Churg-Strauss syndrome, a small and medium vessel vasculitis, was first described by Churg and Strauss in 1951. It is characterised by the presence of asthma, prominent tissue and blood eosinophilia, systemic vasculitis, and pulmonary and systemic necrotising allergic granulomas. Involvement of the skin, heart and gastrointestinal tract is well documented, but ocular presentation is unusual. We describe a 40-year-old lady who presented with recurrent upper eyelid swelling due to conjunctival lesions. Although she has chronic asthma, Churg-Strauss syndrome was never suspected. The diagnosis of Churg-Strauss syndrome was only made following histological examination of the conjunctival lesions.
Colorectal carcinogenesis is a complex multistep process that includes changes in histomorphological appearance of the colonic mucosa and changes at molecular level. Aberrant crypt foci (ACF) was first described by Bird in 1987 on examination of methylene-blue-stained colonic mucosa of azoxymethane-treated mice under light microscopy. Since then ACF was considered as the earliest preneoplastic change that can be seen in the colonic mucosa. The aim of this study was to look at the histomorphology and distribution of ACF in colorectal carcinoma. 50 formalin-fixed archival colectomy specimens for colorectal carcinoma were examined under light microscopy after staining with 0.2% methylene blue. ACF was identified by larger and darker crypts with thickened epithelium, and often elevated from adjacent normal mucosa. ACF was found in 41 of 50 colectomy specimens examined. There were 328 ACF consisting of 36 (11.0%) ACF without hyperplasia or dysplasia, 263 (80.2%) ACF with hyperplasia and 29 (8.8%) ACF with dysplasia. Of these 29 ACF with dysplasia, 25 showed low grade dysplasia and four high grade dysplasia. The density of ACF was higher in the left colon, those older than 65 years of age and among males but these findings were statistically not significant. The crypt multiplicity of hyperplastic ACF (30.149, SD 28.395) was larger than dysplastic ACF (20.613, SD 40.128). The spectrum of histological changes observed probably represent the evolution of ACF in colorectal carcinogenesis.
With the advent of new monoclonal antibodies that are applicable to formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded sections, immunophenotyping is becoming increasingly important in the diagnosis and classification of lymphomas. However, multiple factors such as fixation, trypsinization and even type of antibodies used have certain effects on the final outcome of the staining procedure. In this paper we report our experience and the problems encountered in our laboratory when we first tried to establish a workable immunostaining protocol for formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded tissue sections using the immunoalkaline phosphatase technique.
A case of mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the trachea in a 26-year-old female is presented. Diagnosis was confirmed by histopathology. On the basis of the clinical and histological picture, the tumour is classified as a low grade mucoepidermoid carcinoma. Conservative surgical treatment was the primary mode of treatment. The patient showed no clinical evidence of recurrence twelve months after local resection of the tumour.
A 40-year-old woman, a grand multipara with uncertain gestation, presented with severe, prolonged diarrhoea. She was previously diagnosed to have melanoma. Examination revealed gross ascites with hepatosplenomegaly and uterus corresponding to 29 weeks gestation. An emergency caesarean section confirmed widespread metastases to the ovaries, mesentery and placenta. A viable male foetus was delivered with features of intrauterine growth restriction. The baby survived, but the mother died a week later. This case highlights the importance of thoroughly assessing placentas and babies of patients with melanoma for metastases.
Haemorrhage arising from gastric arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is rare and normally occurs in the elderly. Bleeding gastric AVM presenting in the younger age group is even rarer. We report a case of a 14 year old boy who presented with recurrent episodes of haematemesis. He subsequently underwent a proximal gastrectomy and the histological examination confirmed a gastric AVM. After reviewing the literature we believe this is the youngest ever reported case of bleeding gastric AVM reported in English literature.
