Abstract: Personalised external aortic support was first proposed in 2000 by Tal Golesworthy, an engineer with familial Marfan syndrome and an aortic root aneurysm. After putting together a research and development team, and finding a surgeon to take on the challenge to join him in this innovative approach, he was central to the manufacture of the device, custom made for his own aorta. He was the patient for the ‘first in man’ operation in 2004. Ten years later he is well and 45 other people have had their own personalised device implanted. In this account, the stepwise record of proof of principle, comparative quantification of the surgical and perioperative requirements, 10 years of results, and development and research plans for the future are presented.
Abstract: Our aim is to investigate the recent liver biopsy findings of autoimmune liver diseases at a university hospital located in an urban area of Japan. The study included 259 patients (mean age 56.8 ± 12.5; male/female, 46/213) who underwent a liver biopsy for primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) or autoimmune hepatitis (AIH). We analyzed their liver biopsy findings according to age and gender. Among 127 PBC patients, Scheuer stages 1, 2, 3, and 4 were 42, 54, 18, and 13, respectively. Among 101 AIH patients, fibrosis stages F1, F2, F3, and F4 were 37, 32, 19, and 13, respectively, and inflammatory activity grades A1, A2, and A3 were 22, 25, and 54, respectively. Among PBC aged ≥65 years, Scheuer stages 1–3 and 4 patients were 27 and 6, respectively. The proportion of Scheuer stage 4 patients in PBC aged ≥65 years tended to be higher than that in PBC aged <65 years (p = 0.0659). Of interest, the proportion of AIH patients with moderate or severe activity (A2 or A3) in males was higher than in females (p = 0.0311). From the point of view of fibrosis stage or inflammatory activity grade of the liver, the proportion of AIH patients aged ≥65 years was similar to that aged <65 years. Although we identified six older cirrhotic patients with AIH, three of them were male. The progression of fibrosis and inflammatory activity of the liver should be noted when we treat older patients suffering from autoimmune liver diseases. Liver biopsy plays an important role in obtaining accurate information on autoimmune liver diseases in older patients.
Abstract: The decrease in the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori (Hp) infection in children in the world gave rise to a new pathological finding termed as Hp-negative gastritis. Unfortunately, the term “Hp-negative gastritis” has not been identified as a pathological process and has the status of a “second cousin”; in most publications it was never mentioned as a subject to be dealt with, but was “left over” data that was never the topic of the manuscripts’ discussions. Only recently has the topic captured the attention of the pathologists who described this phenomenon in adults, yet the pathological and/or clinical spectrum or significance of this phenomenon has not been adequately investigated. In the current manuscript we describe Hp-negative gastritis in children, summarize its clinical prevalence and touch upon the possible etiology, pathology, and/or therapeutic implication. Overall, this review has concluded that Hp-negative gastritis is a pathological phenomenon in children that needs further investigation, and to date, as the title suggests, is a new clinical enigma that needs to be considered.
Abstract: Marfan syndrome is the most common inherited disorder of connective tissue affecting multiple organ systems. Identification of the facial, ocular and skeletal features should prompt referral for aortic imaging since sudden death by aortic dissection and rupture remains a major cause of death in patients with unrecognized Marfan syndrome. Echocardiography is recommended as the initial imaging test, and once a dilated aortic root is identified magnetic resonance or computed tomography should be done to assess the entire aorta. Prophylactic aortic root replacement is safe and has been demonstrated to improve life expectancy in patients with Marfan syndrome. Medical therapy for Marfan syndrome includes the use of beta blockers in older children and adults with an enlarged aorta. Addition of angiotensin receptor antagonists has been shown to slow the progression of aortic root dilation compared to beta blockers alone. Lifelong and regular follow up in a center for specialized care is important for patients with Marfan syndrome. We present a case of a patient with clinical features of Marfan syndrome and discuss possible therapeutic interventions for her dilated aorta.
Abstract: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a rare disease, which still carries a poor prognosis. PH is characterized by a pressure overload on the right ventricle (RV), which develops hypertrophy, followed by a progressive failure. Accordingly, recent evidence showed that RV function has an important prognostic role in patients with PH. Echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR), computed tomography, and nuclear imaging allow a non-invasive evaluation of the RV size and function, but only the first two are routinely used in the clinical arena. Some conventional echocardiographic parameters, such as TAPSE (tricuspid anular plane systolic excursion), have demonstrated prognostic value in patients with PH. Moreover, there are some new advanced echo techniques, which can provide a more detailed assessment of RV function. Three-dimensional (3D) echocardiography allows measurement of RV volumes and ejection fraction, and two-dimensional (2D) speckle tracking (STE), allows assessment of RV myocardial mechanics. CMR provides accurate measurement of RV volumes, ejection fraction, and mass and allows the characterization of the RV wall composition by identifying the presence of fibrosis by late gadolinium enhancement. Although CMR seems to hold promise for both initial assessment and follow-up of patients with PH, its main role has been restricted to diagnostic work-up only.