Extrapleural solitary fibrous tumours (SFTs) are rare tumours characterized by patternless spindle cells with haemangiopericytoma-like vascular spaces. Previously the tumours have been classified as haemangiopericytoma, an entity that is now considered obsolete. We report a case of extrapleural SFT arising in the soft tissue of the chest wall. The patient was a 31-year-old Malay lady presenting with a mobile swelling of the right chest wall for more than five years. During excision the tumour was noted to be well-circumscribed and yellowish in colour, giving an impression of lipoma. Microscopically, the tumour had patternless architecture, characterized by hypocellular and hypercellular areas. It was composed of uniform, spindle-shaped cells displaying oval nuclei, inconspicuous nucleoli, pale cytoplasm and indistinct cell borders. The mitotic count was 2 per 10 HPF. Branching, medium-sized thin-walled blood vessels in a haemangiopericytomatous growth pattern, some with hyalinised wall were identified. The neoplastic cells were immunoreactive to CD99 and CD34 and were non-immunoreactive to Desmin, Smooth Muscle Actin, S100 protein and EMA. We elucidate the challenges in diagnosing this tumour in this unusual location.
A disaster is a natural or man-made (or technological) hazard resulting in an event of substantial extent causing significant physical damage or destruction, loss of life, or drastic change to the environment. It is a phenomenon that can cause damage to life and property and destroy the economic, social and cultural life of the people; and overwhelms the capacity of the community to cope with the event. The recent tragic aviation accidents in 2014 involving Malaysia Airlines flights MH370 and MH17 shocked the world in an unprecedented manner. This paper focuses on the Malaysian experience in the MH17 mission in Ukraine as well as the first ever international Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) operation for the Malaysian DVI team. The DVI operations in Hilversum, the Netherlands were well described in stages. The Netherlands' Landelijk Team Forensische Opsporing as the lead DVI team in Hilversum operated systematically, ensuring the success of the whole mission. This paper discusses the lessons learned by the Malaysian team on proper DVI structure, inter- and intra-agency cooperation, facilities planning and set up, logistics and health and safety aspects, as well as effective communication and collaboration with other international delegates. Several issues and challenges faced by the Malaysian team were also documented. In addition, the authors shared views, opinions and recommendations for a more comprehensive DVI operation in the future.
Taking cognizance of the purported variation of phyllodes tumours in Asians compared with Western populations, this study looked at phyllodes tumours of the breast diagnosed at the Department of Pathology, University of Malaya Medical Centre over an 8-year period with regards to patient profiles, tumour parameters, treatment offered and outcome. Sixty-four new cases of phyllodes tumour were diagnosed during the period, however only 30 (21 benign, 4 borderline and 5 malignant) finally qualified for entry into the study. These were followed-up for 4-102 months (average = 41.7 months). Thirteen cases (8 benign, 3 borderline, 2 malignant) were Chinese, 9 (all benign) Malay, 7 (4 benign, 1 borderline, 2 malignant) Indian and 1 (malignant) Indonesian. Prevalence of benign versus combined borderline and malignant phyllodes showed a marginally significant difference (p=0.049) between the Malays and Chinese. Patients' ages ranged from 21-70 years with a mean of 44.9 years with no significant difference in age between benign, borderline or malignant phyllodes tumours. Except for benign phyllodes tumours (mean size = 5.8 cm) being significantly smaller at presentation compared with borderline (mean size = 12.5 cm) and malignant (mean size = 15.8 cm) (p<0.05) tumours, history of previous pregnancy, breast feeding, hormonal contraception and tumour laterality did not differ between the three categories. Family history of breast cancer was noted in 2 cases of benign phyllodes. Local excision was performed in 17 benign, 2 borderline and 3 malignant tumours and mastectomy in 4 benign, 2 borderline and 2 malignant tumours. Surgical clearance was not properly recorded in 10 benign phyllodes tumours. Six benign and all 4 borderline and 5 malignant tumours had clearances of <10 mm. Two benign tumours recurred locally at 15 and 49 months after local excision, however information regarding surgical clearance was not available in both cases. One patient with a malignant tumour developed a radiologically-diagnosed lung nodule 26 months after mastectomy, was given a course of radiotherapy and remained well 8-months following identification of the lung nodule.
