Oral sodium phosphate (OSP), an effective bowel purgative, is available over the counter (OTC) and requires a substantially lower volume than polyethylene glycol-based preparative agents. Rarely, OSP consumption has been associated with acute hypocalcemia and hyperphosphatemia. We describe a case of chronic kidney disease patient developing symptomatic hypocalcemia following OTC OSP.
Cholestatic disorders of infancy (viz neonatal hepatitis and biliary atresia) have not been well studied in Malaysia. In a retrospective study in the Department of Paediatrics, University Hospital, Kuala Lumpur from January 1982 through December 1991, a total of ninety-three infants with such conditions were identified: 35 (38%) had biliary atresia, 58 (62%) neonatal hepatitis. There was a statistically significant male preponderance in the neonatal hepatitis group (P = 0.020). There was no significant difference in the racial distribution and in the proportions of low birthweight infants between the two groups of disorders. When the biliary atresia group was compared with the neonatal hepatitis group, significant differences were observed in the age of presentation (mean +/- SD) 9.8 +/- 6.8 VS 20 +/- 17.3 weeks (P < 0.001), proportion of infants with prolonged jaundice (> seven weeks) 28/35 (80%) VS 20/58 (34.5%) (P < 0.00001), occurrence of alcoholic stools 26/35 (74.3%) VS 27/58 (46.6%) (P = 0.020), liver size (mean +/- SD): 4.3 (1.6 cm VS 3.3 +/- 1.8 cm (P < 0.01) and splenic size: 2.5 (1.8 cm VS 1.4 (1.2 cm (P < 0.001). There was however considerable overlap between the two groups in these features at presentation, making clinical differentiation between the two conditions difficult. Infants with cholestasis tended to present late, compromising the chance of survival. In order to improve the medical care of these patients, these conditions must be emphasised during the training of medical practitioners, and efforts to increase public awareness of these conditions must be created.
Congenital chylothorax is rare in preterm infants. While most cases respond to conservative treatment, a few require surgery. Treatment with intravenous octreotide has been reported to have varying success in preterm infants. A fetus was diagnosed with bilateral hydrothoraces at 29 weeks of gestation and repeated thoracocentesis was performed antenatally to allow growth of the lungs. She was delivered electively at 32 weeks by caesarean section. Hydrops fetalis was confirmed and chest tubes were inserted bilaterally soon after birth. Intravenous octreotide was commenced on day 4 of life, titrated to a maximum of 10 μg/kg/hr for a total of 28 days. Hydrothorax resolved at day 30 and total parenteral nutrition was given for a total of 37 days. She was successfully extubated on day 40 of life and discharged on day 80. On review at 6 months of age, she was thriving and developing normally.
While it is not difficult to recognise the classical clinical features of congenital syphilis in most cases, some of them may present with unusual manifestations which can defy early diagnosis. We report our experience with 13 cases of early congenital syphilis over a period of 10 years from 1980 to 1989. Twelve of the thirteen patients were less than 3 months at presentation. There were two infants born prematurely and six of the babies were born with a low birthweight (less than 2.5 kg). All but four patients survived following treatment. Skin lesions either in the form of typical vesiculobullous eruption over the palms and soles or a maculopapular skin rash over the body were the most common presentation and was seen in 10 patients. Splenomegaly with or without hepatomegaly was the most consistent physical sign. Radiological changes in the form of periostitis and/or metaphysitis were seen in all cases where an X-ray of the long bones was performed. An elevated serum immunoglobulin M, though non-specific for the disease, was found to be a useful screening test for recent infection.
Cerebro-costo-mandibular syndrome (CCM) is a very rare entity with oro-facial features closely resembling Pierre-Robin anomaly (1,2). We describe a patient with typical features: severe micrognathia, glossoptosis, central cleft soft palate and multiple posterior rib-gap defects seen on chest radiograph. Respiratory distress which was evident soon after birth was relieved by an oro-pharyngeal airway. He suffered from a cardiorespiratory arrest and succumbed, presumably secondary to aspiration of milk feeds, before a tracheostomy could be performed.
Pregnancies conceived through assisted reproduction can present considerable management problems to the obstetric and paediatric staff. Multiple pregnancies are common. The complication of prematurity increases the morbidity and mortality rates of the neonates.