Continent pouch ileostomy is fashioned for patients who need a proctocolectomy. It is usually indicated for cases of ulcerative colitis and familial adenomatous polyposis where the anal sphincter can no longer maintain normal function or has to be removed. A case of familial adenomatous polyposis with features of Gardner's syndrome is reported. The patient presented with carcinoma of the rectum. Abdominoperineal resection followed by completion pancolectomy was performed. A continent pouch ileostomy was fashioned for him. He resumed work as a labourer within six months. The pouch was troublefree, needed to emptied four to six times a day and was fully continent of fluid, flatus and faeces until his demise three years later from liver secondaries. Continent pouch ileostomy is a better alternative than permanent end ileostomy. All care should be taken to rule out the existence of Crohn's disease. It is proposed that continent pouch ileostomy should be offered to patients needing permanent ileostomy if the expertise is available.
Three cases of embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma in the middle ear and mastoid in children are presented. Diagnosis was confirmed by histopathology. A multidisciplinary approach employing surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy is the method of choice in the management of this rare and highly lethal condition.
A 49 year old Malay women presented with pericardial tamponade 18 months following left segmentectomy and local irradiation for carcinoma of the breast. Subsequently she developed complete heart block terminating in cardiac arrest.
A total of 45 patients with IgA nephropathy were seen at the Department of Nephrology, General Hospital, Kuala Lumpur and the Department of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University ofMalaysia) between January 1982 to June 1985. This represents an incidence of 10.7% of all primary glomerulopathies. There does not appear to be any racial predilection and the clinicopathological features generally conforms with those reported elsewhere. However it seems to be as common in females as in males but the latter have a worse prognosis. The high incidence of renal failure and hypertension in our patients within the short follow-up period is noteworthy.
Dendritic cells (DC) are specialized antigen presenting cells (APC) that have important roles in host defenses and in generating anti-tumour immune response. Altered frequency and maturation of DC have been reported in malignant tumours. We studied the distribution and maturation status of DC by immunohistochemistry, on the formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded lymph node tissues of 32 histologically diagnosed lymphomas and 40 inflammatory conditions that were retrieved from the Department of Pathology, UKM Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur. Our study showed a significant reduction in the total DC counts in the lymphoma tissues compared to the inflammatory conditions. The mature and immature DC counts were both significantly reduced (p = 0.008 and 0.001 respectively), although a greater reduction was observed in mature DC numbers. We also observed compartmentalization of DC where the immature DC were seen within the tumour tissues and the mature DC were more in peri-tumoural areas. Our findings were similar to other reports, suggesting that reduced numbers of DC appears to be a factor contributing to lack of tumour surveillance in these cases.
Sporotrichosis is a mycosis caused by a saprophytic dimorphic fungus named Sporothrix schenckii. Infections occur following traumatic inoculation of fungus from plants and infected cat bites and scratches. We report a case of a farmer who presented with a solitary subcutaneous nodule initially diagnosed as a soft tissue tumour. A history of agricultural activity and feline contact should draw the clinician's attention to sporotrichosis, as the diagnosis can be easily missed in atypical cases. The diagnosis, microbiology and management of the case are discussed.
A rare case of primary squamous cell carcinoma of the thyroid is reported herein. A 64-year-old Malay lady presented with a gradually enlarging thyroid nodule for the past 6 months and underwent total thyroidectomy. Histopathology revealed a squamous cell carcinoma of the thyroid with complete resection. Possible primary tumour elsewhere was excluded. Postoperative irradiation was given and patient is still alive after 2 years of follow-up.
Antioxidants such as tocotrienols may protect against atherosclerosis since tissue injury from free radicals is a final common pathway of damage in arterial disease. In this study, the effects of tocotrienols on serum cholesterol, lipid peroxides, and aorta atheroma were assessed in rabbits fed an atherogenic diet for 12 weeks. Tocotrienols were more effective than tocopherols in preventing increases in serum LDL (p = 0.03) and total cholesterol (p = 0.008) levels in the cholesterol-fed rabbits. Elevation of serum lipid peroxides was effectively suppressed by tocotrienols (p = 0.01). Both tocopherols and tocotrienols offered significant protection against atheroma in the rabbit aorta, but tocotrienols had a stronger hypolipidaemic effect.
