Friday, January 27, 2012

Tripe palms

Internal cancers such as of the lung and stomach can cause the palms to become thickened and velvety such that they look a lot like tripe, the thick velvety insides of cows, sheep and so forth that make delicious dishes - depending of course on one’s taste - tripe palms.
Tripe palms are not due to the presence of cancer cells in the palms but are the result of substances produced by cancer cells elsewhere in the body or the body’s response to cancerous products which result in the palms becoming thick and velvety.
Although tripe palms are rare, the majority of individuals with tripe palms will have an internal malignancy, thus recognizing tripe palms is important.
Paraneoplastic phenomena such as tripe palms are phenomena due to the presence of cancer cells within the body not directly caused by the local presence or effects of cancerous cells.
Patel A, Teixeiria F, Redington AE. Palmoplantar keratoderma ("tripe palms") associated with primary pulmonary adenocarcinoma. Thorax, 2005 (11):976. Go to reference


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sausage-string appearance

Sudden (acute) hypertension (raised blood pressure) can cause small blood vessels to develop areas of alternating constriction and dilatation making the blood vessels look like sausages on a string – sausage-string appearance. Why this sausaging happens is unclear.
Nonetheless, hypertension has serious complications such as stroke, heart and kidney disease.
Most individuals with hypertension feel well despite ongoing organ damage.
In the absence of an identifiable cause, treatment for hypertension includes weight loss, exercise, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, medication and so forth.
Jacobsen JC, Beierholm U, Mikkelsen R, Gustafsson F, Alstrøm P, Holstein-Rathlou NH. "Sausage-string" appearance of arteries and arterioles can be caused by an instability of the blood vessel wall. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 2002 283(5):R1118-30.

Sausages, complications of hypertension

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mulberry molars

Usually the molars, which are teeth located at the mouth’s back have four cusps (eminences). At times in individuals with congenital (present at birth) syphilis molars develop multiple abnormal rudimentary cusps giving the molars a look not unlike mulberries – mulberry molars.
Congenital syphilis is transmitted from the mother to the fetus during pregnancy across the placenta (vertical transmission) or during birth.
Antibiotics such as penicillin given to the pregnant woman, her baby (and the father) help treat syphilis.
Like HIV, syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection, it is caused by the spiral-shaped bacterium Treponema pallidum.
Besides mulberry molars, congenital syphilis has many other clinical manifestations that involve the skin, blood, bones, brain, kidneys, eyes, ears and so on.
Khetarpal S, Kempf E, Mostow E. Congenital syphilis: early- and late-stage findings of rhagades and dental anomalies. Pediatr Dermatol, 2011 28(4):401-3. Go to reference

Abnormal teeth in syphilis, electron microscope image of Treponema pallidum

Monday, January 2, 2012

Cream of tomato soup

Blood normally contains fats (lipids) which include triglycerides. In the body, fats are important for several reasons, for example, as an energy store and source, as components of cell membranes, insulators and so forth.
Due to genetic or environmental abnormalities or a combination of both abnormalities blood levels of triglycerides can become abnormally increased – hypertriglyceridemia.
On drawing blood from a person with severe hypertriglyceridemia it appears cloudy because of the high concentration of triglycerides; in appearance, the blood resembles cream of tomato soup.
Severe hypertriglyceridemia is associated with increased risk of having heart attack, inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) and other ailments.
Tremblay K, Méthot J, Brisson D, Gaudet D. Etiology and risk of lactescent plasma and severe hypertriglyceridemia. J Clin Lipidol, 2011 5(1):37-44. Go to reference

Tomato soup, triglyceride