Cervical vertebral osteomyelitis is rare. While an early and correct diagnosis is critical to prevent catastrophic neurological injury, the diagnosis of cervical vertebral osteomyelitis is often difficult because of its rarity and variable symptoms. We present a case of C1 and C2 vertebrae osteomyelitis with a misleading presentation and its fatal outcome.
A case of desmoplastic small round cell tumour (DSRCT) is presented. This aggressive and rare neoplasm predominantly affects males and is almost exclusively intraabdominal in location. It is unique in that neural, mesenchymal and epithelial markers are co-expressed. Despite multi-modal therapy, the prognosis is extremely poor. The present report details the clinical features and typical pathological findings of DSRCT in an 11-year-old boy, who succumbed to the disease 16 months after diagnosis despite multiple chemotherapeutic regimes.
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-borne alphavirus which causes fever, rash, and arthralgia. In the past, life-threatening complications were very rarely reported. However, during the recent worldwide outbreaks, there have been several reports of unusually severe complications and deaths. Malaysia is experiencing a nationwide outbreak of CHIKV, with over 10 000 patients affected since April 2008. We report the first case of culture-confirmed CHIKV-associated death in Malaysia, in a patient with fever, rash, acute exacerbation of pre-existing heart failure, rhabdomyolysis, and multiple organ failure. CHIKV infections may cause atypical, severe or fatal presentations.
A young East Malaysian lady presented with haemoptysis in 1989. Since then she had recurrent episodes of dyspnoea and two occasions of respiratory failure requiring assisted ventilation. An open lung biopsy showed intra-alveolar haemorrhage with diffuse interstitial fibrosis consistent with idiopathic pulmonary haemosiderosis after excluding secondary causes of pulmonary haemorrhage. She failed to respond to corticosteroid and continued to depend on oxygen until she succumbed to the illness 2 years after the presentation.
INTRODUCTION: HPS is a potentially life-threatening histiocytic disorder that has been described in various viral infections including dengue. Its involvement in severe and fatal dengue is probably more common but is presently under recognized.
CASE DESCRIPTION: A 38-year-old female was admitted after 5 days of fever. She was deeply jaundiced, leukopenic and thrombocytopenic. Marked elevation of transaminases, hyperbilirubinemia and hypoalbuminemia were observed. She had deranged INR values and prolonged aPTT accompanied with hypofibrinogenemia. She also had splenomegaly. She was positive for dengue IgM. Five days later she became polyuric and CT brain image showed gross generalized cerebral edema. Her conditions deteriorated by day 9, became confused with GCS of 9/15. Her BMAT showed minimal histiocytes. Her serum ferritin level peaked at 13,670.00 µg/mL and her sCD163 and sCD25 values were markedly elevated at 4750.00 ng/mL and 4191.00 pg/mL, respectively. She succumbed to the disease on day 10 and examination of her tissues showed the presence of dengue virus genome in the bone marrow.
DISCUSSION AND EVALUATION: It is described here, a case of fatal dengue with clinical features of HPS. Though BMAT results did not show the presence of macrophage hemophagocytosis, other laboratory features were consistent with HPS especially marked elevation of ferritin, sCD163 and sCD25. Detection of dengue virus in the patient's bone marrow, fifteen days after the onset of fever was also consistent with the suggestion that the HPS is associated with dengue virus infection.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings highlight HPS as a possible complication leading to severe dengue and revealed persistent dengue virus infection of the bone marrow. Detection of HPS markers; ferritin, sCD163 and sCD25, therefore, should be considered for early recognition of HPS-associated dengue.
KEYWORDS: Bone marrow; Dengue; Ferritin; Hemophagocytic syndrome; MAS; Macrophage
Study site: University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Recovery from chikungunya is previously considered universal and mortality due to the virus is rare and unusual. Findings from recent chikungunya outbreaks occurred in Reunion Island and India have since challenged the conventional view on the benign nature of the illness. Malaysia has experienced at least of 4 outbreaks of chikungunya since 1998. In the present on-going large outbreak due to chikungunya virus of Central/East African genotype, a previous healthy sixty six years gentleman without co-morbidity was noted to have severe systemic infection by the virus and involvement of his liver. He subsequently passed away due to cardiovascular collapse after 5 days of illness.
Chromobacterium violaceum is a gram negative, facultative anaerobic coccobacillus. Human infections are rare and usually occur after exposure to contaminated soil or water. Infections can present with fulminant septicemia, multiple abscesses and rapidly spreading soft tissue infections. Here we present a fatal case of pulmonary Chromobacterium violaceum infection following aspiration of drain water. Treatment with fluroquinolones in combination with either co-trimoxazole or amikacin has been described in successfully treated cases.
There have been very few reports of swordfish attacks on humans and none have resulted in death. Although there are no reports of unprovoked attacks on humans, swordfish can be very dangerous when provoked and they can jump and use their swords to pierce their target. We describe here an unusual case of death that resulted from intracranial penetrating injury caused by a swordfish.
Chromobacterium violaceum infection is rare but causes a high mortality rate particularly in immunosuppressed persons. Since its clinical presentation is non-specific and the diagnosis basically relies upon blood culture and sensitivity, this infection should be considered among the organisms targeted empirically for antibiotic therapy when a cellulitis or rapidly progressive illness follows exposure to water or soil. This is a case of fulminant septicemia caused by this rarely encountered organism.
Two cases of invasive early-onset neonatal pneumococcal sepsis are reported. One neonate was born at term with no risk factors and the other preterm at 35 weeks. Sepsis was not detected at birth for either of these babies and diagnosis was made at the stage of severe sepsis. A fatal outcome resulted despite treatment. Pneumococcal sepsis was confirmed after death in both these cases. Although maternal carriage was not documented in either case, the ages at presentation and progression suggested perinatal acquisition of infection. Early onset neonatal pneumococcal sepsis presents similarly as early onset neonatal Group B streptococcal (GBS) sepsis. Vaginal carriage of pneumococcus is rare but the micro-organism may have a higher invasion to colonisation ratio (attack rate) than GBS. Risk factors for invasive disease are similar to GBS.
The deliberate inhalation of solvents among children and adolescents "for kicks" is becoming more common in the West. It was generally regarded as a relatively harmless practice and consequently little attention had been paid to the isolation of the toxic agent from the variety of substances used. It is now well recognised that solvent abuse not only can result in sudden death but also cause pathological changes to the liver, kidney, brain, heart and lungs. A case of toluene associated death in Malaysia is discussed both from a medico-legal and pathological standpoint.