Published on January 4, 2008
CPC #6: Dark Voyage of the Fearless Eagle: CPC #6: Dark Voyage of the Fearless Eagle Khawar Shaikh, MD Fellow, Cardiovascular Diseases Bridging the Gap. Where Clinical and Basic Sciences Meet Karl T. Weber, MD Professor of Medicine Louisa Balazs, MD, PhD Associate Professor of Pathology Slide2: A gentle summer breeze blew across the North Sea as the Fearless Eagle (der Adler), prepared to depart Hamburg in July, 1898. Slide3: This steamer would make its first voyage to East Asia—a nonstop journey to Hong Kong that would take several months. Slide4: Standing at the helm was Captain Tritthart, who barked out instructions to his crew. Slide5: Young Dr. Bernhard Nocht made his way over to the captain. Nocht, a naval physician, would care for the ship’s crew while satisfying his wanderlust to visit distant shores. He reported that rations on board, including citrus fruit from Spain, baked bread, fresh vegetables, and fresh as well as canned meats, had passed his personal inspection. Further, all hired men were fit for the long journey. The arduous 60-day voyage on the high seas proved uneventful and import goods were delivered on time in early September. Slide6: There followed a six-week stay in Hong Kong. The Captain kept the crew mindful of the ship’s time table. Asian exports had to be promptly loaded for the return voyage. As added incentive, he noted that by maintaining schedule the return voyage would reach Germany in time for the Christmas holiday. Slide7: Tritthart also searched for men who could serve as stokers— fueling the ship’s hungry furnace. Slide8: Twenty-three men would ultimately be hired, but only after Bernhard’s physical examination had pronounced them fit. All were of fine physique and Bernhard had found no evidence of communicable illnesses, such as measles, scarlatina, tuberculosis or smallpox; none had body lice, dermal eruptions or were jaundiced and none had cardiac murmurs, ascites, peripheral edema or neurologic deficits. To accommodate their dietary preferences Bernhard ordered crates of dried fish and white rice for the journey to Hamburg. Slide9: The Chinese crew would not begin work until the steamer was back in Hamburg. They therefore would be passengers on this return voyage. By October 16 the Fearless Eagle was back at sea on its way to Hamburg. No illnesses appeared among European or Chinese crews during the uneventful 8-week voyage. By mid-December, and with the ship bsck in its Hamburg port, the Hong Kong-based crew was now actively involved in their physically demanding chores aboard the steamer. Slide10: It was on December 26, that Bernhard found Song Yang and Li Ming had taken ill. Song Yang complained of poor appetite and malaise, nausea and generalized weakness. There was a loss of power in lower extremities with muscular atrophy and with a slow deliberate gait he hobbled about using ropes, hatches or dockhouses to steady himself. He further reported numbness and a prickling sensation to the soles of his feet. Slide11: In recent days, Li Ming had taken ill with swollen facies and legs, a bounding, rapid pulse and neck vein distention. Bernhard arranged for both men to be admitted to a hospital. Li Ming died soon after admission. Captain Tritthart summoned Bernhard to his cabin to ascertain why these men had taken ill. Bernhard reported sadness and surprise at this unexpected turn of events. The Chinese crew were presumptively healthy and each had been carefully examined for illness prior to their hire. Slide12: Food had not spoiled and water tanks were well maintained. The steamer was in good sanitary condition and did not harbor pestilence. If these men had been ill with infection when they came on board in Hong Kong, he could not discern what disease had a latency period of some 70 days and why others had not taken ill. Tritthart and Nocht could only guess at the possibilities, but infection seemed improbable. The Fearless Eagle departed for Boston on December 27. Slide13: Out to sea but a few days, the steamer was engulfed by the first of several hurricane-like storms. The Chinese crew, barefoot and without proper clothing, was not prepared for these adverse conditions. Their exposure to the elements was constant as they traversed the flooded front deck several times daily to reach their living quarters. They frequently suffered upper respiratory