Innapropriate shock delivered by implantable defibrilator

N. Feller, J.-B. Le Polain de Waroux, S. Marchandise, C. Barbraud, Ch. Scavée Published in the journal : September 2015 Category : Cardiology

We report two cases of patients receiving inappropriate shocks delivered by an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). The device malfunction was related to rapid atrial tachycardia in one patient and defibrillation lead defect in the other. With the expansion of ICD implantation, this inappropriate shock problem has increased gradually over the past years and has thus become a noticeable concern today. Inappropriate shocks usually cause psychological distress in the patient and are associated with increased mortality and morbidity. Furthermore, the majority of lead defects may be detected on ICD control before inappropriate shocks occur. Lead defect problems can hardly ever be resolved conservatively, usually requiring an invasive approach.

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Diabetes in Belgium and worldwide: quo vadis?

M. Buysschaert, S. Sadikot Published in the journal : January 2016 Category : Diabetes and Nutrition

Diabetes mellitus is a major health problem for at least two main reasons: the disease's epidemic evolution and the risk of chronic, hyperglycemia-related complications. This article aims at emphasizing the worldwide health problem of (pre)diabetes, while presenting approaches in order to better control the disease and its consequences.

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A rare cause of painful peripheral edema

C. Jonard, J.-B. Nicolas Published in the journal : September 2015 Category : General Internal Medicine

Many conditions may cause painful edema of one or more extremities. Eosinophilic fasciitis (EF), also called Shulman syndrome, is an uncommon one, evolving into sclerodermoid cutaneous infiltration, associated with peripheral blood eosinophilia. EF is a fibrotic disease of muscle fascia and skin, whose etiology remains unclear. Several pathophysiological mechanisms have nevertheless been proposed, the major component being an imbalance between extracellular matrix production and degradation. Visceral involvement is uncommon. EF may be associated with blood disorders, which determine its prognosis. The diagnosis is confirmed by elliptical full-thickness incisional biopsy of skin and subcutaneous tissues down to the muscle surface. EF is most likely underdiagnosed due to its rarity and its similarities with other conditions, such as systemic sclerosis. The typical first-line treatment is systemic corticosteroid therapy tapered over several months. Cortico-resistant and severe-onset forms require adding another immunomodulatory agent. In this case report, we describe a typical presentation of EF, highlighting the diagnostic difficulties posed by this uncommon pathology. Based on a literature review, we also recall its underlying pathophysiological mechanisms, along with the diagnostic and therapeutic steps.


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Denial of pregnancy and neonaticide: a poorly understood association. A clinical case report

A. Josset, Ch. Reynaert Published in the journal : January 2016 Category : Ethics

Mrs. H., aged 44 years, was unaware of her pregnancy when giving birth to a child in her bathroom, all by herself. She panicked and pressed the newborn against her chest just before fainting. When she regained consciousness shortly thereafter, her baby had died. The court sentenced her to prison for 10 years. This case is rather rare, yet far from being exceptional. Similar incidents have been reported in the past, some of these neonaticide mothers being found not guilty at trial. The vast majority of mothers did not have any apparent psychiatric disorder. The literature is inconsistent as to whether these women share similar characteristics or not.

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