Recent studies have suggested a strong link between migraines and restless legs syndrome (RLS). It is possible that these disorders share a dopaminergic dysfunction in the hypothalamic A11 nucleus that contributes to this association. However, there have been no clinical studies to evaluate the effect of dopaminergic treatment on migraine symptoms in patients with concomitant migraines and RLS.
We present an illustrative patient with concomitant RLS and migraine who showed improvement in her headache frequency and RLS symptoms following immediate-release pramipexole (P-IR) treatment and provide review results from the medical records of patients who experienced both migraines and RLS in our previous cross-sectional study.
Ten patients (nine patients from the previously completed single-center study) received P-IR treatment were included in the study. RLS symptoms improved markedly in all of the subjects. Five out of the 10 patients (50%) reported improvement in migraine headaches. Of these five patients, four (80%) had reported morning headaches before P-IR treatment.
Our results indicate that the identification of RLS in migraine patients is clinically significant and that dopaminergic treatment may improve both migraines, particularly morning headache (80% improvement in this study), and RLS symptoms. However, further clinical studies are warranted to verify our results.
Pramipexole; migraine; restless legs syndrome; dopaminergic dysfunction; morning headache
Focal inflammation causes systemic fever. Cancer hyperthermia therapy results in shrinkage of tumors by various mechanisms, including induction of adaptive immune response. However, the physiological meaning of systemic fever and mechanisms of tumor shrinkage by hyperthermia have not been completely understood. In this study, we investigated how heat shock influences the adaptive immune system. We established a cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) clone (#IM29) specific for survivin, one of the tumor-associated antigens (TAAs), from survivin peptide-immunized cancer patients’ peripheral blood, and the CTL activities were investigated in several temperature conditions (37–41 °C). Cytotoxicity and IFN-γ secretion of CTL were greatest under 39 °C condition, whereas they were minimum under 41 °C. To address the molecular mechanisms of this phenomenon, we investigated the apoptosis status of CTLs, expression of CD3, CD8, and TCRαβ by flow cytometry, and expression of perforin, granzyme B, and Fas ligand by western blot analysis. The expression of perforin and granzyme B were upregulated under temperature conditions of 39 and 41 °C. On the other hand, CTL cell death was induced under 41 °C condition with highest Caspase-3 activity. Therefore, the greatest cytotoxicity activity at 39 °C might depend on upregulation of cytotoxic granule proteins including perforin and granzyme B. These results suggest that heat shock enhances effector phase of the adaptive immune system and promotes eradication of microbe and tumor cells.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12192-012-0348-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Heat shock; CTL; Perforin; Survivin
Increasing evidence provides a clear association between rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorders (RBD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD), but the clinical features that determine the co-morbidity of RBD and PD are not yet fully understood.
We evaluated the characteristics of nocturnal disturbances and other motor and non-motor features related to RBD in patients with PD and the impact of RBD on their quality of life. Probable RBD (pRBD) was evaluated using the Japanese version of the RBD screening questionnaire (RBDSQ-J).
A significantly higher frequency of pRBD was observed in PD patients than in the controls (RBDSQ-J ≥ 5 or ≥ 6: 29.0% vs. 8.6%; 17.2% vs. 2.2%, respectively). After excluding restless legs syndrome and snorers in the PD patients, the pRBD group (RBDSQ-J≥5) showed higher scores compared with the non-pRBD group on the Parkinson’s disease sleep scale-2 (PDSS-2) total and three-domain scores. Early morning dystonia was more frequent in the pRBD group. The Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39) domain scores for cognition and emotional well-being were higher in the patients with pRBD than in the patients without pRBD. There were no differences between these two groups with respect to the clinical subtype, disease severity or motor function. When using a cut-off of RBDSQ-J = 6, a similar trend was observed for the PDSS-2 and PDQ-39 scores. Patients with PD and pRBD had frequent sleep onset insomnia, distressing dreams and hallucinations. The stepwise linear regression analysis showed that the PDSS-2 domain “motor symptoms at night”, particularly the PDSS sub-item 6 “distressing dreams”, was the only predictor of RBDSQ-J in PD.
Our results indicate a significant impact of RBD co-morbidity on night-time disturbances and quality of life in PD, particularly on cognition and emotional well-being. RBDSQ may be a useful tool for not only screening RBD in PD patients but also predicting diffuse and complex clinical PD phenotypes associated with RBD, cognitive impairment and hallucinations.