Comment in: Pathmanathan R, Wong KT. Protection by tocotrienols against hypercholesterolaemia and atheroma. Med J Malaysia. 1995 Mar;50(1):117
Parathyroid carcinoma is an uncommon cause of parathyroid hormone (PTH)-dependent hypercalcaemia, accounting for less than 1% of all cases of hyperparathyroidism. Parathyroid carcinoma is an indolent tumour with rather low malignant potential. Consideration of parathyroid carcinoma in the differential diagnosis of hypercalcaemic disorders is important because the morbidity and mortality are substantial and the best prognosis is associated with early recognition and surgical resection. Clinical indicators favouring parathyroid carcinoma over benign disease include markedly raised serum calcium levels, PTH and alkaline phosphatase. A palpable neck mass with both kidney and skeletal manifestations also give a high index of suspicion of parathyroid carcinoma. Histopathology alone is not sufficient to diagnose parathyroid cancer; it has to be correlated with the clinical findings. The initial and most effective treatment for parathyroid carcinoma is complete resection of the primary lesion, and repeated operations for recurrence are useful. The prognosis of parathyroid carcinomas is quite variable; 5-year survival rates vary from 40% to 86%, while the 10-year survival rate is approximately 49%. We report a case of parathyroid carcinoma occurring in a 55-year-old woman who presented with bone pain and hypercalcaemia.
The diagnosis of prostatic carcinoma (Pca) on routine biopsies may be challenging, and to date the commonly used marker to distinguish prostate carcinoma from benign prostatic lesions has been High Molecular Weight-Cytokeratin (HMW-CK). However, the antigen of HMW-CK is susceptible to the effect of formalin fixation and causes frequent loss or patchy staining in the obviously benign glands. More recently, antibodies to p63 have been reported to be more sensitive than HMW-CK for the detection of prostatic basal cells. p63, a homologue of tumour suppressor gene p53, is essential for prostate development and is selectively expressed in the nuclei of basal cells of normal prostate glands. The objective of this study is to compare the sensitivity and specificity of HMW-CK and p63 in distinguishing prostatic carcinomas from benign prostatic lesions, as well as determining their positive predictive values. Seventy-two cases from HUKM (comprising 29 prostatic carcinomas and 43 benign prostatic hyperplasias) were stained for both HMW-CK and p63. The sensitivity of p63 and HMW-CK in identifying basal cells in benign glands was 88.37% and 90.70% respectively. The specificity of both reagents was 100%, and the positive predictive value for both reagents was also 100%. Thus, p63 is a useful complementary basal cell specific stain to HMW-CK, and would be very helpful to practicing pathologists in dealing with difficult cases.
The usefulness of the direct immunofluorescent antibody technique--lupus band test--for the diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has been well established. The aims of the study were to determine the prevalence of the LBT at various sites of the skin in a cross section of patients with SLE and its correlation with disease activity. The LBT was demonstrated in 64% of skin lesions, 63% in non-lesional sun-exposed (NLSE) skin and 25% in non-lesional sun-protected (NLSP) skin. The prevalence of the LBT in lesional and NLSE groups was significantly different from the NLSP group (p = 0.03 and 0.005 respectively). There was a significant correlation between the presence of a positive LBT in NLSE skin with the presence of the LE cell phenomenon (p = 0.04) and anti - ds DNA antibody (0.02). In addition, there was a significant correlation between IgG LBT in the NLSE skin with serum hypocomplementaemia (p = 0.03) and anti - ds DNA antibody (p = 0.04). Other than these, no significant correlation was detected between the LBT from the 3 sites with overall clinical activity, renal disease, active skin lesions, or other laboratory indices of activity. These findings suggest that the LBT is mainly indicated as a diagnostic tool and has little role in assessing disease activity.
Study site: Wards and clinics of the General Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia