Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A 55 Year Old Man Presents To Emergency With Chest Pain For 6 Hours...

The ECG shown below was recorded in the A & E department from a 55-year-old man who had had chest pain at rest for 6 hours. There were no abnormal physical findings.
What does the trace show, and how would you manage him?


The ECG shows:
• Sinus rhythm
• Normal axis
• Normal QRS complexes
• ST segment depression - horizontal in leads V3-V4, downward-sloping in leads I, VL, V5-V6

Monday, July 31, 2017

Important Clinical Findings In The Tympanic Membrane and Middle Ear

“Chalk” patches. White areas of tympanosclerosis are common findings on examination of the ear drum. They are of little significance in themselves, and the hearing is often normal.

A past history of otorrhea in childhood or grommet insertion is usual. Chalk patches do occur with no
apparent past otitis media. Extensive tympanosclerosis with a rigid drum is a sequela of past otitis media, and the ossicles, too, may be fixed or noncontinuous.

Scarring of the drum. A gossamer-thin membrane can be seen to close this previously well-defined central perforation (arrow).


At first sight with the auriscope, a central perforation would appear to be the diagnosis; more careful
examination with a pneumatic otoscope will show that this thin membrane moves and seals the defect, giving reassurance that the drum is intact.

Scarring of the drum with retraction onto the round window, promontory, and incus is also evidence of past otitis media.

It is sometimes difficult to be sure whether this type of drum is intact; a thin layer of epithelium indrawn onto the middle-ear structures may seal the middle ear, and examination with the operating
microscope may be necessary to be certain of an intact drum.

Scarred tympanic membrane. A scarred tympanic membrane in which the drum has become atelectatic and indrawn onto the long process of the incus and promontory.


A retracted tympanic membrane which is thin and indrawn onto the long process of the incus (a), head of the stapes (b), promontary (c), and round window (d).

The stapedius tendon is also seen in this panoramic view obtained with a fiberoptic endoscope.

Creatinine Kinase (CK-MB) Learning Flash Card


Monday, July 17, 2017

Onychomycosis and Diabetes: Patient Case Challenges

Onychomycosis is a common infection that can lead to potentially severe complications in patients who have impaired circulation, peripheral neuropathy, or are immunocompromised. This infection is particularly common in patients with diabetes, many of whom have one or more of these conditions. Onychomycosis treatment reduces risks, but is complicated by the potential for drug-drug interactions between systemic antifungals and the large number of medications often taken by these patients. Several topical therapies are available, including two newer agents that became available in 2014, increasing the potential for individualized treatment selection.

The following case-based activity will test your ability to select appropriate therapies in patients with type 2 diabetes and onychomycosis, while bringing you up to date on risks and management of toenail infections in this vulnerable patient population.

Case :
Albert is a 55-year-old man with type 2 diabetes who presents to your office with thickened, elongated, yellowed toenails (picture shown below). He reports that he first noticed the changes in his toenails about 3 months ago, at which time most of his nails were already involved. Albert was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 4 years ago, and his blood sugar is currently poorly controlled on metformin alone. He has elevated triglyceride levels for which he is taking a low dose of simvastatin. He is clinically obese, which may have contributed to the fact that he did not notice his toenail infection until it was well entrenched.


On clinical examination, you observe that all of Albert’s toenails are yellow in color and 6 have white lateral streaks. Two nails show involvement extending proximally to the lunula. Several nails, including both great toenails, show subungual hyperkeratosis that is greater than 2 mm thick and two are onycholytic. You estimate that at least 75% of the overall area of Albert’s toenails is infected, with involvement seen in all 10 toenails.

Which of the following clinical characteristics is a risk factor for onychomycosis in patients with diabetes?
A. Female sex
B. Neuropathy
C. Renal dysfunction
D. Younger age

Answer: B. Neuropathy
Discussion: Patients with diabetes can develop peripheral neuropathy, which contributes to the risk of developing onychomycosis, perhaps because this condition impedes proper foot care and allows unrecognized trauma to the nail. 
Men with diabetes are approximately 3 times more likely to develop onychomycosis compared with women with diabetes, and the prevalence of onychomycosis increases with age. Onychomycosis does not seem to be linked to the presence or absence of renal dysfunction in patients with diabetes.

Onychomycosis and Diabetes
Onychomycosis is highly prevalent in patients with diabetes. A North American study of 550 consecutive patients with diabetes found abnormal-appearing toenails in 46% of patients and mycological evidence of onychomycosis in 26% of patients. After adjusting for age, the researchers calculated a 34.9% prevalence in the overall US diabetes population, an estimate that is similar in other studies. Onychomycosis was 2.77 times more likely in patients with diabetes compared with individuals without diabetes. Prevalence in the one-third of patients with type 1 diabetes in this study was lower but still elevated compared with individuals without diabetes, with an odds ratio of 1.69. Onychomycosis was also 3 times more likely in men compared with women with diabetes.

Chilaiditi Sign On Chest X ray

The X ray shown below is of an asymptomatic person. 


Description Of Chilaiditi Sign
Chilaiditi described this normal variant in 1911 where the transverse colon is interposed between the right hemidiaphragm and the liver.
Its prevalence is thought to be 0.025%.

Occasional reports describe patients with Chilaiditi’s syndrome where patients complain of intermittent abdominal pain requiring laparotomy to rule out other causes of peritonism, e.g. perforated ulcer, ruptured appendix.