Parkinson’s disease; Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder; Cognition; Quality of life; Nocturnal problems
Autoantibodies against gangliosides GM1 or GD1a are associated with acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN) and acute motor-sensory axonal neuropathy (AMSAN), whereas antibodies to GD1b ganglioside are detected in acute sensory ataxic neuropathy (ASAN). These neuropathies have been proposed to be closely related and comprise a continuous spectrum, although the underlying mechanisms, especially for sensory nerve involvement, are still unclear. Antibodies to GM1 and GD1a have been proposed to disrupt the nodes of Ranvier in motor nerves via complement pathway. We hypothesized that the disruption of nodes of Ranvier is a common mechanism whereby various anti-ganglioside antibodies found in these neuropathies lead to nervous system dysfunction. Here, we show that the IgG monoclonal anti-GD1a/GT1b antibody injected into rat sciatic nerves caused deposition of IgG and complement products on the nodal axolemma and disrupted clusters of nodal and paranodal molecules predominantly in motor nerves, and induced early reversible motor nerve conduction block. Injection of IgG monoclonal anti-GD1b antibody induced nodal disruption predominantly in sensory nerves. In an ASAN rabbit model associated with IgG anti-GD1b antibodies, complement-mediated nodal disruption was observed predominantly in sensory nerves. In an AMAN rabbit model associated with IgG anti-GM1 antibodies, complement attack of nodes was found primarily in motor nerves, but occasionally in sensory nerves as well. Periaxonal macrophages and axonal degeneration were observed in dorsal roots from ASAN rabbits and AMAN rabbits. Thus, nodal disruption may be a common mechanism in immune-mediated neuropathies associated with autoantibodies to gangliosides GM1, GD1a, or GD1b, providing an explanation for the continuous spectrum of AMAN, AMSAN, and ASAN.
node of Ranvier; acute motor axonal neuropathy; acute sensory ataxic neuropathy; ganglioside; autoantibody
AIM: To investigate human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-v-Akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog signaling pathway.
METHODS: We analyzed 231 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded gastric cancer tissue specimens from Japanese patients who had undergone surgical treatment. The patients’ age, sex, tumor location, depth of invasion, pathological type, lymph node metastasis, and pathological stage were determined by a review of the medical records. Expression of HER2 was analyzed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) using the HercepTestTM kit. Standard criteria for HER2 positivity (0, 1+, 2+, and 3+) were used. Tumors that scored 3+ were considered HER2-positive. Expression of phospho Akt (pAkt) was also analyzed by IHC. Tumors were considered pAkt-positive when the percentage of positive tumor cells was 10% or more. PI3K, catalytic, alpha polypeptide (PIK3CA) mutations in exons 1, 9 and 20 were analyzed by pyrosequencing. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection was analyzed by in situ hybridization targeting EBV-encoded small RNA (EBER) with an EBER-RNA probe. Microsatellite instability (MSI) was analyzed by polymerase chain reaction using the mononucleotide markers BAT25 and BAT26.
RESULTS: HER2 expression levels of 0, 1+, 2+ and 3+ were found in 167 (72%), 32 (14%), 12 (5%) and 20 (8.7%) samples, respectively. HER2 overexpression (IHC 3+) significantly correlated with intestinal histological type (15/20 vs 98 /205, P = 0.05). PIK3CA mutations were present in 20 cases (8.7%) and significantly correlated with MSI (10/20 vs 9/211, P < 0.01). The mutation frequency was high (21%) in T4 cancers and very low (6%) in T2 cancers. Mutations in exons 1, 9 and 20 were detected in 5 (2%), 9 (4%) and 7 (3%) cases, respectively. Two new types of PIK3CA mutation, R88Q and R108H, were found in exon1. All PIK3CA mutations were heterozygous missense single-base substitutions, the most common being H1047R (6/20, 30%) in exon20. Eighteen cancers (8%) were EBV-positive and this positivity significantly correlated with a diffuse histological type (13/18 vs 93/198, P = 0.04). There were 7 cases of lymphoepithelioma-like carcinomas (LELC) and 6 of those cases were EBV-positive (percent/EBV: 6/18, 33%; percent/all LELC: 6/7, 86%). pAkt expression was positive in 119 (53%) cases but showed no correlation with clinicopathological characteristics. pAkt expression was significantly correlated with HER2 overexpression (16/20 vs 103/211, P < 0.01) but not with PIK3CA mutations (12/20 vs 107/211, P = 0.37) or EBV infection (8/18 vs 103/211, P = 0.69). The frequency of pAkt expression was higher in cancers with exon20 mutations (100%) than in those with exon1 (40%) or exon9 (56%) mutations. One case showed both HER2 overexpression and EBV infection and 3 cases showed both PIK3CA mutations and EBV infection. However, no cases showed both PIK3CA mutations and HER2 overexpression. One EBV-positive cancer with PIK3CA mutation (H1047R) was MSI-positive. Three of these 4 cases were positive for pAkt expression. In survival analysis, pAkt expression significantly correlated with a poor prognosis (hazard ratio 1.75; 95%CI: 1.12-2.80, P = 0.02).
