Cases Network – Image of the month

July 17, 2009

Every month we select an image from Cases Journal or the Journal of Medical Case Reports (JMCR) that we feel is that little bit extra special.

Below is our choice for this month:

Metastatic tubulopapillary renal cell carcinoma (TPRCC)

Metastatic tubulopapillary renal cell carcinoma (TPRCC)

The patient in this case was diagnosed with tubulopapillary renal cell carnicoma (TPRCC) – the second most common histologic subtype of kidney cancer. On first presentation, the tumour was confined to the pelvis, but two years later, he presented with this rapidly growing mass, located on the midline anterior chest wall. A biopsy of the mass confirmed the diagnosis of metastatic TPRCC.

After three months of treatment, the patient also developed severe headaches and blurred vision and was diagnosed with choroidal metastasis. Choroidal metastiasis from TPRCC is currently very exceptional.

The authors recommend a high index of suspicion and adequate investigation of patients with visual complaints and history of renal carcinoma.

For all the clinical details, read the full case report here.

Title: “Choroidal metastasis from tubulopapillary renal cell carcinoma: a case report”

Authors: Ibrahim Elghissassi, Hanane Inrhaoun, Nabil Ismaili and Hassan Errihani

To see a selection of our previous ‘Image of the month’ choices, visit our facebook site here.

EmailFor your chance to nominate a case report for the ‘Image of the month’, simply email us at:


New journal website features

July 9, 2009

We are constantly making improvements to our journal websites in order to give our readers and authors an easy-to-use site.

Our technical team are currently working on redesigning the journal pages to give them a more modern look, so watch this space!

In the meantime, a couple of additions you may find useful:

1) Sharing articles – on all published articles you will see a ‘Share” button at the top right which lets you share and discuss the article to your friends and colleagues. Hover over this button and you’ll see the option to share the article via Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed and others or to add to your social bookmarks using Delicious, Google and others. You can also use the button to print the article or email it to a friend.

2) RSS feeds – an easy way to keep up to date with all the latest case reports. Simply click the orange RSS logo on the journal browse pages to receive all the latest articles delivered straight to your desktop via your RSS reader.

Let us know what other features you’d like to see!

Morgellons disease, illuminating an undefined illness

July 2, 2009

Morgellons disease, illuminating an undefined illness: a case seriesMorgellons disease is a physical human illness with life-altering effects that, although described in various forms for over 300 years, is still surrounded by confusion and controversy. Morgellons is fast becoming a major condition in the 21st century, with over 13,000 people from the U.S. and 15 other countries registered on the ‘Morgellons Research Foundation‘ website.

The term “Morgellons” was first used in 1674 to describe the unusual dermal condition of a child. It has since then shifted predominantly to adults and is largely characterized by the presence of skin lesions and “extruding fibres”.

Morgellons disease (MD) has been linked with many theories and conspiracies since it first appeared on the Internet in 2002. These range from parasites to a chemical spill, a failed government experiment and even to alien abductions.

Given the growing use of the label “Morgellons disease”, characterizing the illness using verifiable clinical data seems an imperative first step for clinicians, with the aim of improving diagnosis consistency. Representing the first formal description of MD from detailed examination of all body systems, this week William T Harvey and colleagues published their case series in the Journal of Medical Case Reports (JMCR).

The quantification of physical and laboratory abnormalities in this article, allows the creation of a practical clinical boundary to distinguish probable Morgellons from non-Morgellons patients. Although presumed as a delusional phenomenon for decades, the factual data obtained in this case series, support the argument that Morgellons manifest formally as a skin condition, an immune deficiency state and a chronic inflammatory process.

During peer-review, reviewers considered that this new case series “provides solid ground for debate and discussion… which will surely benefit patients with these symptoms” and is an “excellent paper that is recommended strongly”. So to read the full details the case series, click here, or visit the JMCR home page.

