How would you answer these 7 most popular clinical questions of 2022 on Pearls4Peers??

Peers,

www.Pearls4Peers.com just turned 7 with 2022 poised to become its best year ever in viewership  (>30,000 views so far)!  To mark this “momentous” occasion, I thought I would share with you, loyal viewers and subscribers, the 7 most viewed posts  of 2022 at its midway point.  Imagine rounding on the wards with your team and someone asks you one or more of these questions.  Take a crack at answering them and compare your answers with those of P4P (Ctrl+Click)! Have fun!

  1. What is the significance of teardrop cells(dacrocytes) on the peripheral smear of my patient with newly-discovered pancytopenia?
  2.  My elderly patient developed a flare-up of her gout few days after receiving covid-19 vaccine. Is there a connection between immunization and gout flare? 
  3. What is the clinical relevance of the “SPICE” organisms? 
  4. What does an “indeterminate” result in QuantiFERON Gold in-Tube Test for latent tuberculosis really mean? 
  5. What is the difference between “moderate” and “high complexity” medical decision making under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rule? 
  6. The urine culture of my female patient with urgency is growing Lactobacillus. Should I treat it?
  7. Why is serum AST levels generally higher than ALT in alcohol-induced liver injury?

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Disclosures: The listed questions and answers are solely the responsibility of the author and do not necessarily represent the official views of Mercy Hospital-St. Louis, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Catalyst, Harvard University, their affiliate academic healthcare centers, or its contributors. Although every effort has been made to provide accurate information, the author is far from being perfect. The reader is urged to verify the content of the material with other sources as deemed appropriate and exercise clinical judgment in the interpretation and application of the information provided herein. No responsibility for an adverse outcome or guarantees for a favorable clinical result is assumed by the author. Thank you!

How would you answer these 7 most popular clinical questions of 2022 on Pearls4Peers??

What is the significance of teardrop cells (dacrocytes) on the peripheral smear of my patient with newly-discovered pancytopenia?

The presence of teardrop cells (dacrocytes) (Figure below) in the peripheral blood, named for their tear drop shape, is a prominent feature of myelophthisic (marrow infiltrative) conditions, including myelofibrosis, hematologic malignancies, cancer metastatic to the bone marrow, and granulomatous diseases. Teardrop cells may also be seen in beta-thalassemia, autoimmune and microangiopathic hemolytic anemia and severe iron deficiency (1-4).

 
When evaluating patients with leucoerythroblastic smears (defined by the presence of early myeloid and erythroid forms), the presence of teardrop cells can be helpful in distinguishing often malignant marrow infiltrative conditions from a benign reactive process.  Conditions where teardrop cells are seen with high frequency may also have extramedullary hematopoiesis, particularly in the spleen (1,2).
The mechanism of teardrop cell formation may be multifactorial but appears to involve distortion of the red cells as they pass through marrow or splenic sinusoids.

 

Teardrop cells resulting from conditions such as cancer metastatic to the bone marrow likely involve primarily a marrow origin of the cells whereas primary myelofibrosis with prominent extramedullary hematopoiesis include a splenic mechanism of teardrop cell formation (2).

 
Supporting the possible splenic contribution to teardrop cell formation is the observation that teardrop cells may be reduced in number or eliminated entirely after splenectomy in patients with myelofibrosis and autoimmune hemolytic anemia (1,4).

Teardrop

Figure. Teardrop cells

References

1. DiBella NJ, Sliverstein MN, Hoagland HC. Effect of splenectomy on teardrop-shaped erythrocytes in agnogenic myeloid metaplasia. Arch Intern Med 1977; 137: 380-381. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/586447
2. Gutgemann I, Heimpel H, Nebe CT. Significance of teardrop cells in peripheral blood smears. J Lab Med 2014; DOI: 10.1515/labmed-2014-0005 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/272430111_Significance_of_teardrop_cells_in_peripheral_blood_smears
3. Korber C, Wolfler A, Neubauer M, Robier Christoph. Red blood cell morphology in patients with β-thalassemia minor. J Lab Med 2016-12-10 | https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311564128_Red_blood_cell_morphology_in_patients_with_b-thalassemia_minor DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/labmed-2016-0052
4. Robier C, Klescher D, Reicht G,Amouzadeh-Ghadikolai O, Quehenberger F, Neubauer M. Dacrocytes are a common morphologic feature of autoimmune and microangiopathic haemolytic anaemia. Clin Chem Lab Med. 2015;53:1073-6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25503671

Contributed by Tom Spitzer, MD, Director of Cellular Therapy and Transplantation Laboratory,  Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA.

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What is the significance of teardrop cells (dacrocytes) on the peripheral smear of my patient with newly-discovered pancytopenia?