Chapter 8 - Clinical Corner

Mr Johnson, a 75-year-old male, was admitted to the hospital complaining of flu-like symptoms, shortness of breath, and chest pain. He was producing large amounts of mucus that contained blood. On examination, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Mr Johnson’s daughter tells you that her father had TB more than 20 years ago. He was treated for it and has been healthy ever since.

A. What would you tell Mr Johnson’s daughter about his current condition?

B. Should Mr Johnson be put on the antibiotic therapy routinely prescribed for TB?

C. Can you think of any tests that could help in the treatment of Mr Johnson?

Your patient is a 50-year-old white male who has been admitted to the psychiatric ward because of dramatic mood swings and bouts of uncoordinated movements. His speech is also slurred. He has been prescribed medication to stabilize his mood swings. During his admission interview he mentions that he has lived in England for most of his life and has never had any medical problems except for complications associated with a corneal transplant when he was 35 years old.

A. Is there another possible explanation for his condition?

B. How would you test for that possibility?