important problems. Sixteen patients (25%) required intubation and mechanical ventilation because of a decreased level of consciousness, inability to clear secretions or respiratory muscle weakness; 9 others had disabling muscle weakness of one or more limbs. Ten patients died. The study patients were in hospital a total of 1856 patient-days, including 532 patient-days in an intensive care unit. Only 28% (13/47) of the patients who survived encephalitis or neuromuscular weakness, or both, were discharged home without additional support. Slow turnaround time for serological test results resulted in delayed diagnosis. INTERPRETATION: The 2002 WNV infection outbreak in Ontario caused serious morbidity and mortality in the subset of patients who had encephalitis or neuromuscular weakness severe enough to require hospital admission.  (+info)

Clinical report of 28 patients with Sheehan's syndrome. (18/148)

The aim of the present study was to determine the clinical and hormonal characteristics with Sheehan's syndrome in 28 cases that we had diagnosed and followed in the last 20 years. Twenty-eight patients with Sheehan's syndrome, diagnosed and followed at our University Endocrinology Clinic in the last 20 years were reported in the study. Medical history, physical examination, routine laboratory examinations, pituitary hormone analysis, CT and/or MRI scan of the sella of the patients were reviewed. All patients had a history of massive hemorrhage at delivery and physical signs of Sheehan's syndrome. Twenty-six of them lacked postpartum milk production, followed by failure of resumption of menses. There were 9 subjects with disturbances in consciousness associated with hyponatremia on admittance. All 28 patients had secondary hypothyroidism, adrenal cortex failure, hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism and growth hormone deficiency. Diabetes insipidus has not been found in any patient. Empty sellae were revealed in 8 patients by CT and/or MRI scan. Sheehan's syndrome is still encountered in clinical practice occasionally. If not diagnosed early, it could cause increased morbidity and mortality. The most important clues for diagnosis of Sheehan's syndrome are lack of lactation and failure of menstrual resumption after a delivery complicated with severe hemorrhage.  (+info)

Entrapment of the temporal horn: a form of focal non-communicating hydrocephalus caused by intraventricular block of cerebrospinal fluid flow--report of two cases. (19/148)

In two cases of entrapment of the temporal horn, computed tomography demonstrated the typical appearance of a comma-shaped homogeneous area isodense with water surrounded by a periventricular low-density area. The cause was probably choroid plexitis resulting in obstruction of the cerebrospinal fluid pathway at the atrium. External drainage followed by shunt emplacement is indicated.  (+info)

Herpes simplex encephalitis: some interesting presentations. (20/148)

Herpes Simplex Encephalitis (HSE) is the most common cause of fatal viral encephalitis. A high index of suspicion is mandatory for early diagnosis and successful therapy to restrict morbidity and mortality. We report 4 patients of HSE, with interesting presentations, viz. brainstem involvement in an immunosuppressed patient, Kluver-Bucy Syndrome-a consequence of untreated HSE, HSE in the postpartum period mistaken as cortical venous thrombosis, and response to inadequate treatment. They demonstrate the wide spectrum of clinical features, pitfalls in diagnosis, and a variable response to therapy in HSE.  (+info)

Pneumonia in acute stroke patients fed by nasogastric tube. (21/148)

BACKGROUND: Aspiration pneumonia is the most important acute complication of stroke related dysphagia. Tube feeding is usually recommended as an effective and safe way to supply nutrition in dysphagic stroke patients. OBJECTIVE: To estimate the frequency of pneumonia in acute stroke patients fed by nasogastric tube, to determine risk factors for this complication, and to examine whether the occurrence of pneumonia is related to outcome. METHODS: Over an 18 month period a prospective study was done on 100 consecutive patients with acute stroke who were given tube feeding because of dysphagia. Intermediate outcomes were pneumonia and artificial ventilation. Functional outcome was assessed at three months. Logistic regression and multivariate regression analyses were used, respectively, to identify variables significantly associated with the occurrence of pneumonia and those related to a poor outcome. RESULTS: Pneumonia was diagnosed in 44% of the tube fed patients. Most patients acquired pneumonia on the second or third day after stroke onset. Patients with pneumonia more often required endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation than those without pneumonia. Independent predictors for the occurrence of pneumonia were a decreased level of consciousness and severe facial palsy. The NIH stroke scale score on admission was the only independent predictor of a poor outcome. CONCLUSIONS: Nasogastric tubes offer only limited protection against aspiration pneumonia in patients with dysphagia from acute stroke. Pneumonia occurs mainly in the first days of the illness and patients with decreased consciousness and a severe facial palsy are especially endangered.  (+info)