Have you treated patients who have presented with self-diagnosed Morgellons disease? Have you seen symptoms similar to those described in Harvey’s cases? We would love to hear your comments – simply click below. If you have experience of this in the clinic and would like to publish a case report, then view our instructions for authors.

Videos from “Celebrating case reports, the stories in healthcare”

July 1, 2009

If you missed out on Cases Network’s meeting “Celebrating case reports, the stories in health care” at the Royal College of Physicians last month, you can catch up on our speakers’ talks as the videos are now online.

It was a fascinating conference, and we were delighted to have such great speakers taking part and sharing their views and experiences of medical case reports.

The sessions sparked lively debate on the day, and we hope you will continue the discussion in the comments below.

Thanks again to all our speakers and delegates for making it such an interesting and memorable day!

Elizabeth Slade, Publisher

New discount scheme for publishing your cases

June 25, 2009

As open access journals, Cases Journal and Journal of Medical Case Reports ask authors to pay an article-processing charge if their case is accepted for publication. This enables authors’ work to be freely and universally accessible to the worldwide medical community immediately on publication.

We are pleased to offer a new Pre-Pay scheme for authors which will reward repeat authors with a discount on the article-processing charge.

  • Receive a 10% discount for Pre-Pay of 3 to 9 case reports
  • Receive a 15% discount for Pre-Pay of 10 or more case reports

Our new scheme is already proving popular – contact us to find out how you or your institution can take part!

Elizabeth Slade, Publisher

PS: remember, GPs can publish their first case for free!

Cases Network – Image of the month

June 17, 2009

We have been running the feature ‘Image of the month’ on our facebook site for some time and now we are expanding to include these images on our blog site.

Every month we select an image from Cases Journal or the Journal of Medical Case Reports (JMCR) that we feel is that little bit extra special.

Below is our choice for this month:

Spontaneous corneal melting during pregnancy: a case report

Spontaneous corneal melting during pregnancy: a case report

This figure shows the split lamp appearance of both eyes of a patient in the midterm of pregnancy.

Although the underlying mechanisms remain to be clarified, this case report demonstrates that physiological changes during pregnancy might lead to devastating corneal complications, such as corneal melting, in high-risk women with compromised corneas.

For all the clinical details, read the full case report here.

Title: “Spontaneous corneal melting during pregnancy: a case report”

Authors: Joo Youn Oh, Mee Kum Kim, Joong Shin Park, Won Ryang Wee

To see a selection of our previous ‘Image of the month’ choices, visit our facebook site here.

EmailFor your chance to nominate a case report for the ‘Image of the month’, simply email us at:

GPs – share your experience for free

June 1, 2009

A new special offer starts today for GPs and family physicians – publish your first case report with Cases Network for free.

We want to encourage family doctors to share their experience and let others learn from these consultations, and so prevent the knowledge of the thousands of daily primary care consultations from being lost.  Journal of Medical Case Reports and Cases Journal provide a forum for GPs to publish and pass on their valuable experience. We are interested in any case that you feel someone else could learn from – no matter how big or small that lesson.

By waiving the usual article-processing charge for each family doctor’s first case we hope to show how useful it can be for GPs to write and publish a case report. As Cases Journal‘s Editor, Richard Smith, recently wrote in the British Journal of General Practice, “‘ordinary doctors’, who have no incentive to write and publish and so usually don’t, will gain something valuable for themselves from the act of writing”, and goes on to quote Atul Gawande, the Boston surgeon  saying “I  found I needed to write …Because medicine is a retail enterprise, because doctors provide their services to one person after another it can be a grind. You can lose your larger sense of purpose. But writing lets you step back and think through a problem … Most of all, by offering your reflections to an audience, even a small one, you make yourself part of a larger world.

We hope that GPs worldwide will take us up on our offer and try publishing their own cases. Everyday cases are very welcome in Cases Journal, with the more unusual and important cases being published in Journal of Medical Case Reports. All cases are peer reviewed and indexed in PubMed, as well as our own forthcoming searchable database of case reports.