AIMS: To examine the pattern of and the influence of some socio-demographic factors on infant milk feedings, and the protective role of breastfeeding against infections.
METHODS: Mothers who breastfed their infants (exclusively or partially) at 6 weeks postpartum, and who had singleton pregnancies and healthy infants at birth, were interviewed when their infants had reached 6 months of age.
RESULTS: Of the 234 mothers studied, only 31 (13%) mothers were practising exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) and 133 (57%) mothers were using exclusive infant formula feeding (EIF). Solid and semi-solid foods were introduced between 4 to 6 months of life in 89% of the infants. On logistic regression analysis, mothers who were in paid employment [OR 0.25, 95% CI 0.15, 0.42] and not breast feeding at 6 weeks [OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.19, 0.54] had decreased odds of EBF. Antenatal plans to breastfeed, breast-feeding difficulties, ethnicity, level of parental education, parental ages, fathers' income, primigravida status and infants' gender were not significant co-variates. In comparison, EIF was more likely in mothers who worked, practised mixed feedings at 6 weeks and of Chinese descent. There were no significant differences in the rates of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) or diarrhoeal illnesses between the infants who were or were not being breast-fed.
CONCLUSIONS: Most mothers were unable to breastfeed their infants exclusively in the recommended first 4 to 6 months of life. Complementary changes outside the hospital and maternity services are essential in improving breastfeeding rates. Breastfeeding does not appear to confer significant protection to either URTI or gastrointestinal tract infections.
Study site: Postnatal clinic, University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Extensive haemangioma with platelet consumption (Kasabach-Merritt syndrome) is rare. The lesion is usually a single cutaneous cavernous haemangioma similar to that found in our patient. Multiple superficial strawberry naevi were also seen all over the rest of the body. This condition was diagnosed antenatally in this patient with the use of colour Doppler. There is one recent report where the thrombocytopaenia was diagnosed by cordocentesis. Unfortunately the baby developed heart failure with intractable coagulopathy and died 2 days later.
Thirty preterm infants weighing > or = 800 g with clinical and radiological evidence of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) requiring mechanical ventilation with FiO2 of > or = 40% were given modified bovine surfactant (Survanta). They were compared with equal number of historical controls. Infants who received surfactant showed prompt and highly significant improvement in FiO2, mean airway pressure, arterial/alveolar oxygen tension ratio and ventilatory index. There was significant improvement in mortality rate (10% vs 33%; p = 0.03). Among the survivors, surfactant-treated infants required shorter duration of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) (3.4 vs 9.6 days; p = 0.04). For survivors with birthweight of > 1000 g, surfactant-treated infants required shorter duration of ventilatory support (intermittent positive pressure ventilation + CPAP) (7.5 vs 18.9 days, p = 0.02). Overall, surfactant-treated infants achieved full enteral feeds sooner (15.7 days vs 24.6 days; p = 0.03) and required shorter duration of total parenteral nutrition (13.9 days vs 25.6 days; p = 0.02). We concluded that surfactant replacement therapy was effective in the treatment of preterm infants with RDS.
Most muscular dystrophies manifest as peripheral muscular weakness commencing at various age, however, oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) is a rare hereditary disorder presenting in middle age with progressive dysphagia and bilateral blepharoptosis rather than peripheral muscular weakness. In the medical literature, OPMD has been well described in Canadians of French descent. So far, there is no publication of OPMD in the Malaysia-Singapore medical literature. This article documents this condition in a Chinese patient. A review of the literature is presented and the management of OPMD is discussed.
A preterm baby was born to a multiparous mother by emergency caesarean section at 36 weeks of gestation. Apart from a depression on the right temporo-parietal region measuring 3 cm x 3 cm x 0.5 cm, no other abnormality was noted. A CT scan of the brain excluded the presence of intracranial haematoma and pressure effect on the brain. Spontaneous reduction of the fracture without any adverse neurological sequelae suggests that these fractures can be managed conservatively in some instances.