Gender-related differences in acute aortic dissection. (22/148)

BACKGROUND: Few data exist on gender-related differences in clinical presentation, diagnostic findings, management, and outcomes in acute aortic dissection (AAD). METHODS AND RESULTS: Accordingly, we evaluated 1078 patients enrolled in the International Registry of Acute Aortic Dissection (IRAD) to assess differences in clinical features, management, and in-hospital outcomes between men and women. Of the patients enrolled in IRAD (32.1%) with AAD, 346 were women. Although less frequently affected by AAD (32.1% of AAD), women were significantly older and had more often presented later than men (P=0.008); symptoms of coma/altered mental status were more common, whereas pulse deficit was less common. Diagnostic imaging suggestive of rupture, ie, periaortic hematoma, and pleural or pericardial effusion were more commonly observed in women. In-hospital complications of hypotension and tamponade occurred with greater frequency in women, resulting in higher in-hospital mortality compared with men. After adjustment for age and hypertension, women with aortic dissection die more frequently than men (OR, 1.4, P=0.04), predominantly in the 66- to 75-year age group. Moreover, surgical outcome was worse in women than men (P=0.013); type A dissection in women was associated with a higher surgical mortality of 32% versus 22% in men despite similar delay, surgical technique, and hemodynamics. CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis provides insights into gender-related differences in AAD with regard to clinical characteristics, management, and outcomes; important diagnostic and therapeutic implications may help shed light on aortic dissection in women to improve their outcomes.  (+info)

A cohort study of early neurological consultation by telemedicine on the care of neurological inpatients. (23/148)

OBJECTIVES: To find out the effect of early neurological consultation using a real time video link on the care of patients with neurological symptoms admitted to hospitals without neurologists on site. METHODS: A cohort study was performed in two small rural hospitals: Tyrone County Hospital (TCH), Omagh, and Erne Hospital, Enniskillen. All patients over 12 years of age who had been admitted because of neurological symptoms, over a 24 week period, to either hospital were studied. Patients admitted to TCH, in addition to receiving usual care, were offered a neurological consultation with a neurologist 120 km away at the Neurology Department of the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, using a real time video link. The main outcome measure was length of hospital stay; change of diagnosis, mortality at 3 months, inpatient investigation, and transfer rate and use of healthcare resources within 3 months of admission were also studied. RESULTS: Hospital stay was significantly shorter for those admitted to TCH (hazard ratio 1.13; approximate 95% CI 1.003 to 1.282; p = 0.045). No patients diagnosed by the neurologist using the video link subsequently had their diagnosis changed at follow up. There was no difference in overall mortality between the groups. There were no differences in the use of inpatient hospital resources and medical services in the follow up period between TCH and Erne patients. CONCLUSIONS: Early neurological assessment reduces hospital stay for patients with neurological conditions outside of neurological centres. This can be achieved safely at a distance using a real time video link.  (+info)

Stormy onset with prolonged loss of consciousness in benign childhood epilepsy with occipital paroxysms. (24/148)

In nine of 62 children with benign occipital epilepsy (BOE) the onset was stormy and alarming. The first and often only seizure was characterised by prolonged loss of consciousness lasting up to 12 hours, suggesting an acute cerebral insult. In all but one case there was a tonic aversion either of eyes alone or of both head and eyes which was interpreted as conjugate deviation. The other accompanying ictal motor phenomena were either partial or generalised convulsions. In five patients the seizure was heralded by a headache, and in five cases was accompanied by vomiting. The seizure began with visual symptoms in only one patient. The seizure occurred while awake in seven and during sleep in two. The age at onset was from 3 1/4 to 10 years. Interictal EEGs showed occipital discharges typical of BOE, and the clinical course was benign. In four cases a few partial or complex partial seizures recurred during subsequent anticonvulsant therapy, but in five cases seizures never recurred. Anticonvulsants were discontinued in five patients who remained free from seizures for one to 11 1/2 years after withdrawal of treatment. Sudden coma in a child associated with focal features such as tonic deviation of the head or eyes or both may represent a benign seizure disorder.  (+info)