The most engaging medical cases of 2019


Every day on Figure 1, the world’s largest community of healthcare professionals gathers to learn from one another. To mark the end of the year, our medical team gathered the most engaging cases shared this year. 

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A North American First:

A Cleveland Clinic patient has given birth after receiving a transplanted uterus from a deceased donor, a significant advancement in infertility treatment. Although the pregnancy was considered high-risk, it was notable for its relative normalcy. See the full case

transplanted uterus from a deceased donor,

“The rash progressed quickly to this stage”

A 54-year old woman presented with this targetoid lesion on her right arm which developed a few days ago. She has no other symptoms. She lives in a village in a European country and works as a housemaid. See the full case

She had been drinking up to six cups of liquorice tea per day

A 45-year-old woman presented to her general practitioner with a 4-month history of hot flushes, night sweats and headaches. Physical examination was normal with the exception of an elevated blood pressure of 162/82 mm Hg. Blood tests demonstrated mild hypokalaemia (potassium 3.3 mmol/L). A 12-lead ECG was normal and repeat blood pressure measurement confirmed ongoing hypertension; 150/80 mm Hg. She had been drinking liquorice tea over the preceding 12 months as a substitute for caffeinated tea. See the full case

drinking up to six cups of liquorice tea per day

It felt like a “Dorito chip stuck in his throat”

A 53-year-old male with moderate persistent asthma started to experience cough, wheezing, and shortness of breath. He grabbed his quick relief inhaler (albuterol MDI) from his backpack and took two puffs. He initially felt improvementing in his breathing, but his cough worsened with a feeling of having a “Dorito chip stuck in his throat”. See the full case

swallows coins from inside inhaler

A surprising scan

A 48-year-old patient presented with a weight loss of 30kg in the past six months, abdominal pain, and no bowel movements in 2-3 weeks. The patient had a history of hepatitis C, drug, and alcohol abuse. Imaging revealed a surprising finding. See the full case

gittery colon, lead chips

The Auctioneer

A 22-year-old female presented to the emergency department visibly agitated and performing generalized athetosis-like movements. She was repetitively screaming at the nursing staff “Going once, twice, three times sold!” See the full case


“They’re soft and filled with a gelatinous material”

A 2-year-old healthy female is brought to the emergency department after vomiting these objects. Her family can’t think of any foreign objects that she may have ingested at home. An abdominal exam is normal. See the full case

vomit gel

The patient often forgets the time, but maintains basic ADLs

A 53-year-old female presents with a three-month history of progressive and intractable fatigue. She states that she stopped volunteering because she was too tired to get out of bed two months ago. One month ago, her daughter found her unresponsive on the couch and called EMS. She was diagnosed with possible HSV-1 encephalitis and given steroids and IV acyclovir with only mild improvement. See the full case

faciobrachial dystonic seizures, anti-Lgi1/anti-VGKC autoimmune limbic encephalitis

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