infections. Slide14: It was January 8, 1899, two weeks after their departure from Hamburg and 13 weeks since leaving Hong Kong, that Wong Shown reported ill. His legs, face and scrotum were swollen and he noted pains in both calves and chest. Bernhard found Wong to have a rapid but regular, bounding pulse; by percussion there was no evidence of cardiac enlargement. Over ensuing days, compressive dressings proved useful in reducing ankle and leg edema. Slide15: Atrophy of leg and arm muscles became apparent and Wong developed a progressive paralysis of his lower extremities and remained confined to his quarters for the remainder of the journey. Perplexed and frightened, Bernhard struggled to contain his sense of helplessness. Crew members asked him to see Wong San on the evening of January 19. Wong San was the fourth member of the Chinese crew to fall ill, the third with swollen facies and leg edema. Slide16: Pitting edema also involved the abdominal wall and thorax and there was percussion dullness in keeping with bilateral pleural effusions. Over ensuing days Nocht applied compressive leg dressings, warm poultices of aromatic scammony to the chest, while feet were inuncted with oils of cloves and mace mixed with oil of rose. Little seemed to help. His desperation growing, Bernhard turned to a decoction of Sarsaparilla roots in the hopes of dispelling the evil humor through sweat and urine. Slide17: An extract of aloes was used as a cathartic. Despite these efforts, Wong San suddenly collapsed and died the evening of February 1. Yet another crew member, Wong Sui, was stricken on January 29 in the same way as his coworker. His symptoms were less advanced, but his fear overwhelming. Violent storms again appeared to further prolong the journey. On February 8, Wong Sui, his feeble voice barely audible, attempted to speak with fellow crew members as they left guard duty. Slide18: He was found dead in his berth an hour later. Bernhard noted that he had developed marked edema of face, trunk and legs. Between February 16 and mid-March, 1899, five additional members of the Chinese crew would be stricken with the ailment that featured facial and peripheral edema; most had rapid heart rate. All told and since the departure of the Fearless Eagle from Hong Kong on October 16, ten cases had appeared; 5 had not survived. Slide19: By early April and out of desperation, Captain Tritthart arranged for the remainder of the Chinese crew to be placed aboard a steamer bound for East Asia and so ended the epidemic aboard this steamer. Slide20: The 54-day voyage to Boston had taken longer than expected. Exhausted and perplexed, Bernhard Nocht and Captain Tritthart sat down to survey the epidemic and circumstances that had befallen their hardworking Chinese crew. There had been several intrinsic difficulties. First, the crew was reluctant to bring their ailments to attention for fear of retribution. As a result, they only presented when their illness and symptoms were far advanced. Second, they did not trust the European physician. Slide21: Third, detailed clinical evaluation had been hampered by the weather, the crew’s obligatory responsibilities and inadequate quarters for health care. Finally, Bernhard admitted that his understanding of the illness was hindered by limited onboard medical literature. Nocht provided his perspective. He focused on three areas: the crew’s living conditions, the climate encountered during the voyage, and the crew’s nutritional status. Slide22: The men had been provided larger-than-recommended quarters that were well ventilated and this was true for journeys between Hong Kong and Hamburg and Hamburg to Boston. No prior Asian inhabitants had occupied these quarters. Tritthart added it was policy after each 6-week voyage, that living quarters be disinfected; indeed prior to leaving Hamburg in December they had also been painted. They concluded living conditions could not have been contributory. This could not be a “place infection,” an illness endemic to a disease-laden ship. Slide23: The journey between Hamburg and Boston had been prolonged by adverse weather and members of the Chinese crew were not properly clothed and regularly had taken ill with common colds. Could this have made them more susceptible to the illness? Drinking water was considered noncontributory. It was available to all sailors and was replenished