Synovial sarcoma (SS) is a rare cancer and accounts for 5-10% of adult soft tissue sarcomas. Making an accurate diagnosis is difficult due to the overlapping histological features of SS with other types of sarcomas and the non-specific immunohistochemistry profile findings. Molecular testing is thus considered necessary to confirm the diagnosis since more than 90% of SS cases carry the transcript of t(X;18)(p11.2;q11.2). The purpose of this study is to diagnose SS at molecular level by testing for t(X;18) fusion-transcript expression through One-step reverse transcriptase real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).
Non-necrotic epithelioid granulomas have been reported in association with neoplasms including Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. We report a case of diffuse large B cell lymphoma with chronic granulomatous inflammation to highlight awareness of obscure tumour cells within the granuloma, to avoid delay in diagnosis and management of lymphoma. A 39-year-old Malay lady with no past medical history, presented with a 2-month history of progressive worsening of difficulty in breathing, cough, low-grade fever, loss of weight and loss of appetite. Chest X-ray showed an anterior mediastinal mass and computed tomography (CT)-guided biopsy was reported as chronic granulomatous inflammation suggestive of tuberculosis. After 2 months of anti-TB treatment, her symptoms were not relieved. The patient underwent another CT-guided biopsy of the anterior mediastinal mass in another hospital and the histopathology revealed diffuse large B cell lymphoma. The patient was referred for treatment. On histopathological review, the first sample showed noncaseating granulomas engulfing tumour cells and large abnormal lymphoid cells which were CD20 positive and with high Ki-67 proliferative index. The patient was diagnosed with diffuse large B cell lymphoma stage IV B IPSS score 3. She underwent chemotherapy (R-EPOCH) and responded well to treatment.
Persistence and eventual integration of high-risk HPV (hrHPV) into the cervical cell is crucial to the progression of cervical neoplasia and it would be beneficial to morphologically identify this transformation in routine surgical pathology practice. Increased p16(INK4a) (p16) expression is a downstream event following HPV E7 binding to pRB. A study was conducted to assess the correlation between hrHPV detection using a commercial in-situ hybridization assay (Ventana INFORM HPV ISH) and p16 immunoexpression (CINtec Histology Kit) in cervical squamous intraepithelial lesions and squamous carcinoma. 27 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded cervical low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL), 21 high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) and 51 squamous carcinoma (SCC) were interrogated. hrHPV was significantly more frequent in HSIL (76.2%) and SCC (88.2%) compared to LSIL(37.0%). p16 expression was similarly more frequent in HSIL (95.2%) and SCC (90.2%) compared to LSIL(3.7%). That the rates of hrHPV when compared with p16 expression were almost equivalent in HSIL and SCC while p16 was expressed in only 1 of the 10 LSIL with hrHPV, are expected considering the likelihood that transformation has occurred in HSIL and SCC but does not occur in majority of LSIL.
BACKGROUND: In the past, lupus nephritis was histologically classified according to the 1995 WHO Classification. With the introduction of the 2003 ISN/RPS Classification, many nephropathology services converted to this new classification. This study was undertaken to compare both classification systems in a single centre practice.
METHODS: 103 consecutive adequate renal biopsies initially reported as lupus nephritis in the Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya were reassessed using the criteria of both the 1995 WHO Classification and the 2003 ISN/ RPS Classification.
RESULTS: The relative prevalence for each class using the WHO Classification were: Class I (1%), Class II (8.7%), Class III (6.8%), Class IV (60.2%), Class V (20.4%), Class VI (2.9%) while the prevalence using the 2003 ISN/RPS Classification were: Class I (1%), Class II (8.7%), Class III (6.8%), Class IV (61.2%), Class V (21.3%), Class VI (1%). Both classifications were essentially comparable with regards to Classes I, II and III. The differences in Classes IV, V and VI were significant in potential to alter patient management. The identification of segmental lesions (Class IV-S) over and above a global nephritis (Class IV-G) deserves more focused clinicopathological studies to gauge whether these groups have different clinical manifestations and outcomes. With regards Class V, the ISN/RPS system, by requiring that all mixed classes be stipulated in the diagnostic line, minimizes the chances of patients missing out on additional treatment. The ISN/ RPS system has stricter criteria for Class VI, which again minimizes patients missing out on therapy. On the whole, the ISN/RPS system is more user-friendly as criteria are more clearly defined which translates to more benefits to patient care.
