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Clinical Neuroscience

JULY 30, 2020

Life threatening rare lymphomas presenting as longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis: a diagnostic challenge

TOLVAJ Balázs, HAHN Katalin, NAGY Zsuzsanna, VADVÁRI Árpád, CSOMOR Judit, GELPI Ellen, ILLÉS Zsolt, GARZULY Ferenc

Background and aims – Description of two cases of rare intravascular large B-cell lymphoma and secondary T-cell lymphoma diagnosed postmortem, that manifested clinically as longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM). We discuss causes of diagnostic difficulties, deceptive radiological and histological investigations, and outline diagnostic procedures based on our and previously reported cases. Case reports – Our first case, a 48-year-old female was admitted to the neurological department due to paraparesis. MRI suggested LETM, but the treatments were ineffective. She died after four weeks because of pneumonia and untreatable polyserositis. Pathological examination revealed intravascular large B-cell lymphoma (IVL). Our second case, a 61-year-old man presented with headache and paraparesis. MRI showed small bitemporal lesions and lesions suggesting LETM. Diagnostic investigations were unsuccessful, including tests for possible lymphoma (CSF flow cytometry and muscle biopsy for suspected IVL). Chest CT showed focal inflammation in a small area of the lung, and adrenal adenoma. Brain biopsy sample from the affected temporal area suggested T-cell mediated lymphocytic (paraneoplastic or viral) meningoencephalitis and excluded diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The symptoms worsened, and the patient died in the sixth week of disease. The pathological examination of the presumed adenoma in the adrenal gland, the pancreatic tail and the lung lesions revealed peripheral T-cell lymphoma, as did the brain and spinal cord lesions. Even at histological examination, the T-cell lymphoma had the misleading appearance of inflammatory condition as did the MRI. Conclusion – Lymphoma can manifest as LETM. In cases of etiologically unclear atypical LETM in patients older than 40 years, a random skin biopsy (with subcutaneous adipose tissue) from the thigh and from the abdomen is strongly recommended as soon as possible. This may detect IVL and provide the possibility of prompt chemotherapy. In case of suspicion of lymphoma, parallel examination of the CSF by flow cytometry is also recommended. If skin biopsy is negative but lymphoma suspicion remains high, biopsy from other sites (bone marrow, lymph nodes or adrenal gland lesion) or from a simultaneously existing cerebral lesion is suggested, to exclude or prove diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, IVL, or a rare T-cell lymphoma.

Clinical Neuroscience

MARCH 30, 2016

Cerebral amyloid angiopathy related inflammation: is susceptibility weighted imaging the clue for diagnosis?


Background - Cerebral amyloid angiopathy-related inflammation (CAA-ri) is characterized by various neurological symptoms such as gradually developing confusion, progressive cognitive decline, seizure or headaches; T2 hyperintensities on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); and neuropathological evidence of cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) and associated vascular or perivascular inflammation. Although histological confirmation is necessary for accurate diagnosis, in case of typical clinical features and neuroimaging, the diagnosis can be established without biopsy. Case summary - We present the case of a 57-year-old man with a history of hypertension who presented to the emer¬gency department 3-week history of progressive headache and a gradually developing altered mental status. On examination, he was found to have left sided weakness and decreased pscyhomotility. Routine clinical work-up (lab investigations, CT, cerebrospinal fluid analysis) did not show obvious diagnosis, so we performed an MRI. It raised the suspicion of CAA-ri which diagnosis was verified by neuroradiological evaluation. High dose steroid treatment was initiated. The patient rapidly responded to treatment, his focal neurological signs resolved. Control MRI after 1.5 months showed multiple haemorrhagic laesions in the field of previous inflammation which posteriorly supported the previous supposed work-diagnosis. Conclusions - Although histopathology is the gold standard for the diagnosis of cerebral amyloid angiopathy, the typical clinical presentation, good response to steroids and accurate neuroradiological criteria make biopsy unnecessary to diagnose CAA-ri.

Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 20, 2015

[A rare complication of a rare disease; stroke due to relapsing polychondritis]


[Relapsing polychondritis (RP) is an episodic and progressive inflammatory disease of cartilaginous structures. Its diagnosis is based primarily on clinical features such as laboratory parameters, biopsy. Neurological complications occur in 3% of the cases and are classified as an important cause of death. The cranial nerve disorders are most common but hemiplegia, ataxia, myelitis, polyneuritis, seizures, confusion, hallucination and headache can also happen. The aetiology of central nervous system involvement is still unknown. Moreover stroke has rarely reported in these patients. The diagnosis of stroke is challenging because of its rarity among these patients. Perhaps vasculitis is the common underlying mechanism. Also meningitis and encephalitis can occur during the course of RP. A 44 year-old woman was admitted with uncontemplated left hemiparesis, redness, swelling, and tenderness of the metacarpophalangeal and interphalangeal joints of the right hand and the cartilaginous portion. White blood cell count, C-reactive protein and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate were elevated. Vasculitis biomarkers were normal in our patient. Carotid and vertebral artery doppler ultrasonography, cranial and cervical MR Angiography were normal. Echocardiography showed a mild mitral valve prolapse and regurgitation. Our patient had the history of auricular polychondritis but she had not been diagnosed. Hemiparesis was her first neurological manifestation that led her to doctors for diagnosis. Our patient fulfilled the criteria of RP so no biopsy was needed. She was treated with oral prednisolone (80 mg/day) and aspirin (300 mg/day) and now she is on 10 mg prednisolone and 150 mg azathioprine. Two months later her physical and neurological symptoms returned to normal.]

Clinical Oncology

APRIL 10, 2019

[System approach in oncological care]


[As a successor of the traditional biomedical approach the biopsychosocial model provides an explanation for the origin of diseases which does not only focus on the biologic aspects, but suggests the infl uence of psychological and social factors as well. Paradigm shift resulted enhanced physician-patient cooperation while treatments have been expanded with the consideration of psychological and social factors which enabled the multidisciplinary team to more precisely estimate the patient’s condition and suitability for treatment, therefore, comprehensive direction of intervention can be conducted. Reactions, adaptation and coping with cancer can be described as an interaction of individual level, which involves the psychological features of the person in addition with social level that can be explained by family context.]

Clinical Oncology

FEBRUARY 20, 2019

[Liquid biopsy in clinical oncology – fine-tuning precision medicine]

PRISKIN Katalin, PINTÉR Lajos, JAKSA Gábor, PÓLYA Sára, KAHÁN Zsuzsa, SÜKÖSD Farkas, HARACSKA Lajos

[The classical method of genetically characterising a tumour requires tissue biopsy with which a small sample is removed from the affected organ. This sample represents the tumour in the further analyses. However, the localised nature of sample collection limits representative characterisation. The so-called circulating tumour DNA, isolated from blood plasma after a simple sample collection, potentially enables the oncological analysis of all tumour tissues carrying genetic alterations that can be identifi ed as markers. In order to maximally exploit the potentials of circulating tumour DNA, we must adjust the analytical tools to its specifi c features. The preanalytical handling and storage of the sample signifi cantly infl uences its further usability. In order to be able to detect a potential mutation in a mostly wild-type background, the development of new, specifi c methods is needed, most of which are based on next-generation sequencing techniques. In the past decades, the pronounced decrease in the costs of such techniques led to an accumulation of an immense amount of genetic information on tumorigenesis. Due to the development of sequencing technologies, the turnaround times of tests also decreased enabling their employment in routine care besides research. Starting from our research, this can be realised via three approaches: technological development, the implementation of our already existing diagnostic methods in liquid biopsy, and the construction of well-planned disease-specifi c gene panels. Based on international trends and our experience in serum diagnostics, we are certain that liquid biopsy will become a central pillar of oncological screening and precision oncology in the near future.]

