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Medical History Edit
Jack had seen 17 doctors who could not diagnose his conditions. Jack has been treated with antibiotics, but his fever and abdominal pain got worse. Clostridium difficile had been ruled out, as had kidney failure from diabetes mellitus. The fever and pain had been increasing in intensity, and Jack also suffered from dehydration, diarrhea and weight loss. He had not been camping and his only trip outside of the United States was to Canada.
Case History Edit
Jack's father came to Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital and demanded that Dr. House be put on his son's case. However, as Dr. House still hadn't received his medical license, Dr. Cuddy instructed Dr. Foreman that although Dr. Foreman would still be the attending, Dr. House would make all the decisions. Dr. Foreman resisted as this would leave him professionally liable for any mistake made by Dr. House. However, Dr. House started with a full physical and medical history.
During the examination, Dr. Cameron found an abnormality when palpitating his abdomen, but Jack didn't suffer any discomfort when pressure was placed on it. Jack was suffering from constipation and a new x-ray showed his large intestine was almost completely impacted although previous x-rays had not.
The new symptom pointed to Hirschsprung’s disease. They planned a barium enema and biopsy to confirm. After treatment, the next x-ray showed a clear colon, the patient's pain subsided and his appetite returned. They were just waiting for the biopsy results to confirm.
However, when Dr. Cameron re-examined Jack's abdomen, she noted it felt normal but looked bigger. Suddenly, Jack became unresponsive. Dr. Foreman noted that his right eye was fixed, indicating lateral rectus palsy. He realized Jack was having a seizure and ordered 5 mg of diazepam. Dr. Foreman ordered the lights turned off so he could get a look at Jack's optic disc. Dr. Cameron noted that his heart rate was rising. Dr. Foreman noted that the optic disc was swollen indicating intracranial hypertension. He ordered 20 mg of intravenous furosemide and 500 mg of intravenous phenytoin. Dr. Cameron objected but Dr. Foreman noted that given his hypertension, if they did not relieve it, his brain could herniate. Dr. Cameron administered 50 mg. Dr. Foreman told the nursing staff to page Dr. Chase to meet them in the operating room and they rushed Jack there to drill burr holes. As the phenitonen didn't seem to be working, Dr. Foreman ordered 3 mg of pancuronium to paralyze the patient then intubation and hyperventilation. The father consented to the surgery. Once the burr hole was drilled, the seizure stopped and the intracranial pressure dropped. Dr. Foreman admitted he had no idea why Jack had the seizure.
Jack didn't have another seizure and a cytological examination of his sub-dural matter showed no abnormalities. However, fluid was also building up in his abdominal cavity, which enlarged it. It clearly wasn't a side effect of the enema or biopsy because he had no headaches or change in mental status. A shunt had been inserted to drain the fluid. Dr. Chase thought it must be a systemic infection. However, Dr. House noted the patient had been on intravenous antibiotics for a week. However, Dr. Foreman saw that the fluid buildup in the brain was unusual. Normally, it builds up in a tapered layer. The fact that it didn't indicated the dural layer had separated from the brain before the fluid buildup. This indicated brain cancer and Dr. House ordered a biopsy of the dura.
Dr. Cameron assured the father that brain cancer would be treatable. However, the biopsy came back negative. The CT Scan was also clear. However, Dr. House still thought it was cancer, but of the stomach - adenocarcinoma. It would cause pain, constipation and nutritional deficiencies that could cause seizures. It also wouldn't show up on the CT Scan. Dr. Foreman ordered an endoscopy and more biopsies and the father was informed.
During the biopsy, Jack had another seizure. Dr. Chase terminated the procedure and administered diazepam. However, Jack's intracranial pressure remained normal and the shunt was functioning.
They managed to stop the seizures, but Jack din't regain consciousness. There were no signs of masses in his stomach or the lining of his esophagus. He was still accumulating fluid in his brain and abdomen. Dr. House noted that every time they looked for the cause of the fluid build up, Jack had a seizure. Although he didn't know if the procedures caused the seizures, he knew something was setting them off. The biopsy did show a localized partially occluded artery, but no inflammation. This appeared to rule out cancer. Dr. Chase still thought it was an infection, but one that was antibiotic resistant. However, Dr. House noted that blood cultures, viral serology and ANA were all negative for infections. Dr. Cameron thought that he might have epilepsy. The original seizures were limited to his abdomen and were mistaken for abdominal pain. They didn't become severe until they spread to his motor cortex. Protein malnutrition would account for the fever. Dr. House and Dr. Foreman agreed it was their best idea and started the patient on gabapentin and keep him on continuous monitoring.
However, the EEG ruled out abdominal epilepsy. In addition, Jack had developed red spots all over his chest. Dr. Foreman thought the spots might be an allergic reaction to the medication, but Jack had not received any new medicine in the 8 hour period before the spots appeared. Dr. Cameron thought it had to be lupus complicated by vasculitis. However, vasculitis would cause a stiff neck and would have shown up on the biopsy of the dura. Dr. Chase suggested polyarteritis nedosa - there was some inflammation in his skin biopsy and his diastolic blood pressure was slightly elevated. Although the evidence was weak, Dr. House suggested prednisone and a biopsy of his testicles, where inflammation would be more likely. However, just as Dr. Foreman ordered the procedure, Dr. House asked if the rash was on his penis. D.r Cameron noted that it was. Dr. House realized that they hadn't noticed the inflammation because it was only affecting the small blood vessels. However, this ruled out polyarteritis. He thought it had to be Degos disease, a terminal diagnosis.
Dr. House informed the father the disease was untreatable. They had re-checked the biopsies to confirm. The prognosis was death within one day. However, the father refused to accept the diagnosis. Because he believed that his great wealth was somehow responsible for the bad luck within his family, he signed away his fortune. However, Jack soon had a heart attack. They managed to stabilize him.
However, when House was talking to Dr. Wilson about hearts, he realized something and ordered heparin and immunoglobulin. He realized from the heart attack that the same disease was affecting the vessels in his heart, which are large. This ruled out Degos. The positive biopies showing obstructed blood vessels were the result of primary antiphospholipid syndrome. There was no way to confirm except with treatment.
The father was bankrupted, but Jack soon recovered and was eating again.