CONCLUSION: HER2 expression, PIK3CA mutations and EBV infection in gastric cancer were characterized. pAkt expression significantly correlates with HER2 expression and with a poor prognosis.
Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2; Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; Catalytic; Alpha polypeptide; Epstein-Barr virus; Akt; Gastric cancer
Kikuchi Fujimoto disease (KFD), or histiocytic necrotising lymphadenitis, is a benign and self-limiting condition characterised by primarily affecting the cervical lymph nodes. Recurrent aseptic meningitis in association with KFD is extremely rare and remains a diagnostic challenge.
We report a 28-year-old man who presented 7 episodes of aseptic meningitis associated with KFD over the course of 7 years. Histopathological findings of enlarged lymph nodes led to the diagnosis of KFD. The patient’s headache and lymphadenopathy spontaneously resolved without any sequelae.
A diagnosis of KFD should be considered when enlarged cervical lymph nodes are observed in patients with recurrent aseptic meningitis. A long-term prognosis remains uncertain, and careful follow-up is preferred.
Recurrent aseptic meningitis; Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease; Histiocytic necrotising lymphadenitis; SLE
AIM: To determine if liver regeneration (LR) could be disturbed following radiofrequency (RF) ablation and whether modification of LR by steroid administration occurs.
METHODS: Sham operation, partial hepatectomy (PH), and partial hepatectomy with radiofrequency ablation (PHA) were performed on adult Fisher 344 rats. We investigated the recovery of liver volume, DNA synthetic activities, serum cytokine/chemokine levels and signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 DNA-binding activities in the nucleus after the operations. Additionally, the effects of steroid (dexamethasone) pretreatment in the PH group (S-PH) and the PHA group (S-PHA) were compared.
RESULTS: The LR after PHA was impaired, with high serum cytokine/chemokine induction compared to PH, although the ratio of the residual liver weight to body weight was not significantly different. Steroid pretreatment disturbed LR in the S-PH group. On the other hand, low-dose steroid pretreatment improved LR and suppressed tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α elevation in the S-PHA group, with recovery of STAT3 DNA-binding activity. On the other hand, low-dose steroid pretreatment improved LR and suppressed TNF-α elevation in the S-PHA group, with recovery of STAT3 DNA-binding activity.
CONCLUSION: LR is disturbed after RF ablation, with high serum cytokine/chemokine induction. Low-dose steroid administration can improve LR after RF ablation with TNF-α suppression.
Liver regeneration; Radiofrequency ablation; Steroid; Tumor necrosis factor; Hepatectomy
The prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is affected by tumoral factors and liver functions; therefore it is often difficult to select the appropriate therapeutic methods for HCC. Recently, two global phase III trials showed that sorafenib, which is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, improved the prognosis of patients with advanced HCC. As a new therapeutic strategy for HCC, sorafenib is expected to expand the indication for HCC in the future. However, it alone is insufficient for the molecular-targeted treatment of HCC because the signaling pathway exists not only in cancer cells but also in normal cells. Recently, cancer stem cells (CSCs) have attracted attention as a novel therapeutic target for HCC. There is now much evidence that stem cell properties such as self-renewal, unlimited proliferation, and differentiation are highly relevant to cancer recurrence and the drug resistance of HCC. In this review, we describe the molecular pathogenesis and the current state and future development of molecular- and CSC-therapeutic targeted agents for HCC, citing various reports.
AIM: To characterize the implications of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A in stromal cells and colorectal cancer and the expression of VEGF-A splice variants.
METHODS: VEGF-A expression in tumor and stromal cells from 165 consecutive patients with colorectal cancer was examined by immunohistochemistry. The association between VEGF-A expression status and clinicopathological factors was investigated. Twenty fresh-frozen samples were obtained for laser capture microdissection to analyze the splice variants of VEGF-A.