Study site: Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) is a relatively recent carbapenemase enzyme that inactivates all β-lactam antibiotics with the exception of aztreonam. This study aims to ascertain the baseline prevalence and antibiotic susceptibility patterns of NDM-1-producing Enterobacteriaceae in a tertiary medical center in Malaysia.
Immortalized human endothelial cells are widely used as in vitro models for debilitating conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular and ocular diseases. Human microvascular endothelial cell (HMEC-1) is immortalized via stable transfection with a gene encoding SV40 large antigen whilst telomerase-immortalized human microvascular endothelial (TIME) cells is immortalized by engineering the human telomerase catalytic protein (hTERT) into primary microvascular endothelial cells. Here, we established a three-dimensional (3D) spheroid invasion assay with HMEC-1 and TIME and compared the difference in their ability to invade through the collagen matrix in response to exogenous growth factors, namely vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF).
In June 2015, invitations were sent by email to 151 APAME journals to participate in an online survey with an objective of gaining insight into the common publication misconduct encountered by APAME editors. The survey, conducted through SurveyMonkey over a 20-day-period, comprised 10 questions with expansions to allow anecdotes limited to 400 characters, estimated to take less than 10 minutes to complete. Only one invitation was issued per journal, targeting (in order of priority) editors, editorial board members and editorial staff, and limited by email availability. 54 (36%) journals responded. 98% of respondents held Editor or Editorial Board positions. All respondent journals have editorial policies on publication ethics and 96% provide instructions related to ethics. 45% use anti-plagiarism software to screen manuscripts, the most popular being iThenticate, CrossCheck and Turnitin. Up to 50% of journals had encountered studies without IRB approval. Author misconduct encountered were (in rank order): plagiarism (75%), duplicate publication (58%), unjustified authorship (39%), authorship disputes (33%), data falsification (29%), data/image manipulation (27%), conflict of interest (25%), copyright violation (17%) and breach of confidentiality (10%). Reviewer misconduct encountered were: conflict of interest (19%), plagiarism (17%), obstructive behavior (17%), abusive language (13%) and breach of confidentiality (13%). Notwithstanding the limitations of the survey and the response rate, a few insights have been gained: (1) the need for strengthening the ethical culture of researchers/authors and reviewers, (2) anti-plagiarism software can improve plagiarism detection by about 15%, and (3) the need for technical support to detect plagiarism, duplicate publication and image manipulation.
Haemoglobin (Hb) Lepore is a variant Hb consisting of two α-globin and two δβ-globin chains. In a heterozygote, it is associated with clinical findings of thalassaemia minor, but interactions with other haemoglobinopathies can lead to various clinical phenotypes and pose diagnostic challenges. We reported a pair of siblings from a Malay family, who presented with pallor and hepatosplenomegaly at the ages of 21 months and 14 months old. The red cell indices and peripheral blood smears of both patients showed features of thalassaemia intermedia. Other laboratory investigations of the patients showed conflicting results. However, laboratory investigation results of the parents had led to a presumptive diagnosis of compound heterozygote Hb Lepore/β-thalassaemia and co-inheritance α+-thalassaemia (-α3.7). Hb Lepore has rarely been detected in Southeast Asian countries, particularly in Malaysia. These two cases highlight the importance of family studies for accurate diagnosis, hence appropriate clinical management and genetic counseling.
A rare case of double Philadelphia chromosome-positive B Acute lymphoblastic Leukaemia (B-ALL) is reported here. A 60-year-old lady presented with one month history of fever, submandibular lymphadenopathy, loss of appetite and weight loss. Physical examination revealed multiple palpable cervical lymph nodes. Blood film showed leucocytosis with 72% blasts. Bone marrow assessment confirmed a diagnosis of B-ALL with presence of double Philadelphia (Ph) chromosomes. As she was very ill, she was initially treated with an attenuated regimen of induction chemotherapy consisting of rituximab, cyclophosphamide, vincristine and prednisolone (R-CVP) along with intrathecal chemotherapy comprising methotrexate, cytarabine and hydrocortisone. Bone marrow examination post-induction chemotherapy showed >5% blasts. She was subsequently re-induced with rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisolone (R-CHOP) along with intrathecal chemotherapy, following which she went into complete remission. Consolidation chemotherapy consisting of methotrexate, methylprednisolone, cytarabine, intrathecal chemotherapy and imatinib was subsequently administered followed by maintenance chemotherapy consisting of vincristine, prednisolone and imatinib (IDEAMOP). She developed spontaneous bruises and relapsed four months into her maintenance chemotherapy with 90% blasts in the bone marrow which was treated with fludarabine, cytarabine and granulocyte colony stimulating factor (FLAG). Unfortunately she developed neutropenic sepsis which was complicated by invasive lung aspergillosis. Bone marrow examination post-FLAG showed 80% blasts. Despite aggressive antifungal therapy, her lung infection worsened and she finally succumbed to her illness 13 months after the initial diagnosis. We highlight a rare case of elderly B-ALL with double Ph chromosomes which carries a poor prognosis despite aggressive treatment for the disease and its complications.