during each voyage at ports frequented regularly by many vessels. Slide24: Despite recommendations for a diverse diet, the Chinese crew preferred their own rations that included fish, white rice and various spices. A separate kitchen had provided them privacy and the opportunity to prepare their dietary intake according to custom and preference. Rice purchased for the crew was considered to be of the highest quality. Slide25: The same could not be said for the fish. The crew had preferred half-cooked fish and dried fish. As adverse weather prolonged the voyage, rations became low. Discovery of spoiled fish, which the crew may have consumed, led to prompt disposal. The crew rebuked recommended European fare even though none of the Europeans aboard had taken ill. The importance of fish to the epidemic could therefore not be discounted. What is your diagnosis and what is its causality? Case I & II: Case I & II Song Yang: Poor Appetite, Malaise, nausea, generalized weakness (constitutional) Loss of power in LE, gait abnormality, numbness and prickling sensation in distal extremity (peripheral nerve symptoms) Li Ming : Poor appetite, malaise, nausea, generalized weakness (constitutional) Loss of power in LE, gait abnormality, numbness and prickling sensation in distal extremity (peripheral nerve symptoms) Swelling of face & legs, bounding pulse, neck veins (hyperdynamic circulation and volume overload Rapidly fatal Case III & IV: Case III & IV Wong Shown: Swelling of face & legs (volume overload) Pains in calves & chest Bounding pulse, no cardiomegaly, (hyperdynamic circulation) Progressive paralysis of lower extremities Wong San: Swollen facies + leg edema Bilateral pleural effusion Rapidly fatal Differential diagnosis: Part I: Differential diagnosis: Part I Infectious Processes: Less likely latency of 70 days, no members of the European crew were involved (race specific), Hepatitis: No jaundice, neuropathy Poisoning: Arsenic: Burning of fossil fuels and consumption of food & smoking tobacco treated with Arsenic containing pesticides. Although it can cause peripheral neuritis and quadriplegia and delayed cardiomyopathy – also characteristic are nail/skin changes and other keratin containing tissue changes, vasospasm-black foot Amyloidosis: Peripheral neuritis and heart failure. Rapid course and absence of chronic disease. Race specific. Syphilis, Tertiary with AR and Tabes dorsalis (sporadic, healthy at screening) Chronic alcoholism Differential Diagnosis: Part II: Differential Diagnosis: Part II Storage diseases: Muscle glycogenosis (phosphorylase kinase defficiency) etc. Mucopolysaccharidosis Mitochondrial diseases industrial agents--especially solvents heavy metals (lead, arsenic, mercury, etc.) Nutritional deficiencies: White rice, dried fish Thiamine: Thiamine "There is present in rice polishings a substance different from protein and salts, which is indispensable to health and the lack of which causes nutritional polyneuritis" Christian Eijkman and Gerrit Grijns, 1906 Thiamine: Thiamine Thiamine diphosphate (pyrophosphate), serves as a co-enzyme for several reactions that cleave C-C bonds, e.g., oxidative decarboxylation of alpha-keto acids (pyrovate & Leucine, isoleucine, & reactions in pentose monophosphate pathway. Many features of thiamine deficiency are result of inhibition of these enzymatic pathways or accumulation of their metabolites. Thiamine has specific role in neurons independent of metabolism.Thiamine & its esters are present in axonal membranes & electrical stimulation of nerves effect hydrolysis & release of thiamine diphosphate and triphosphate. Thiamine: Thiamine Vitamin is wide spread amongst a number of food sources esp. vegetables, outer layers of cereal grains (hence machine milled rice is a poor source), it is present in animal sources as phosphate esters. A substantial loss of vitamin takes place during cooking above 100°C. Requirements increase in pregnancy, lactation, thyrotoxicosis and fever. Accelerated loss may occur with diuretic therapy, dialysis, diarrhea, malabsorption states, alcoholism, chronic malnutrition & folate deficiency BeriBeri: BeriBeri Two major manifestations of Th. Def. involve cardiovascular system (wet beriberi) & nervous system (dry beriberi). A typical patient has mixed symptoms involving both cardiovascular and nervous system, relative preponderance of these