RESULTS: VEGF-A was expressed in 53.9% and 42.4% of tumor and stromal cells, respectively. VEGF-A expression in tumor cells (t-VEGF-A) was associated with advanced clinical stage (stage 0, 1/9; stage 1, 2/16; stage 2, 32/55; stage 3, 38/66; stage 4, 16/19, P < 0.0001). VEGF-A expression in stromal cells (s-VEGF-A) increased in the earlier clinical stage (stage 0, 7/9; stage 1, 6/16; stage 2, 33/55; stage 3, 22/66; stage 4, 5/19; P = 0.004). Multivariate analyses for risk factors of recurrence showed that only s-VEGF-A expression was an independent risk factor for recurrence (relative risk 0.309, 95% confidence interval 0.141-0.676, P = 0.0033). The five-year disease-free survival (DFS) rates of t-VEGF-A-positive and -negative cases were 51.4% and 62.9%, respectively. There was no significant difference in t-VEGF-A expression status. The five-year DFS rates of s-VEGF-A-positive and -negative cases were 73.8% and 39.9%, respectively. s-VEGF-A-positive cases had significantly better survival than s-VEGF-A-negative cases (P = 0.0005). Splice variant analysis revealed that t-VEGF-A was mainly composed of VEGF165 and that s-VEGF-A included both VEGF165 and VEGF165b. In cases with no venous invasion (v0), the level of VEGF165b mRNA was significantly higher (v0 204.5 ± 122.7, v1 32.5 ± 36.7, v2 2.1 ± 1.7, P = 0.03). The microvessel density tended to be lower in cases with higher VEGF165b mRNA levels.
CONCLUSION: s-VEGF-A appears be a good prognostic factor for colorectal cancer and includes VEGF165 and VEGF165b.
Colorectal cancer; Vascular endothelial growth factor-A; Vascular endothelial growth factor 165; Microvascular density; Stromal cell
Depression, apathy, and anhedonia are often comorbid in patients with Parkinson's disease. Since the morbid states of apathy and anhedonia are complicated, these symptoms are often difficult to diagnose. Several therapeutic methods for apathy and anhedonia are considered effective. However, the validity of these methods has not been established. Similar to depression, apathy and anhedonia clearly affect the quality of life of patients and their families. Therefore, accurate diagnoses of morbid states in the early stage of the disease and corresponding appropriate treatments should be given high priority.
are common problems affecting the quality life
of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and are
often underestimated. The causes of sleep
disturbances are multifactorial and include
nocturnal motor disturbances, nocturia,
depressive symptoms, and medication use.
Comorbidity of PD with sleep apnea syndrome,
restless legs syndrome, rapid eye movement sleep
behavior disorder, or circadian cycle disruption
also results in impaired sleep. In addition, the
involvement of serotoninergic, noradrenergic,
and cholinergic neurons in the brainstem as a
disease-related change contributes to impaired
sleep structures. Excessive daytime sleepiness
is not only secondary to nocturnal disturbances
or dopaminergic medication but may also be due
to independent mechanisms related to impairments
in ascending arousal system and the orexin
system. Notably, several recent lines of
evidence suggest a strong link between rapid eye
movement sleep behavior disorder and the risk of
neurodegenerative diseases such as PD. In the
present paper, we review the current literature
concerning sleep disorders in PD.
Objectives. Both results of the odor identification and cardiac 123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine accumulation have been investigated for their potential to enhance the detection of pathogenesis resembling that of Lewy body-related α-synucleinopathies in patients clinically diagnosed as having idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder. Methods. We performed both the Odor Stick Identification Test for Japanese and 123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine scintigraphy in 30 patients with idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder, 38 patients with Parkinson's disease, and 20 control subjects. Results. In idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder, reduced odor identification score and an early or delayed heart to mediastinum ratio on 123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine were almost as severe as in Parkinson's disease patients. Delayed cardiac 123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine uptake was even more severe in the idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder group than in the Parkinson's disease group. Conclusions. Reduced cardiac 123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine uptake, which is independent of parkinsonism, may be more closely associated with idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder than olfactory impairment.
Although metastasis or relapse is a leading cause of death for patients with gastric cancer, the hematogenous spread of cancer cells remains undetected at the time of initial therapy. The development of novel diagnostic molecular marker(s) to detect circulating gastric cancer cells is an issue of great clinical importance. We obtained peripheral blood samples from 10 patients with gastric cancer who underwent laparotomy and 4 healthy volunteers. Microarray analysis consisting of 30,000 genes or ESTs was carried out using eight gastric cancer tissues and normal gastric mucosae. We selected 53 genes up-regulated in gastric cancer compared to normal gastric mucosae from our microarray data set, and, among these, identified five candidate marker genes (TSPAN8, EPCAM, MMP12, MMP7 and REG3A) which were not expressed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 4 healthy volunteers. We further carried out semi-quantitative nested reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for HRH1, EGFR, CK20 and CEA in addition to the five newly identified genes using PBMCs of patients with gastric cancer, and found that expression of one or more genes out of the nine was detected in 80% of the patients with gastric cancer. Moreover, the numbers of genes expressed in PBMCs were ≤2 and ≥2 in all vascular invasion-negative cases and in 5 of 6 positive cases, respectively, showing significant differences between the two groups (P=0.041). Nested RT-PCR analysis for the set of nine marker genes using PBMCs may provide the potential for detection of circulating gastric cancer cells prior to metastasis formation in other organs.
