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April 2011 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes

A dinner meeting was held at Scottsdale Shea Medical Center on April 12, 2011 from 6:30-8:00 PM. Twenty-seven were in attendance including representatives from the pulmonary and chest radiology communities. Six cases were presented and discussed:

1. Alexis Christie and Rick Helmers presented a case of acute respiratory failure in a 51 year old woman who had an “ARDS”-like picture, an initially negative bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage and a non-specific open lung biopsy. The bronchoalveolar lavage eventually cultured influenza A. Discussion centered on whether the patient should have received corticosteroids.

2. Lew Wesselius presented a 55 year old man evaluated for renal transplant secondary to chronic renal failure from polycystic kidney disease. The patient was asymptomatic but found to have lower lung nodules on CT which were thought to be pulmonary arteriovenous malformations. The patient was referred for embolization. The invasive radiologist identified these as pulmonary varices. No therapy was given. A brief review of pulmonary varices was done by Dr. Wesselius and Mike Gotway discussed the radiographic appearance.

3. Gerald Swartzberg presented a case of a 64 year old woman with a rash on her palms, fever and multiple pulmonary nodules. Cultures and coccidiomycosis serology were negative. The patient was found to have coccidiomycosis on video-assisted thoracic surgery. Discussion centered on the 70% sensitivity of coccidiomycosis serology.

4. Gerald Swartzberg presented a second case of a 55 year old man with dyspnea, a 20 pack-year smoking history, and lower lobe fibrosis. The PFTs were presented which demonstrated a mixed obstructive and restrictive disease with a diffusing capacity of 47% of predicted. Most thought this was a case of COPD with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Management was discussed.

5. John Roehrs presented a case of 52 year old woman with dyspnea with a normal chest x-ray and spirometry. However, on echocardiogram pulmonary hypertension was found with right atrial and ventricular enlargement. A bubble study demonstrated an atrial septal defect. Right-sided cardiac catherization confirmed the elevated pulmonary artery pressure and demonstrated an O2 step up at the atrial level. Discussion centered on therapy with most suggesting cardiology evaluation for a percutaneous closure of the ASD.

6. Christian Jivcu and Manny Mathew presented a case dyspnea of a man who had Hodgkin’s disease in 1987 who had received radiation therapy. CXR revealed bilateral pleural effusions which were exudative. A chest CT scan revealed mediastinal lymphadenopathy. At operation he was found to have mesothelioma which even in retrospect was not recognizable on his CT scan. The patient had no known asbestos exposure. Discussion focused on the association between prior radiation therapy and mesothelioma.

Richard A. Robbins, MD

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