Entamoeba histolytica, the causative agent for human amoebiasis, is among the most deadly parasites, accounting for the second highest mortality rate among parasitic diseases. Because this parasite dwells in low oxygen tension, for its cultivation, microaerophilic conditions are required to mimick the human gut environment. Several methods developed for optimal growth environment are commercially available and some are conventionally modified in-house which include the Anaerocult A and oil blocking preparation methods. This study was undertaken to compare the reliability of the Anaerocult A and the oil blocking methods in generating anaerobic environment for cultivation of E. histolytica. The trophozoites of E. histolytica HM1: IMSS strains were axenically cultivated in TYI-S-33 medium in culture incubated anaerobically by using Anaerocult A (Merck) and mineral oil blocking method. The outcomes of both methods were determined by the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of metronidazole against E. histolytica by giving a score to the growth pattern of the trophozoites. The reliability of both methods was assessed based on susceptibility testing of E. histolytica to metronidazole. The MIC obtained by both anaerobic condition methods was 6.25 ug/ ml, thus showing that oil-blocking method is comparable to the Anaerocult A method and therefore, considered as a reliable method for generating an anaerobic environment for the cultivation of E. histolytica.
Suicidal feelings and a sense of hopelessness have been regarded as part of the ageing process more so in the context of being elderly and having physical difficulties. As older adults are the fastest growing population in the world, suicides among this population is also expected to increase. The authors retrospectively reviewed all cases recorded by the National Suicide Registry Malaysia (NSRM) for the year 2009. Suicide in victims 65 years and older totaled 23 in number and accounted for 7.1% of all suicides. All the cases were autopsied. The case records were retrospectively analyzed with respect to age, gender, ethnicity and method of death. Comparisons were also made between males and females, levels of education, presence of stressor and life events antecedent to suicide. The ages of these suicide victims ranged from 65 to 94 years. Men comprised almost 70% of the cases. The average age of the victim was 73 years. Hanging was the most common method of suicide, accounting for 56.5% of the cases. Other methods included jumping from height (13.1%), exposure to unspecified chemicals (13.1% ), jumping/lying before moving object (4.3%), exposure to pesticides (4.3%) and injuring oneself using sharp object (4.3%). Death of a loved one, legal problems, financial problems and physical illness were the stressors identified contributing to the suicide act.
Tuberculosis (TB) which is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis infects primarily the lungs but it also affects other parts of the body. Tuberculous meningitis (TBM) is the most severe form of TB and has the highest mortality and morbidity rate compared to other forms of TB. It is common in young children and HIV-infected patients, but is also seen in adults. Despite anti-tuberculosis treatment, TBM is still a major cause of death and neurological sequelae as treatment given to the patients is often delayed. Early diagnosis is challenging due to the non-specific symptoms of TBM and the low number of tubercle bacilli in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Until now, there is no established diagnostic method that can rapidly detect M. tuberculosis in TBM patients with high sensitivity and specificity. The emergence of drug resistant M. tuberculosis strains further complicates the diagnosis and treatment regimen of TBM. This review summarizes challenges of the currently used diagnostic methods and the potential future use of molecular diagnostic methods for TBM.