microarray; gastric cancer; molecular marker; nested RT-PCR; peripheral blood
Asperparalines produced by Aspergillus japonicus JV-23 induce
paralysis in silkworm (Bombyx mori) larvae, but the target
underlying insect toxicity remains unknown. In the present study, we have
investigated the actions of asperparaline A on ligand-gated ion channels
expressed in cultured larval brain neurons of the silkworm using patch-clamp
electrophysiology. Bath-application of asperparaline A (10 µM) had no
effect on the membrane current, but when delivered for 1 min prior to
co-application with 10 µM acetylcholine (ACh), it blocked completely the
ACh-induced current that was sensitive to mecamylamine, a nicotinic
acetylcholine receptor (nAChR)-selective antaogonist. In contrast, 10 µM
asperparaline A was ineffective on the γ-aminobutyric acid- and
L-glutamate-induced responses of the Bombyx larval neurons. The
fungal alkaloid showed no-use dependency in blocking the ACh-induced response
with distinct affinity for the peak and slowly-desensitizing current amplitudes
of the response to 10 µM ACh in terms of IC50 values of 20.2
and 39.6 nM, respectively. Asperparaline A (100 nM) reduced the maximum neuron
response to ACh with a minimal shift in EC50, suggesting that the
alkaloid is non-competitive with ACh. In contrast to showing marked blocking
action on the insect nAChRs, it exhibited only a weak blocking action on chicken
α3β4, α4β2 and α7 nAChRs expressed in Xenopus
laevis oocytes, suggesting a high selectivity for insect over
certain vertebrate nAChRs.
Few randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with large numbers of patients have been conducted to date in patients with biliary tract cancer, and standard chemotherapy has not been established yet. In this article we review previous studies and clinical trials regarding chemotherapy for unresectable biliary tract cancer, and we present guidelines for the appropriate use of chemotherapy in patients with biliary tract cancer. According to an RCT comparing chemotherapy and best supportive care for these patients, survival was significantly longer and quality of life was significantly better in the chemotherapy group than in the control group. Thus, chemotherapy for patients with biliary tract cancer seems to be a significant treatment of choice. However, chemotherapy for patients with biliary tract cancer should be indicated for those with unresectable, locally advanced disease or distant metastasis, or for those with recurrence after resection. That is why making the diagnosis of unresectable disease should be done with greatest care. As a rule, pathological diagnosis, including cytology or histopathological diagnosis, is preferable. Chemotherapy is recommended in patients with a good general condition, because in patients with general deterioration, such as those with a performance status of 2 or 3 or those with insufficient biliary decompression, the benefit of chemotherapy is limited. As chemotherapy for unresectable biliary tract cancer, the use of gemcitabine or tegafur/gimeracil/oteracil potassium is recommended. As postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy, no effective adjuvant therapy has been established at the present time. It is recommended that further clinical trials, especially large multi-institutional RCTs (phase III studies) using novel agents such as gemcitabine should be performed as soon as possible in order to establish a standard treatment.
Biliary tract cancer; Systemic chemotherapy; Adjuvant chemotherapy; Guidelines
The principal management of acute cholecystitis is early cholecystectomy. However, percutaneous transhepatic gallbladder drainage (PTGBD) may be preferable for patients with moderate (grade II) or severe (grade III) acute cholecystitis. For patients with moderate (grade II) disease, PTGBD should be applied only when they do not respond to conservative treatment. For patients with severe (grade III) disease, PTGBD is recommended with intensive care. Percutaneous transhepatic gallbladder aspiration (PTGBA) is a simple alternative drainage method with fewer complications; however, its clinical usefulness has been shown only by case-series studies. To clarify the clinical value of these drainage methods, proper randomized trials should be done. This article describes techniques of drainage for acute cholecystitis.
