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1/97. Pseudoporphyria associated with Relafen therapy.

    Various oral medications including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been associated with pseudoporphyria, although the pathogenetic basis has not been elucidated. A novel NSAID nabumetone (Relafen) has become popular because of its minimal gastrointestinal side effects. Its association with pseudoporphyria is not reported save for its listing in the Physician's Desk Reference (PDR) as a possible side effect. Biopsies of lesional skin from 4 patients manifesting blisters and erosions on the hands and face within 4 months of starting nabumetone were submitted for light microscopic and immunofluorescent (IF) studies. Histories and serology were obtained. Two patients had rheumatoid arthritis (RA), 1 had mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD), and 1 received diltiazem. All 4 had antinuclear antibodies. Characteristic clinical, light microscopic and IF features in the absence of elevated urine porphyrin levels confirmed a diagnosis of pseudoporphyria in all 4 patients. Biopsies in three patients showed features attributed to underlying connective tissue disease (CTD), including ectasia of the superficial vascular plexus, mild leukocytoclastic vasculitis, superficial and deep perivascular lymphocytic infiltrates with dermal mucinosis, granular deposition of IgM along the dermoepidermal junction indicative of a positive lupus band test, and of IgG and C5b-9 within keratinocytes. Nabumetone (Relafen) can provoke pseudoporphyria; an underlying CTD diathesis may be a predisposing factor.
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2/97. Mid-dermal elastolysis associated with Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

    We report the case of a 38-year-old Caucasian female presenting asymptomatic plaques of fine wrinkling and perifollicular papular protrusions especially on the trunk. Histological examination evidenced loss of elastic fibers in the mid-dermis due to elastophagocytosis, with giant cells and granuloma formation. Moreover, elevated titers of thyroid autoantibodies were detected and thyroid ultrasound revealed echo-poor tissue. These findings met the diagnoses of mid-dermal elastolysis and Hashimoto's thyroiditis. This association has not been reported before. We present a comprehensive overview of the literature and discuss the pathogenetic aspects of mid-dermal elastolysis and the significance of the association with Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
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3/97. magnetic resonance imaging in the evaluation of patients with aseptic meningoencephalitis and connective tissue disorders.

    OBJECTIVE: To describe the role of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the evaluation of patients with chronic and recurrent aseptic meningitis. METHOD: A retrospective study of five patients with aseptic meningoencefalitis diagnosed by clinical and CSF findings. CT scans showed without no relevant findings. RESULTS: MRI showed small multifocal lesions hyperintense on T2 weighted images and FLAIR, with mild or no gadolinium enhancement, mainly in periventricular and subcortical regions. meningoencephalitis preceded the diagnosis of the underlying disease in four patients (Behcet's disease or systemic lupus erythematosus). After the introduction of adequate treatment for the rheumatic disease, they did not present further symptoms of aseptic meningoencephalitis. CONCLUSION: Aseptic meningoencephalitis can be an early presentation of an autoimmune disease. It is important to emphasize the role of MRI in the diagnosis and follow-up of these patients.
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4/97. The role of bone scintigraphy in patients with erdheim-chester disease.

    erdheim-chester disease (ECD) is a rare disorder that has been reported fewer than 60 times in the literature. Although clinical findings seem to be specific at first sight, histologic classification remains unclear. It has not been decided whether ECD is part of the spectrum of histiocytoses or whether it may be a lipid storage disorder or even a primary macrophage cell disorder, although it does show a distinct histologic pattern. However, the clinical appearance alone shows several typical features, rendering the diagnosis very probable if present. This article illustrates the importance of bone scanning in ECD, because the scintigraphic pattern of involved skeletal sites may in themselves lead to the diagnosis. Several differential diagnoses are considered. The importance of bone scintigraphy as an imaging method in patients with an unclear diagnosis is discussed, as exemplary in ECD, as is its role for the detection of sites of skeletal involvement in other diseases.
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5/97. thrombosis in patients with connective tissue diseases treated with specific cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitors. A report of four cases.

    Specific inhibitors of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) have been approved for the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Unlike nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, specific COX-2 inhibitors do not inhibit platelet activation. However, these agents significantly reduce systemic production of prostacyclin. As a result, theoretical concerns have been raised that specific COX-2 inhibitors could shift the hemostatic balance toward a prothrombotic state. patients with connective tissue diseases (CTD), who may be predisposed to vasculopathy and thrombosis, often have arthritis or pain syndromes requiring treatment with antiinflammatory agents. Herein we describe 4 patients with CTD who developed ischemic complications after receiving celecoxib. All patients had a history of Raynaud's phenomenon, as well as elevated anticardiolipin antibodies, lupus anticoagulant, or a history compatible with antiphospholipid syndrome. It was possible to measure a urinary metabolite of thromboxane a2 in 2 of the patients as an indicator of in vivo platelet activation, and this was markedly elevated in both. In addition, the patients had evidence of ongoing inflammation as indicated by elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, hypocomplementemia, and/or elevated levels of anti-dna antibodies. The findings in these 4 patients suggest that COX-2 inhibitor-treated patients with diseases that predispose to thrombosis should be monitored carefully for this complication.
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6/97. The Stickler syndrome: case reports and literature review.

