Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 107

Just when you thought your brain could unwind on a Friday, you realise that it would rather be challenged with some good old fashioned medical trivia FFFF, introducing the Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 107

Question 1

What is the connection between the image and the 2010 earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand?

Reveal the funtabulous answer


The image is of a Japanese octopus pot or trap, known as a “takotsubo”.

The apical ballooning seen in stress cardiomyopathy resembles this, hence the name Takotsubo cardiomyopathy.

Following the earthquakes in Christchurch a total of 27 presentations to the cardiology department there met the criteria for Takotsubo cardiomyopathy.

Question 2

30 year old male presents with a lesion on his dominant hand. What is his most likely profession?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Sheep or Goat farmer

The hand lesion is Orf

Orf is a parapox virus that causes (self-limited) contagious pustular lesions that can take up to ten weeks to resolve.

It is most prevalent in persons with frequent close contact with livestock such as sheep

Question 3

18th Century slave traders would check for Winterbottom sign. What is it and what does it signify?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Neck swelling associated with Trypanosoma infection

Thomas Masterman Winterbottom (1766-1859) noted that slavers would check for a swollen neck – more specifically posterior cervical triangle lymphadenopathy. Known colloquially as ‘nut-disease’, Winterbottom used the term ‘negro lethargy’ but this has thankfully been replaced by Winterbottom sign

This was an indicator of infection with Trypanosoma brucei gambiense (sleeping sickness)

Question 4

How is Zoon’s balanitis often treated?

Reveal the funtabulous answer


Zoon’s balanitis is also known as plasma cell balanitis or balanitis circumscripta plasmacellularis. Described in 1952 by Johannes Jacobus Zoon (1902-1958)

It is though to reflect chronic inflammation and while steroids have been used, circumcision is thought to provide along-term solution.

Question 5

It’s National Jamaica day at work and your ever helpful resident has brought in a crate of Ackee fruit, the national fruit of Jamaica, to celebrate. Three delicious hours later, two of your residents are found vomiting, diaphoretic, stuporous and more importantly…unable to work. Why?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Hypoglycin A

Hypoglycin A (so named for its hypoglycaemic properties) poisoning can occur by eating unripe Ackee fruit.

Hypoglycin is toxic if ingested and is the causative agent of Jamaican vomiting sickness.

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Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five

Medical Registrar fascinated by the quirky history of medicine and those crazy microbes.

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