Acute cholecystitis; Cholecystostomy; Drainage; Percutaneous; Endoscopy; Acalculous cholecystitis; Guidelines
The aim of this article is to propose new criteria for the diagnosis and severity assessment of acute cholecystitis, based on a systematic review of the literature and a consensus of experts. A working group reviewed articles with regard to the diagnosis and treatment of acute cholecystitis and extracted the best current available evidence. In addition to the evidence and face-to-face discussions, domestic consensus meetings were held by the experts in order to assess the results. A provisional outcome statement regarding the diagnostic criteria and criteria for severity assessment was discussed and finalized during an International Consensus Meeting held in Tokyo 2006. Patients exhibiting one of the local signs of inflammation, such as Murphy’s sign, or a mass, pain or tenderness in the right upper quadrant, as well as one of the systemic signs of inflammation, such as fever, elevated white blood cell count, and elevated C-reactive protein level, are diagnosed as having acute cholecystitis. Patients in whom suspected clinical findings are confirmed by diagnostic imaging are also diagnosed with acute cholecystitis. The severity of acute cholecystitis is classified into three grades, mild (grade I), moderate (grade II), and severe (grade III). Grade I (mild acute cholecystitis) is defined as acute cholecystitis in a patient with no organ dysfunction and limited disease in the gallbladder, making cholecystectomy a low-risk procedure. Grade II (moderate acute cholecystitis) is associated with no organ dysfunction but there is extensive disease in the gallbladder, resulting in difficulty in safely performing a cholecystectomy. Grade II disease is usually characterized by an elevated white blood cell count; a palpable, tender mass in the right upper abdominal quadrant; disease duration of more than 72 h; and imaging studies indicating significant inflammatory changes in the gallbladder. Grade III (severe acute cholecystitis) is defined as acute cholecystitis with organ dysfunction.
Acute cholecystitis; Diagnosis; Severity of illness index; Guidelines; Infection
Biliary decompression and drainage done in a timely manner is the cornerstone of acute cholangitis treatment. The mortality rate of acute cholangitis was extremely high when no interventional procedures, other than open drainage, were available. At present, endoscopic drainage is the procedure of first choice, in view of its safety and effectiveness. In patients with severe (grade III) disease, defined according to the severity assessment criteria in the Guidelines, biliary drainage should be done promptly with respiration management, while patients with moderate (grade II) disease also need to undergo drainage promptly with close monitoring of their responses to the primary care. For endoscopic drainage, endoscopic nasobiliary drainage (ENBD) or stent placement procedures are performed. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have reported no difference in the drainage effect of these two procedures, but case-series studies have indicated the frequent occurrence of hemorrhage associated with endoscopic sphincterotomy (EST), and complications such as pancreatitis. Although the usefulness of percutaneous transhepatic drainage is supported by the case-series studies, its lower success rate and higher complication rates makes it a second-option procedure.
Cholangitis; Endoscopic sphincterotomy; Biliary drainage; Percutaneous; Endoscopy; Endoscopic cholangiopancreatography; Guidelines
This article discusses the definitions, pathophysiology, and epidemiology of acute cholangitis and cholecystitis. Acute cholangitis and cholecystitis mostly originate from stones in the bile ducts and gallbladder. Acute cholecystitis also has other causes, such as ischemia; chemicals that enter biliary secretions; motility disorders associated with drugs; infections with microorganisms, protozoa, and parasites; collagen disease; and allergic reactions. Acute acalculous cholecystitis is associated with a recent operation, trauma, burns, multisystem organ failure, and parenteral nutrition. Factors associated with the onset of cholelithiasis include obesity, age, and drugs such as oral contraceptives. The reported mortality of less than 10% for acute cholecystitis gives an impression that it is not a fatal disease, except for the elderly and/or patients with acalculous disease. However, there are reports of high mortality for cholangitis, although the mortality differs greatly depending on the year of the report and the severity of the disease. Even reports published in and after the 1980s indicate high mortality, ranging from 10% to 30% in the patients, with multiorgan failure as a major cause of death. Because many of the reports on acute cholecystitis and cholangitis use different standards, comparisons are difficult. Variations in treatment and risk factors influencing the mortality rates indicate the necessity for standardized diagnostic, treatment, and severity assessment criteria.