    BACKGROUND: Stickler syndrome is a progressive autosomal-dominant connective tissue disorder with numerous ocular and systemic manifestations. Ocular abnormalities include: retinal detachment, glaucoma, premature cataracts, high myopia, optically empty vitreous cavities, and retinal pigmentary changes. Systemic signs include premature osteoarthritis and hearing loss, as well as numerous skeletal and facial malformations, such as maxillofacial hypoplasia and cleft palate. While many affected patients are diagnosed as children who exhibit obvious skeletal abnormalities, diagnosis can be delayed due to variable expressivity. In some cases, systemic problems may be mild or nonexistent. Thus, Stickler syndrome should be considered in the differential diagnosis of any patient who manifests a strong family history of premature cataracts, glaucoma, or retinal detachment. case reports: Three patients representing three different generations within the same family manifested severe ocular manifestations of Stickler syndrome, and minimal systemic involvement: a 56-year-old woman, her 25-year-old son, and the first patient's 8-year-old grandson. CONCLUSIONS: Our cases highlight the need for appropriate vigilance in examining patients with a strong family history of common ocular disorders such as cataract, glaucoma, and retinal detachment. By recognizing the ocular and sometimes subtle systemic signs of Stickler syndrome, optometrists can play a vital role in limiting vision loss and improving the quality of life of affected patients and family members.
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7/97. Musculoskeletal and adipose tissue hydatidosis based on the iatrogenic spreading of cystic fluid during surgery: report of a case.

    Hydatidosis or echinococcosis is a parasitic disease caused by echinococcus granulosus or E. multilocularis, which forms cysts in the liver and lung after penetrating the duodenal mucosa and entering the portal circulation. The liver and lung act as a filter but some embryos enter the general circulation and disseminate throughout the body. Musculoskeletal involvement is a rare manifestation of hydatidosis, which is usually reported to affect a single muscle. We report here a rare case of a 68-year-old man with widespread hydatidosis of the retroperitoneum and the subcutaneous adipose tissue, and with multiple muscle involvement in the absence of liver, lung, and spleen involvement. The patient underwent surgical excision of a subcutaneous hydatid cyst 7 years earlier. It is likely that the large dissemination of parasites resulted from accidental rupture of the primary focus during surgery with consequent release and spreading of scolices via lymphatics.
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8/97. Bibliographical study of the concurrent existence of anticentromere and antitopoisomerase I antibodies.

    Some connective tissue diseases are characterised by specific autoantibodies. Although anticentromere or antikinetochore antibodies (ACA), and antitopoisomerase-I or anti-Scl-70 antibodies (ATA), have disease-specific meanings for systemic sclerosis and its CREST variant, respectively, the clinical significance of their concurrent existence has not been clarified. We investigated this condition in our case and with reference to the literature. For this purpose published reports between 1980 and 1998, where both ACA and ATA were measured simultaneously, were analysed by a medline search. In 10 papers 24 patients had both antibodies. In a further 25 reports, covering 3509 subjects who had either ACA or ATA, no concurrent existence was found. Prevalences of ACA (P(ACA)) and ATA (P(ATA)) in exclusive cases varied from 8.8% to 54.5%, and from 11.8% to 87.5%, respectively, whereas P(ACA) varied from 20.0% to 56.6%, and P(ATA) from 16.8% to 63.7% in the reports with patients positive for both. The actual prevalence of simultaneous presence was between 0.7% and 5.6%, significantly lower than the expected probabilities if both antibodies were to occur independently (p<0.005). In concurrently positive cases visceral involvement was characteristic, especially affecting the vascular system, with deterioration of oesophageal function and cutaneous lesions. We suggest that ATA and ACA do not coexist by chance, and that clinical characteristics with coexistence have a significance for the classification of scleroderma.
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9/97. Clinical manifestation of poems syndrome with features of connective tissue disease.

    The POEMS (polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, monoclonal gammopathy, skin changes) syndrome is a rare plasma cell disease with multiorgan involvement and varying clinical manifestations. We report a 38-year-old man who presented with scleroderma-like skin changes of the hands and feet, sicca and Raynaud's syndrome, pleural effusions, glomerulopathy, polyneuropathy, hepatosplenomegaly and lymphadenopathy. Steroid treatment was started on the assumption of a connective tissue disease and led to a temporary improvement. During the further course of the disease, hypothyreosis, monoclonal gammopathy and osteosclerotic bone lesions were detected, leading to the diagnosis of poems syndrome. This case emphasises the need to consider poems syndrome as a differential diagnosis in patients with signs of connective tissue disease and polyneuropathy.
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10/97. A variant of acrokeratoelastoidosis in systemic scleroderma: report of 7 cases.

    We describe acrokeratoelastoidosis-like lesions on the palms of the patients with systemic scleroderma. histology showed a focal hyperkeratosis with or without epidermal concavity, regular acanthosis, and hyalinization of collagen fibers and, in some cases, fragmentation and diminution of elastic fibers in the deep dermis. A slight degree of fibrotic change of collagen in the uninvolved neighboring skin was found in one case. The lesions were found in 7 of 26 patients with systemic scleroderma who were analyzed here, and were not found in the unrelated connective tissue disorders (n = 32) and normal controls (n = 27). The cause of the unique skin lesions may be related to the altered connective tissue metabolism similar to that of systemic scleroderma.
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