Meconium ileus, rare in Malaysia, accounts for 3.7% of all neonatal intestinal obstructions (excluding imperforate anus) seen in the University Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, from 1980-1990. This paper retrospectively reviews our clinical experience with 5 cases of meconium ileus seen over a 12-year period from 1980-1991 in the University Hospital, Kuala Lumpur. Three of the neonates were Malays, and two were Punjabis. Four of them were full-term and one preterm. The birth weights ranged from 1900 to 3700 g, with a mean of 2670 g. One of them also had a sibling with meconium ileus. Two of them were found to have foetal ascites and one had intestinal obstruction, antenatally by ultrasonography. The remaining two were symptomatic soon after birth. Extensive calcification was observed on plain abdominal radiographs in three babies and dilated bowels in the other two. All of them underwent laparotomy and uncomplicated meconium ileus was confirmed in two cases, meconium peritonitis in two and one meconium pseudocyst in addition to meconium peritonitis. There was one intraoperative death, and one long-term survivor who did not have cystic fibrosis. The remaining three did not have additional features suggestive of cystic fibrosis, and finally succumbed to respiratory infection. Sweat test was not done to confirm the diagnosis for logistic reasons. The management of such patients proved to be a challenge to clinicians because of the rarity of this condition.
A set of twins born to a 24-year-old primigravida had evidence of sepsis 24 to 60 hours after birth and were treated empirically with penicillin and gentamicin. A non-encapsulated H. influenzae biotype IV strain was isolated from the blood cultures of both and from the CSF of twin II. The isolates were beta-lactamase positive and hence showed resistance to ampicillin and therapy was changed to chloramphenicol only. Twin II recovered but Twin I developed a brain abscess in the left occipital region which resolved with extended antibiotic treatment. Although ampicillin-resistant H. influenzae have been reported in Malaysia, invasive disease by such strains are rare.
Three cases of neonatal chylous ascites (CCA) were managed in the neonatal unit, University Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, over the past 9 years. Fetal ascites and polyhydramnios were the sole abnormalities detected in all three babies by antenatal ultrasonography. They were born at 36 weeks' gestation and their birth weights ranged from 3.0 kg to 3.8 kg. All three infants had abdominal distension at birth. Milky ascitic fluid was obtained after starting enteral feedings. Analysis of the ascitic fluid revealed a raised white blood cell count (predominantly lymphocytic) and triglycerides (1.4 - 3.8 mmol/l), cholesterol (1.6 - 2.8 mmol/l), and protein levels (25 - 41 g/l). Conservative management with skimmed milk and medium-chain triglycerides in one infant and Pregestimil in another was instituted. these two infants with CCA were clinically normal when reviewed at 19 months and 3.5 years of age. The third infant had a gut malrotation and associated pyloric septum; he died from complications of a laparotomy. The literature on this rare condition is reviewed.
Between February 1990 and May 1993, 13 cases of early congenital syphilis (ECS) were managed in the Paediatrics Unit, University Hospital, Kuala Lumpur. Twelve mothers were unbooked with 10 inborn babies. Only one mother had antenatal booking at this hospital but she defaulted antenatal follow-up. Several risk factors associated with ECS were identified: inadequate or no prenatal care (5/13), failure to repeat a serological test for syphilis in the third trimester when it was tested negative at first booking (5/13), sexual promiscuity, substance abuse and a past history of contracting sexually transmitted disease. All 10 mothers who had their serological test repeated at delivery were found to have a positive VDRL and TPHA. Adequate antenatal care early referral of infected, expectant mothers for treatment, and a repeat serological test for syphilis could have prevented these cases of ECS.
The aim of this study is to evaluate the psychometric properties of the translated Malay language version of TZO-AZL Preschool Children Quality of Life (TAPQOL) questionnaire in preschool children. Preterm children and term children aged between two and five years were enrolled into the study. The Malay language version of TAPQOL and a set of questions regarding the child's health status were answered by the caregivers. The internal consistency, Spearman's correlation coefficients and principal component analysis (PCA) with Varimax rotation and Mann-Whitney U test for group comparison were employed to evaluate the psychometric properties of this instrument. A total of 258 children (120 preterm children and 138 term children) were recruited to this study with a response rate of 94%. All (sub)domains except one had Cronbach's α coefficients of more than .7. The Spearman's correlation coefficients between 12 subdomains were generally low. PCA supported the structural unidimensionality of the items in the instrument. Preterm children had lower quality of life scores than that of term children. Malay version of TAPQOL has multidimensional construct. It is a reliable and valid instrument for preschool children, with almost similar psychometric properties to the original version.