Gallstones; Biliary; Bile; Biliary infection; Cholangitis; Acute cholecystitis; Guidelines
There are no evidence-based-criteria for the diagnosis, severity assessment, of treatment of acute cholecysitis or acute cholangitis. For example, the full complement of symptoms and signs described as Charcot’s triad and as Reynolds’ pentad are infrequent and as such do not really assist the clinician with planning management strategies. In view of these factors, we launched a project to prepare evidence-based guidelines for the management of acute cholangitis and cholecystitis that will be useful in the clinical setting. This research has been funded by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, in cooperation with the Japanese Society for Abdominal Emergency Medicine, the Japan Biliary Association, and the Japanese Society of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery. A working group, consisting of 46 experts in gastroenterology, surgery, internal medicine, emergency medicine, intensive care, and clinical epidemiology, analyzed and examined the literature on patients with cholangitis and cholecystitis in order to produce evidence-based guidelines. During the investigations we found that there was a lack of high-level evidence, for treatments, and the working group formulated the guidelines by obtaining consensus, based on evidence categorized by level, according to the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine Levels of Evidence of May 2001 (version 1). This work required more than 20 meetings to obtain a consensus on each item from the working group. Then four forums were held to permit examination of the Guideline details in Japan, both by an external assessment committee and by the working group participants (version 2). As we knew that the diagnosis and management of acute biliary infection may differ from country to country, we appointed a publication committee and held 12 meetings to prepare draft Guidelines in English (version 3). We then had several discussions on these draft guidelines with leading experts in the field throughout the world, via e-mail, leading to version 4. Finally, an International Consensus Meeting took place in Tokyo, on 1–2 April, 2006, to obtain international agreement on diagnostic criteria, severity assessment, and management.
Cholangitis; Cholecystitis; Charcot’s triad; Reynold’s pentad; Biliary drainage
Unusual cases of acute cholecystitis and cholangitis include (1) pediatric biliary tract infections, (2) geriatric biliary tract infections, (3) acalculous cholecystitis, (4) acute and intrahepatic cholangitis accompanying hepatolithiasis (5) acute biliary tract infection accompanying malignant pancreatic-biliary tumor, (6) postoperative biliary tract infection, (7) acute biliary tract infection accompanying congenital biliary dilatation and pancreaticobiliary maljunction, and (8) primary sclerosing cholangitis. Pediatric biliary tract infection is characterized by great differences in causes from those of adult acute biliary tract infection, and severe cases should be immediately referred to a specialist pediatric surgical unit. Because biliary tract infection in elderly patients, who often have serious systemic conditions and complications, is likely to progress to a serious form, early surgery or biliary drainage is necessary. Acalculous cholangitis, which often occurs in patients with serious concomitant conditions, such as those in intensive care units (ICUs) and those with disturbed cardiac, pulmonary, and nephric function, has a high mortality and poor prognosis. Cholangitis accompanying hepatolithiasis includes recurrent pyogenic cholangitis, an epidemic disease in Southeast Asia. Biliary tract infections, which often occur after a biliary tract operation and treatment of the biliary tract, may have a fatal outcome, and should be carefully observed. The causes of acute cholangitis associated with pancreaticobiliary maljunction differ before and after operation. Direct cholangiography is most useful in the diagnosis of primary sclerosing cholangitis. If cholangiography visualizes a typical bile duct, differentiation from acute pyogenic cholangitis is easy. This article discusses the individual characteristics, diagnostic criteria, treatment guidelines, and prognosis of these unusual types of biliary tract infection.
Cholangitis; Acute cholecystitis; Pediatric biliary tract infection; Geriatric biliary tract infection
Acute pancreatitis represents a spectrum of disease ranging from a mild, self-limited course to a rapidly progressive, severe illness. The mortality rate of severe acute pancreatitis exceeds 20%, and some patients diagnosed as mild to moderate acute pancreatitis at the onset of the disease may progress to a severe, life-threatening illness within 2–3 days. The Japanese (JPN) guidelines were designed to provide recommendations regarding the management of acute pancreatitis in patients having a diversity of clinical characteristics. This article sets forth the JPN guidelines for the surgical management of acute pancreatitis, excluding gallstone pancreatitis, by incorporating the latest evidence for the surgical management of severe pancreatitis in the Japanese-language version of the evidence-based Guidelines for the Management of Acute Pancreatitis published in 2003. Ten guidelines are proposed: (1) computed tomography-guided or ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration for bacteriology should be performed in patients suspected of having infected pancreatic necrosis; (2) infected pancreatic necrosis accompanied by signs of sepsis is an indication for surgical intervention; (3) patients with sterile pancreatic necrosis should be managed conservatively, and surgical intervention should be performed only in selected cases, such as those with persistent organ complications or severe clinical deterioration despite maximum intensive care; (4) early surgical intervention is not recommended for necrotizing pancreatitis; (5) necrosectomy is recommended as the surgical procedure for infected pancreatic necrosis; (6) simple drainage should be avoided after necrosectomy, and either continuous closed lavage or open drainage should be performed; (7) surgical or percutaneous drainage should be performed for pancreatic abscess; (8) pancreatic abscesses for which clinical findings are not improved by percutaneous drainage should be subjected to surgical drainage immediately; (9) pancreatic pseudocysts that produce symptoms and complications or the diameter of which increases should be drained percutaneously or endoscopically; and (10) pancreatic pseudocysts that do not tend to improve in response to percutaneous drainage or endoscopic drainage should be managed surgically.
