Case presentation: A 29-year-old female with incomplete paraplegia secondary to tuberculosis (TB) spondylodiscitis presented with asymptomatic sinus tachycardia. The related medical conditions, including anaemia, acute coronary syndrome, hyperthyroidism and other infective causes had been ruled out. Deep venous thrombosis was not on the list of differentials as she showed improvements in neurological and mobility functions with no clinical signs of calf pain or swelling. She had moderate risk of acute PE based on Wells' criteria with positive D-dimer testing and computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) showing thrombus formation in the left-ascending pulmonary artery.
Discussion: Acute PE may present solely with asymptomatic sinus tachycardia in TB spondylodiscitis. This caveat should provide a high index of suspicion to prevent delay in diagnosis and prevention of more sinister complications. Early stratification based on Wells' criteria for a possible diagnosis of acute PE is proven to be a useful approach in conjunction with clinical features.
METHODS: A clinic based, cross sectional study using the Short Form-36 (SF-36) questionnaire was conducted in two primary care health clinics in Hulu Langat, Selangor, Malaysia over a period of 8 months. The nurses and medical assistants were involved in recruiting the patients while the family physicians conducted the interview.
RESULTS: A total 151 respondents were recruited. The mean age was 65.6 +/- 10.8 years with females constituted 119 (78.8%) of the patients. The mean duration of knee pain was 4.07 +/- 2.96 years. Half of the patients were overweight and majority, 138 (91.4%), had at least one co-morbidity, the commonest being hypertension. The physical health status showed lower score as compared to mental health component. The domain concerning mental health components showed positive correlation with age. There was a significant negative correlation between age and physical functioning (p < 0.0005) which indicated the deterioration of this domain as patients became older. Male respondents had better scores in most of the QOL dimensions especially in the physical functioning domain (p = 0.03). There was no significant association between QOL with different education levels, employment status and marital status. Patients with higher body mass index (BMI) and existence co-morbidities scored lower in most of the QOL domains.
CONCLUSIONS: This study has shown that patients with knee OA attending primary care clinics have relatively poor quality of life pertaining to the physical health components but less impact was seen on the patients' mental health.
FINDINGS: A 40-year-old man with complete T4 SCI and multiple clean and non-healing pressure ulcers at sacral and bilateral ischial tuberosity regions was initially admitted for negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) dressing. He had an episode of seizure and subsequently had fluctuating altered conscious level before the diagnosis of deep-seated sacral abscess was made and managed. Prior investigations to rule out common possible sources of infections and management did not resolve the fluctuating event of altered consciousness.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: We presented an unusual case presentation of septicemia in a patient with SCI with underlying chronic non-healing pressure ulcer. He presented with seizure and fluctuating altered conscious level. Even though a chronic non-healing ulcer appeared clinically clean, a high index of suspicion for deep seated abscess is warranted as one of the possible sources of infection, especially when treatment for other common sources of infections fails to result in clinical improvement.