Submit your case today

To claim your free publication, simply request a waiver when you submit your case report online, stating where you practice as a family physician, and confirming that it is your first case report published with Cases Network. The usual article-processing charge of £199 for Cases Journal or £499 for the more selective JMCR allows the case report to be open access – freely available to all with no subscription fee.

Submit your case today to share your experience – we believe every person, every case, can teach us something.

Cases Network: The inside story – peer review 2

May 22, 2009

Following our look at the peer-review process for Cases Journal last week, now it’s time to see how it works in the Journal of Medical Case Reports (JMCR). Here you can find out exactly what is happening when a manuscript is under review.

When a manuscript is correctly formatted for JMCR, we will assign a suitable Associate Editor (AE) from our editorial board. Our AEs have a very important role in JMCR. We aim to invite an AE who specialises in the medical field relevant to the manuscript.  For JMCR we require two reviewer reports on a manuscript before a first decision is made. We ask the AE to suggest up to five appropriate peer-reviewers to assess each submission and they sometimes provide one of the two required reports themselves.

Reviewers are invited to complete a short online report. After logging in to our website reviewers confirm their ability to review and can download the manuscript. They are asked first to identify what the ‘type’ of case report is, for example, ‘unexpected or unusual presentations of a disease’ or ‘an unexpected event in the course of observing or treating a patient’. This helps us to check that each manuscript meets the criteria for JMCR.

There are then 10 quick yes/no questions (a few more than in Cases Journal) to answer:

Thinking1. Has the case been reported coherently?

2. Is the case report authentic?

3. Is the case report ethical?

4. Is there any missing information that you think must be added before publication?

5. Is this case worth reporting?

6. Is the case report persuasive?

7. Does the case report have explanatory value?

8. Does the case report have diagnostic value?

9. Will the case report make a difference to clinical practice?

10. Is the anonymity of the patient protected?

Reviewers can then provide additional comments for the authors. The reviewer is also asked to provide a statement declaring whether or not they have any competing interests.

After completing the review form and leaving any useful comments to the authors, the reviewer finally selects a recommendation for the next step:

1. Accept submission

2. Revisions required

3. Resubmit for review

4. Resubmit elsewhere

5. Decline submission

6. See comments

When two review reports have been completed for a manuscript, if any revisions are suggested by the peer-reviewers, their comments are sent to the corresponding author to allow them to submit a revised manuscript. Following this resubmission, the assigned AE is asked to make the first decision:

1. Accept

2. Send back to reviewers’ for re-review

3. Reject

Peer review decisions*Author tip* – Reviewers’ comments are very valuable to us when making editorial decisions. Be sure to address any issues they raise when revising a manuscript and explain any changes that you make, either using notes within your manuscript or in a separate cover letter.

Re-reviews, AE decisions and author revisions continue until the AE is either happy to accept the manuscript or unfortunately has to recommend that the manuscript is unsuitable for JMCR.

When an AE recommends accepting a manuscript, it is then forwarded to one of our five Deputy Editors (DE). We work very closely with the DEs and rely greatly on their contribution to the editorial process. The DE is responsible for providing a final decision: a) Accept and publish; b) Reject; c) Reject and transfer to Cases Journal; d) Major revisions; e) Minor revisions. With option (c), a manuscript can be transferred directly for publication in Cases Journal without the need for any further review.

Peer review decisions

*Author tip* – If your submitted manuscript is declined from JMCR, remember Cases Journal, where your case may be more appropriate for publication.

When this thorough review process is complete, manuscripts are passed on to a member of the editorial team for formatting and every manuscript is professionally copyedited.

Before being passed on to our production team, all manuscripts are viewed by the Editor-in-Chief, Professor Michael Kidd, to ensure that every publication in JMCR is over the best possible quality.

To find out about the final production stages before publication of manuscripts in Cases Journal and JMCR, keep watching our blog for the next in our ‘Inside Story’ series.