Necrotizing pancreatitis; Infected pancreatic necrosis; Sterile pancreatic necrosis; Pancreatic abscess; Pancreatic pseudocyst
Gallstones, along with alcohol, are one of the primary etiological factors of acute pancreatitis, and knowledge of the etiology as well as the diagnosis and management of gallstones, is crucial for managing acute pancreatitis. Because of this, evidence regarding the management of gallstone-induced pancreatitis in Japan was collected, and recommendation levels were established by comparing current clinical practices with optimal clinical practices. The JPN Guidelines for managing gallstone-induced acute pancreatitis recommend two procedures: (1) an urgent endoscopic procedure should be performed in patients in whom biliary duct obstruction is suspected and in patients complicated by cholangitis (Recommendation A); and (2) after the attack of gallstone pancreatitis has subsided, a laparoscopic cholecystectomy should be performed during the same hospital stay (Recommendation B).
Gallstone pancreatitis; Emergency endoscopy; Laparoscopic cholecystectomy
The basic principles of the initial management of acute pancreatitis are adequate monitoring of vital signs, fluid replacement, correction of any electrolyte imbalance, nutritional support, and the prevention of local and systemic complications. Patients with severe acute pancreatitis should be transferred to a medical facility where adequate monitoring and intensive medical care are available. Strict cardiovascular and respiratory monitoring is mandatory for maintaining the cardiopulmonary system in patients with severe acute pancreatitis. Maximum fluid replacement is needed to stabilize the cardiovascular system. Prophylactic antibiotic administration is recommended to prevent infectious complications in patients with necrotizing pancreatitis. Although the efficacy of the intravenous administration of protease inhibitors is still a matter of controversy, there is a consensus in Japan that a large dose of a synthetic protease inhibitor should be given to patients with severe acute pancreatitis in order to prevent organ failure and other complications. Enteral feeding is superior to parenteral nutrition when it comes to the nutritional support of patients with severe acute pancreatitis. The JPN Guidelines recommend, as optional measures, blood purification therapy and continuous regional arterial infusion of a protease inhibitor and antibiotics, depending on the patient’s condition.
Acute pancreatitis; Conservative management; Antibiotics; Nutritional support; Protease inhibitor
The diagnosis of acute pancreatitis is based on the following findings: (1) acute attacks of abdominal pain and tenderness in the epigastric region, (2) elevated blood levels of pancreatic enzymes, and (3) abnormal diagnostic imaging findings in the pancreas associated with acute pancreatitis. In Japan, in accordance with criteria established by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, the severity of acute pancreatitis is assessed based on the clinical signs, hematological findings, and imaging findings, including abdominal contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Severity must be re-evaluated, especially in the period 24 to 48 h after the onset of acute pancreatitis, because even cases diagnosed as mild or moderate in the early stage may rapidly progress to severe. Management is selected according to the severity of acute pancreatitis, but it is imperative that an adequate infusion volume, vital-sign monitoring, and pain relief be instituted immediately after diagnosis in every patient. Patients with severe cases are treated with broad-spectrum antimicrobial agents, a continuous high-dose protease inhibitor, and continuous intraarterial infusion of protease inhibitors and antimicrobial agents; continuous hemodiafiltration may also be used to manage patients with severe cases. Whenever possible, transjejunal enteral nutrition should be administered, even in patients with severe cases, because it seems to decrease morbidity. Necrosectomy is performed when necrotizing pancreatitis is complicated by infection. In this case, continuous closed lavage or open drainage (planned necrosectomy) should be the selected procedure. Pancreatic abscesses are treated by surgical or percutaneous drainage. Emergency endoscopic procedures are given priority over other methods of management in patients with acute gallstone-associated pancreatitis, patients suspected of having bile duct obstruction, and patients with acute gallstone pancreatitis complicated by cholangitis. These strategies for the management of acute pancreatitis are shown in the algorithm in this article.
Acute pancreatitis; Algorithm; Guidelines; Decision-making; Evidence-based medicine