BMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b3412 (Published 25 August 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3412

The chest radiograph of a 90 year old woman taken during her first ever admission to hospital, for ischaemic colitis, showed homogeneous opacification of the left hemithorax. A computed tomography scan revealed complete aplasia of the left lung. Developmental defects of the lung are often associated with congenital malformations in other organ systems and are frequently fatal during the perinatal period. But in this case, the anomaly was isolated and the patient had led an entirely healthy life that included two normal pregnancies (Age and Ageing 2009;38:487, doi:10.1093/ageing/afp057).

Delirium tremens and seizures are among the most severe complications of alcohol withdrawal, and both need prompt treatment. A retrospective study from Sweden found an association with thrombocytopenia and suggests that a platelet count might prove useful in identifying people at risk. Sensitivity was modest at around 70%, but …

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