Various previous studies have reported the implication of CYP11B2 gene polymorphism in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular diseases. In particular, the -344T/C polymorphism, which is located at a putative binding site for the steroidogenic transcription factor (SF-1) has been associated with essential hypertension, left ventricular dilation and coronary heart disease. In the present study, we aim to determine the allele and genotype frequencies of the CYP11B2 gene in patients with clinical manifestation of coronary heart disease and confirmed by angiography and blood donors and to calculate the association of the gene polymorphism with CHD. A total of 79 DNA from patients with coronary heart disease admitted to the National Heart Institute and 84 healthy blood donors have been genotyped using polymerase chain reaction technique followed by restriction enzyme digestion (RFLP). Results of the study demonstrated that out of 79 for the patients, 40 were homozygous T, 10 were homozygous C and 29 were heterozygous TC. The frequencies of genotype TT, CC and TC for patients were 0.5, 0.13 and 0.36 respectively. The frequencies of allele T and C in patients were 0.68 and 0.31 respectively. While for the blood donors, 40 subjects were of homozygous T, 7 were homozygous C and 37 were heterozygous TC. The genotype frequencies for the TT, CC and TC were 0.47, 0.08 and 0.44 respectively. The frequency of the allele T was 0.69 and allele C was 0.3. Chi-Square analysis showed that there was no significant difference in the genotype and C allele frequencies between the CHD patients and the blood donors. Our study suggests that there is lack of association between -344T/C polymorphism of CYP11B2 gene and coronary heart disease.
Loss of E-cadherin, a 120 kDA transmembrane glycoprotein responsible for cell-cell adhesion, is one of the hallmarks of epithelial-mesenchymal-transition (EMT). E-cadherin expression was immunohistochemically studied in 94 histopathologically re-confirmed colorectal carcinomas (CRC) using a monoclonal antibody to E-cadherin (Dako: Clone NCH-38) on a Ventana Benchmark XT automated system. Each case was assessed for E-cadherin immunopositivity at two separate locations viz the tumour centre (TC) as well as the infiltrating front (IF). Expression was semiquantitated for proportion of immunopositive malignant cells as 0 (negative), 1 (1-25% staining), 2 (26-50% staining), 3 (51-75% staining) and 4 (>75% staining) and staining intensity: 0 (negative), 1 (weak), 2 (moderate) and 3 (strong). The final histoscore of E-cadherin immunopositivity was arbitrarily computed as proportion of immunopositivity multiplied by staining intensity of the malignant cells. E-cadherin histoscores were significantly lower at the IF (4.5 ± 2.5) compared with TC (10.7 ± 2.4). Furthermore, the histoscores were significantly reduced at the IF of 49 TNM III+IV tumours (3.6 ± 2.5) compared with 45 II+III CRC (5.4 ± 2.2). Reduction of E-cadherin expression was also noted in the 23 high grade (TC=8.6 ± 3.2; IF=2.6 ± 2.3) compared with 71 low grade tumours (TC = 11.4 ± 1.5; IF = 5.1 ± 2.3). E-cadherin is downregulated at the infiltrating front of CRC, possibly marking for EMT at this location. The downregulation is further enhanced amongst late stage and high grade tumours compared with earlier stage and low grade tumours; findings which are similar to that noted in CRC of other populations.
Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) has been widely accepted as a safe method for diagnosis of salivary gland lesions and its accuracy is increased with increasing the experience of the physician. This study was conducted to examine the sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of FNAC of salivary gland lesions by cyto-histological correlation and to identify the discrepancies that contribute to false diagnoses.
Charred human remains were found in the smoking ambers of a dying fire in an oil palm plantation in Selangor, Malaysia in the midnight of January 28, 2013. Investigations showed that palm fronds and rubber tires were used to light and sustain the blaze. At least four to five tires were estimated to be used based on the residual burnt metal wires at the site. The remains were brought to the Department of Forensic Medicine, Hospital Sungai Buloh, Selangor for post-mortem examination. Pre-autopsy imaging showed a fractured skull with presence of a bullet in the head. The body belonged to a male with unrecognizable facial features, pugilistic attitude, and reduced body size caused by fire damage with sparing of the posterior surface. A large fracture was present at the skull vault. An entry gunshot wound was observed on the left side of the body of mandible, which was associated with base of skull fracture. Heat-related fractures were also noted on the right side of the frontal bone. A projectile was retrieved from the right side of the occipital lobe. Further examination showed presence of soot and hyperaemic larynx, trachea, main bronchi, and oesophagus. Black spots measuring 1 to 2 mm were present on the surface and parenchyma of the heart, liver, pancreas and kidneys. Histopathology examination showed black particles within the vessels in the affected organs. We report this rare finding in a charred body and present a discussion based on published literature on this issue.