Cases network: The inside story

Lindsay Dytham and Richard Sear

Editorial Assistants – Cases Network

Cases Network awards – congratulations to our winners

May 20, 2009

Richard Smith, Editor-in-Chief of Cases Journal, announced the winners of the first Cases Network Awards at our meeting “Celebrating case reports, the stories in health care” on Friday.

Dr Antonio Oliva, from Rome, was at the meeting to personally accept his award for ‘Most important report of an adverse drug reaction’, for his paper ‘Fatal injection of ranitidine: a case report‘.

Dr Oliva’s case describes a patient’s anaphylactic reaction to treatment with this common drug.

The other winners announced were:

Best contribution from a patient


Cases Network: Best contribution from a patient award

A woman living with osteoarthritis: a case report by Jane Richardson, Christian Mallen and Helen Burrell.

As well as being listed as an author of the case, Helen Burrell is the patient the case focuses on, and she contributed some of her poems about living with osteoarthritis as the ‘Patient’s perspective’ section of the case.

Greatest potential impact on clinical practice

The first report of human illness associated with the Panola Mountain  Ehrlichia species: a case report by Will Reeves, Amanda Loftis, William Nicholson and Alan Czarkowski from the United States Department of Agriculture.

Best case from general practice

Preventing long term relapsing tinea unguium with topical anti-fungal cream: a case report by Bruce Arroll and Amanda Oakley

Our congratulations to all the winners for their excellent contributions to our journals!

Congratulations also to the runners-up:

Greatest impact on clinical practice

First isolation of two colistin-resistant emerging pathogens, Brevundimonas diminuta and Ochrobactrum anthropi, in a woman with cystic fibrosis: a case report by Magalie Menuet, Fadi Bittar, Nathalie  Stremler, Jean-Christophe Dubus, Jacques Sarles, Didier Raoult,  Jean-Marc Rolain

Acute syphilitic chorioretinitis after a missed primary diagnosis: a case report
by Claudia Handtrack, Harald Knorr, Kerstin U Amann, Christoph Schoerner,  Karl F Hilgers, Walter Geißdörfer

Fatal fulminant herpes simplex hepatitis secondary to tongue piercing  in an immunocompetent adult: a case report by Shaheen E Lakhan and Lindsey Harle

Most important report of an adverse drug reaction

Cholestatic hepatitis as a possible new side-effect of oxycodone: a case report by Vincent Ho et al

Best case from general practice

Diagnosing a popliteal venous aneurysm in a primary care setting: a case report by Emmanouil K Symvoulakis et al

Cases Network: The inside story – peer review

May 14, 2009

Last time in our ‘Inside story’ blog series, we described what happens when you first submit your case report to our journals and the importance of formatting your manuscript correctly.

So what happens to your manuscript once the formatting is acceptable? This is the time when the peer-review process can begin. This process differs slightly for Cases Journal and Journal of Medical Case Reports, and this week we will concentrate on Cases Journal.

Each correctly formatted manuscript is sent to a member of our editorial board. We pair up the subject of the manuscript to the speciality of the ed board member and invite them to fill out a short online report. After logging into the website the reviewer will be asked to answer 6 simple questions about the manuscript:

1. Is the manuscript understandable?

2. Is it ethical?

3. Is there any information missing?

4. Could this be this first report of its kind?

5. Is it authentic?

6. Comments to authors:

green tick 2*Author Tip* – It is important to note that a manuscript doesn’t have to be the first of its kind in order to be published. Cases Journal will publish any report that is understandable, ethical, authentic, and includes all information essential to its interpretation.

After completing the review form and leaving any useful comments to the author and/or editor, we ask the reviewer to make a suggestion on the next step:

1. Accept submission

2. Revisions required

3. Resubmit for review

4. Decline submission

Once a manuscript is accepted it is passed on to a member of the editorial team for formatting, before being passed onto the production team…. but more about the world of production at a later date.

We’ll be posting again next week to give you the inside story on peer review for Journal of Medical Case Reports.