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Rare genetic disease found in SZ
Latest Updated by 2007-03-19 20:47:02
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Rare genetic disease found in SZ

A young Shenzhen man was confirmed be suffering from a rare genetic disease which has resulted in the cross-positioning of his internal organs, Saturday's Daily Sunshine reported.

Xu Yixiao, a 21-year-old migrant from Jiedong in eastern Guangdong, is suffering from Kartagener's Syndrome, a genetic disorder combining three major symptoms. These include chronic enlargement of the bronchial tubes, chronic inflammation of the lining of the sinuses, and abnormal cross positioning of the internal organs during prenatal development.

"I first thought there's something wrong with the X-ray machine. But after verifying with my colleagues at the X-ray room, I realize his body organs are in opposite positions compared with normal people," the Daily Sunshine quoted Xie Yuancai, a doctor at Beijing University Shenzhen Hospital (BUSH), as saying.

"I've heard about this disease but never met a patient before," Xie said.

"It's more astonishing to find that Xu is what we call a 'mirror man,' whose heart is in the right of his chest and who has three leaves of lungs on the left but two on the right. The positioning of his stomach and liver are also opposite to a normal person. His blood vessels, and other organs are also in different positions."

"I've been a doctor for more than 10 years and it's the first such case I came upon," he said.

Xu told the newspaper said that he had an idea his case was a special one.

"It's not the first time I was asked to retake an X-ray exam. Doctors could not detect my heartbeat in physical checkups and they often thought there's something wrong with me."

Xu, who migrated to Shenzhen in 2002, now lives in Longhua, Bao'an District.

"I knew my conditions clearly first in year 2000. Before that, I only knew I am different. Doctors would tell me my organs are positioned differently whenever I took an X-ray," the young man said.

"A doctor who gave me a physical back at high school was astonished to hear no heartbeat in my left chest. He then called all his colleagues to come over and confirm his judgment. I've often been asked to take ECG twice, which cost me quite a sum," he said.

Because of the disease, Xu suffers regular bouts of fever, sore throat and acute pain in the chest, which forced him to give up sports in high school.

"A doctor told me that I could fare better if my organs had been restored to normal positions immediately after birth," he said.

Doctors at the BUSH will operate on his his week to remove part of his infected lungs. He will be discharged from hospital in 10 days if things go smoothly.

"Without the operation, chronicle infection in the lungs might cost his life," Xie said.

"Though I am uneasy about an operation, I will venture upon the chance to rid of the chronicle pains," Xu said.

The syndrome, which occurrs in one out 32,000 people, does not have side effects apart from infection in the respiratory system.

Editor: Donald

By: Source: Szdaily web edition
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