symptoms is related to duration and severity of deficiency. Severe physical exertion, high carbohydrate intake & moderate chronic defficiency favor wet beriberi, whereas an equal deficiency with caloric restriction & relative inactivity favors development of dry beriberi. Cardiovascular manifestations: Cardiovascular manifestations Three major physiologic derangements are seen. Peripheral vasodilatation leading to a high output state. Retention of sodium and water leading to edema. Biventricular myocardial failure. Cardiovascular manifestations: Cardiovascular manifestations Acute fulminant cardiovascular (Shoshin) beriberi, myocardial lesion is the central feature of a course in which dyspnea, restlessness, and anxiety eventuates into acute cardiovascular collapse & death within hours to days. Physical findings include stocking-glove cyanosis, tachycardia, marked cardiomegaly, hepatomegaly, arterial bruits & neck vein distention. Because of fulminant course edema may be minimal. Thiamine administration may restore BP but low output failure may supervene during treatment. Neurologic Involvement: Neurologic Involvement Three forms of nervous system involvement occur. Peripheral neuropathy, Wernicke’s encephalopathy (cerebral beriberi) & the Korsakoff syndrome. The neuropathy may or may not be painful characterized by a symmetric impairment of sensory, motor and reflex function that affects predominantly the distal parts of limbs. Histologic lesion is a non-inflammatory degeneration of myelin sheaths. There is no meaningful clinical distinction between this and alcoholic neuropathy. Treatment: Treatment Drug Category: Vitamins -- Organic substances required by the body in small amounts for various metabolic processes. Vitamins may be synthesized in small or insufficient amounts in the body or not synthesized at all, thus requiring supplementation. Drug Name Thiamine hydrochloride (Thiamilate) -- Essential coenzyme that combines with ATP to form thiamine pyrophosphate. Dosage forms include a parenteral injection (l00 mg/mL) and tablets. Sarsaparilla: Sarsaparilla Sarsaparilla is the dried root of Smilax ornata, Hook. f. (N.O. Smilaceae), a climbing plant growing in Costa Rica. Action and Uses.—Sarsaparilla is used in the treatment of chronic rheumatism, skin diseases, and in syphilis. It is extremely doubtful whether it exerts any action in these conditions, and its chief use is as a vehicle for the administration of mercury and potassium iodide. Thiamine deficiency: Thiamine deficiency Macroscopic and microscopic considerations External examination: External examination Mild malnutrition Anasarca Dilated neck large vessels Pupils have even diameter Normal antero-posterior thoracic diameter Protruding abdomen Atrophic lower extremity musculature Internal examination: Internal examination Hydrothorax (bilateral, straw-colored transudate, 300 ml) Hydropericardium (150 ml clear, transudate) Ascites (1000 ml, clear, straw-colored) Cardiomegaly, hepatosplenomegaly Cardiovascular system: Cardiovascular system Heart: normal to severely enlarged Dilated right and left ventricles Globular shape (four-chamber dilation) Pale flabby myocardium Mural thrombi in atria Cardiovascular system: Cardiovascular system Patent coronary arteries No evidence of myocardial infarct No aortic and peripheral arteriosclerosis Microscopy: mild myocardial hypertrophy Negative for necrosis or fibrosis No evidence of myocarditis and cardiomyopathy Cardiomegaly and biventricular dilation: Cardiomegaly and biventricular dilation Heart - hypertrophy and ventricular dilation: Heart - hypertrophy and ventricular dilation Myocardium, H&E stain: Myocardium, H&E stain Respiratory system: Respiratory system Tracheal and bronchial mucosa covered by frothy fluid Smooth and glistening pleural surface Heavy, dark-purple lung parenchyma Negative for consolidation Homogeneous dark purple cut surface Brownish fluid on pressure Acute pulmonary congestion : Acute pulmonary congestion Pulmonary edema: Pulmonary edema Pulmonary edema: Pulmonary edema Acute pulmonary edema, severe: Acute pulmonary edema, severe Chronic passive pulmonary congestion: Chronic passive pulmonary congestion Gastrointestinal system/liver: Gastrointestinal system/liver Petechial hemorrhage of gastric and bowel mucosa Hepatomegaly (2500 gr), dark brown and yellow cut surface, nutmeg pattern, no evidence