Hypertension and nephrology

JUNE 20, 2019

[Overview of a 10 years kidney biopsies data from the Nephrological and Blood Pressure Center Szeged]

[The authors retrospectively analyzed the data of kidney biopsies performed between 01/01/2007 and 31/12/2016 performed in the Center. During this period 452 biosies were performed. Mean age of patients was 48.7±15.0 years, of them, 43.5% were man and 56.5% women. The nephrotic syndrome was the most common (38.8%) clinical indications for a biopsy. The mos common histological diagnoses were the membranous nephropathy (16.7%), the IgA nephropathy (11.6%) and the FSGS (10.9%). The most common suggestions by nephrologists were the FSGS (17.4%), the membranous nephropathy (16.1%) and the IgA nephropathy (10.3%). These percentages of diabetic nephropathy were 7.5% and 12.2%. Minor complications not requiring any interventions occured in 98 cases (21.7%), major ones in 13 cases (2.9%). By the results FSGS seems to be overrated by nephrologists, but it is among the 3 most common histological findings. Diabetic nephropathy is a similarly excessive clinical diagnosis, sithence the histologically confirmed diagnoses are only a little more than half of it. Regular meetings of pathologists and nephrologists about clinical suggestions and real histological diagnoses may help to improve the ratio of more accurate suggestions.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

DECEMBER 10, 2018

[IgG4-related gastropathy mimicking malignancy]

NAGY Pál, KASZÁS Ilona, PÁK Gábor, TIBA Imre, FELFÖLDI Éva, HAMVAS József, BAGDI Enikő, KRENÁCS László

[The Immunoglobulin G4-related disease (IgG4-RD) along with its synonyms is recently a popular topic in the medical literature. This illness can affect almost every organ in the body therefore it is frequently discussed in any type of interdisciplinary forums. We presented an instructive case of IgG4-RD with gastric involvement in 2016. Hereby we share our pertinent experiences. We are not dealing with the IgG4-RD in general including its terminology problems, epidemiology, pathogenesis, detailed clinical/pathological appearances, diagnostic criteria and treatment. A 63-year-old male presented with symp­toms of pylorus stenosis. The endoscopic findings and CT images were interpreted as those of a malignant tumour in the antrum of the stomach. So a subtotal resection was performed although the biopsy showed reactive proliferation of plasma cells without evidence of malignancy. Pathological examination of the surgical specimen confirmed an IgG4- associated sclerosing inflammation. The patient had an uneventful recovery. Our case is an example of rare, isolated formof IgG4-RD. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

SEPTEMBER 20, 2018

[Multidisciplinarity and pulmonary hypertension in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis]


[Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a subgroup of the fibrotising idiopathic interstitial pneumonias occuring primarily in older adults. It is characterised by progressive decline of lung function and is associated with high mortality. IPF is frequently associated with pulmonary hypertension (PH). PH has unfavourable impact on the prognosis of IPF. PH should be suspected in IPF patients presenting with dyspnoe, desaturation on exertion and disproportionately low diffusion capacity. Transthoracic echocardiography is used to screen for PH in IPF patients. Although right heart catheterization is the gold standard procedure for the diagnosis of PH, this is not regularly performed on IPF patients. Chest high resolution computer tomography (HRCT) is essential for the diagnosis of IPF. IPF is typically characterised by the presence of usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) pattern on HRCT. Multidisciplinary discussion bet­ween experienced pulmonologists, radiologists, and pathologists is key in the early and accurate diagnosis of IPF. An important role of the interstitial lung disease-multidisciplinary team (ILD-MDT) is to determine whether other diagnostic examinations and surgical lung biopsy is needed, in an attempt to reduce unnecessary risk. ILD-MDT should propose the initiation of antifibrotic therapies that have the potential to reduce disease progression. All patients diagnosed with IPF, with no contraindications for lung transplantation, should be referred early to a transplant committee.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

AUGUST 30, 2018

[How to diagnose idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Part 2]


[Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a severe irreversible lung disease with a progressive course. The disease onset is hard to discover due to the unspecific signs and symp­toms. It occurs mainly in elderly people. In the past decades its prevalence has increased continuously. Physical examination, restrictive pattern on lung function test with decreased diffusion capacity are characteristic features of the disease. Chest X-ray showing fibrotic pattern also points toward the diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Differential diagnosis is based on high resolution komputertomográfy. Diag­nosis of IPF is based on the appearance of usual interstitial pneumonia pattern together with the lack of external risk factors and autoimmune or other diseases also known to cause this pattern seen on chest imaging. If no firm diagnosis can be built lung biopsy is required. Multidis­ciplinary teams from clinician, radiologist and pathologist are set in predefined centres that could provide care with novel antifibrotic drugs. These can slow disease progression and are in the frontline in the treatment of the disease. Further research is required to understand the pathomechanism and foster the discovery of further treatment options. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

MARCH 30, 2018

Long-term follow-up results of concomitant chemoradiotherapy followed by adjuvant temozolomide therapy for glioblastoma multiforme patients. The importance of MRI information in survival: Single-center experience

LUKÁCS Gábor, TÓTH Zoltán, SIPOS Dávid, CSIMA Melinda, HADJIEV Janaki, BAJZIK Gábor, CSELIK Zsolt, SEMJÉN Dávid, REPA Imre, KOVÁCS Árpád

Introduction - Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common malignant primary anomaly of central nervous system. The GBM infiltrates the nearly sturctures from the initial tumor and its metastatic attribution is well known. The aim of our single-centered retrospective study was to introduce the importance of postoperative medical imaging confirmation of total tumor resection for patient with GBM combined concomitant and adjuvant chemoradiotherapy on a 10 year long patient follow up. Methods - From January 2006 to April 2015 we registered 59 patients with newly diagnosed GBM at the University of Kaposvár Health Center Institute of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiation Oncology. The histological diagnosis was confirmed by a proficient neuropathologist (World Health Organisation WHO; grade IV astrocytoma). According to histological status if the ECOG performance status of patients allowed it the mutidisciplinary oncoteam recommended adjuvant chemoradiotherapy all features strictly by Stupp protocol. (60 Gy dose on the gross tumor volume and 2-3 cm margin for the clinical target volume with parallel 75 mg/m2 TMZ. Four weeks after monotherapial phase patients had to recieve 6 cycles of TMZ first cycle with 150 mg/m2 up to 200 mg/m2). The irradiation was carried out by a conformal three dimensional planning system. Results - 59 patients with the median age of 63 (range 17-84) year. Our sample counted 34 male patients and 25 woman patients. 14 patients underwent gross total tumor resection while, 39 patients underwent partial resection and the rest from our sample 6 patients passed through biopsy. Statistical analysis showed a lengthier survival among males than females, with a median survival of 13 months for males and females, the OS of 26.209 for males, meanwhile 15.625 for females. However, the difference is not considerable (log-rank p=0.203). Our study found that the estimated survival of patients at least 50 years old is significantly shorter at a median survival of 12 months (log rank p=0.027) than that of patients below 50 years of age at a median survival of 23 months. The longest estimated median survival was calculated with patients of ECOG '0' condition (16 months). However, no significant difference was found in the estimated survival of patients of different ECOG conditions (log-rank p=0.146). Based on the extent of surgery, complete resection resulted in the longest average survival of 36.4 months, followed by 21.5 months among patients with biopsy, and 15.8 months among patients with partial resection. Different surgical procedures, however, did not result in significant differences in survival (log-rank p=0.059). The overal survival of patients who had complete resection confirmed by MRI compared with the overal survival of patients with residual tumor confirmed by MRI as well we can estimate that there is significant difference between these two groups (p=0,004). Conclusion - Despite complex and intense treatment, recurrence is inevitable and causes relatively rapid death. In our analysis complete resection, as defined from the neurosurgeon’s report and postoperative MRI, resulted in an independently significant improvement in OS. Our results are the evidences that the treatment of patients with glioblastoma multiforme in Hungary is at least on the same level as any other developed European countries.