of cirrhosis Microscopy: central vein dilation, centrilobular hepatocytic atrophy, severe sinus congestion Liver - congestion: Liver - congestion Liver - centrilobular severe congestion: Liver - centrilobular severe congestion Liver - acute congestion: Liver - acute congestion Spleen - splenomegaly: Spleen - splenomegaly Central and peripheral nervous system: Central and peripheral nervous system Slightly thinned gyri and deep sulci Mamillary body, periventricular thalamus, fourth ventricular floor and anterior cerebellar petechial hemorrhage Lower extremity nerves: hemorrhage, demyelination and axonal degeneration Adult peripheral nerve - Toluidine blue stain : Adult peripheral nerve - Toluidine blue stain Peripheral nerve - demyelination: Peripheral nerve - demyelination Peripheral neuron - axonal degeneration: Peripheral neuron - axonal degeneration Recent hemorrhage - mamillary body: Recent hemorrhage - mamillary body Mamillary body - recent petechial hemorrhage: Mamillary body - recent petechial hemorrhage Syndromes of thiamine deficiency: Syndromes of thiamine deficiency Polyneuropathy (dry beriberi) Cardiovascular syndrome (wet beriberi) Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome Polyneuropathy: Polyneuropathy Symmetric, nonspecific peripheral neuropathy Demyelination Disruption of axons involving motor, sensory and reflex arcs (toe drop, foot drop, wrist drop) Cardiovascular manifestation: Cardiovascular manifestation Peripheral vasodilation Rapid arteriovenous shunting of blood High output cardiac failure (severe congestion of internal organs) Peripheral edema (hydrothorax, hydropericardium, ascites) Heart may be normal or enlarged Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome: Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome Protracted severe deficiency Usually affects alcoholics in developed countries Symptoms: ophthalmoplegia, nystagmus, ataxia of gait, mental function derangement Korsakoff psychosis: retrograde amnesia, inability to acquire new information, confabulation Involvement of nervous system: Involvement of nervous system Dilated capillaries Prominent endothelial cells Capillary leak - hemorrhage Infiltration by macrophages Cystic spaces with hemosiderin-laden macrophages Thiamine metabolism: Thiamine metabolism Absorbed from the gut Phosphorylation: follows absorption, thiamine pyrophosphate is formed which is a functionally active coenzyme form of vitamin B1 Functions of thiamine pyrophosphate: Functions of thiamine pyrophosphate Regulates oxidative carboxylation of alpha-keto acids, leading to the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate Acts as a cofactor for transketolase in a pentose phosphate pathway Maintains neural membranes and normal nerve conduction (little-understood manner) Thiamine deficiency: Thiamine deficiency Underdeveloped countries: scant diet is mostly composed of polished rice Developed countries: chronic alcoholism (one-fourth of cases), pernicious vomiting of pregnancy or debilitating illnesses, protracted diarrhea Subclinical form may be manifested by refeeding or intravenous glucose therapy Slide73: An illness, known as Kakke (disease of legs), was endemic to China at the turn of the century, particularly at such ports as Kiang-Chow, Foo Chow and Hong Kong. In 1897, 10,000 cases would appear among Hong Kong’s 250,000 inhabitants. It was prevalent throughout East Asia, including the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. In Indonesia it was called beri-beri (BB); beri refers to weakness; the duplication used to accentuate meaning (very weak). Slide74: Its origins were debated for many years. The Chinese felt BB was caused by a gaseous poison that originated from the earth. Feet, in contact with earth, were therefore first affected. Pasteur’s germ theory and the emergence of microbiology as a discipline in the latter part of the 19th century, led many to believe a disease could only be caused by a positive agent (e.g., infecting organism or toxin). While theories varied a variety of organisms were held responsible for BB. Studies did not support one another; each touted a new organism. Slide75: Diet was considered of lesser importance. Its relevance slowly gained credence from several parts of the world. Atjeh, Dutch East Indies, 1874. To combat BB, prevalent amongst the Dutch East Indian fleet, native sailors had their predominant rice diet modified to include European food stuffs. A marked decline in incidence followed. In 1875 several of the fleets’ ships traveled to New Guinea. Slide76: During the voyage the crew reverted back to native rations. Many of those who remained behind maintained the European diet. Only those who resumed their rice diet during the voyage or those who refused to switch over to the varied diet in Atjeh developed BB. Thereafter, a European diet became compulsory ration for the fleet and as Van Leent reported in 1880, BB had disappeared from warships. Slide77: Tokyo, Japan, 1882. Kanehiro Takaki, a medical officer in the Japanese Navy, emphasized the importance of diet in preventing BB. His hypothesis: too little nitrogenous substances, too much carbohydrate. He convinced a skeptical Japanese admiralty to initiate dietary reforms. Voyages would provide more fresh meat and vegetables; barley would occasionally be substituted for rice. In 5 years BB was eliminated from the Japanese Navy. Takaki would later become an Admiral. Slide78: Java, Dutch East Indies, 1883. Christiaan Eijkman (ik-man), a microbiologist, went to Java to find the organism responsible for BB. He made an accidental discovery. Slide79: Domestic fowl fed surplus cooked rice from the wards of the military hospital developed a BB-like neuritis. Early polyneuritis is shown here. Slide80: Late polyneuritis in chickens is depicted here. Eijkman termed this illness in chickens polyneuritis gallinarum. When these chickens were returned to their usual low-grade, uncooked rice diet, they recovered. He was unable to demonstrate chicken to chicken transmission and could not induce the illness in chickens given blood or body fluids taken from affected humans. Slide81: In contrast to unmilled rice which retained its bran coat, Slide82: the rice used in the hospital kitchen was milled and referred to as polished or white rice. Slide83: During milling, such as seen here, the polished grains’ outer bran coating was removed. Slide84: Chickens became an animal model vital to the study of BB, including the isolation and identification of BB-preventing substance. A. G. Voderman, a colleague of Eijkman, surveyed several hundred thousand prisoners in 101 Java and Madeira prisons in 1885 testing the bran coat hypothesis. An astounding difference in the incidence of BB was observed depending on whether prisoners were served polished or unpolished rice. Both Eijkman and Voderman, victims of their microbiology training, searched for responsible microorganisms. Slide85: In 1912, Casimir Funk would present results of his epidemiologic and experimental studies that would identify the importance of minute quantities of substances found in food stuffs in preserving normal metabolism and human nutrition. He termed these substances vitamins. Absence of a vitamin from the diet led to a new concept—consumption of a ration lacking a definitive chemical substance could lead to a disease of deficiency. Slide86: The clinical presentation of BB was related to the degree and duration of the dietary deficit: milder cases were associated with polyneuritis (dry BB); more severe cases included cardiac involvement and serous effusions (wet BB). An acute fulminant form included dyspnea, palpitation and chest pain. Heavy muscular work together with a chronic deficiency of moderate severity and high carbohydrate intake, as likely was the case in the Hong Kong crew, favors the appearance of wet BB. A chronic deficiency with caloric restriction and inactivity favors dry BB. Slide87: Manila, Philippines, 1909. Edward Vedder’s studies had shown that rice polishings contained a specific BB-preventing substance and which therefore was lacking in white rice. Slide88: Robert Williams, a chemist, came to work with Vedder and was given the task of further characterizing and isolating the substance. Williams returned to the States in 1915 and would pursue his quest for many years. In 1927 the vitamin was isolated in pure form by Jansen and Donath and in crystalline form by Williams and coworkers in 1933. Slide89: Soon after World War II, and the vicious fighting between U.S. and Japanese armies at Bataan, Slide90: Juan Salcedo would demonstrate that BB could be prevented Slide91: in this Peninsula of the Philippines, by artificial enrichment of rice with this vitamin, termed B1 or thiamine.