Cardiovascular Disease Articles

Apr 052017
 
Pre-hospital hypothermia hurt, not helped after cardiac arrest

Therapeutic hypothermia after cardiac arrest was almost immediately accepted as standard care in 2002 when two smallish, unblinded randomized trials (n=77 and n=273) showed a significant benefit from hypothermia after out-of-hospital ventricular fibrillation cardiac arrest. Hospitals and their cardiac care units quickly adopted resource-intensive protocols to manage patients’ special needs while being cooled to an icy 33° [… read more]

Mar 022017
 
Therapeutic hypothermia? No benefit in cooling kids after in-hospital cardiac arrest (THAPCA)

Cooling kids to 33ºC after resuscitation from in-hospital cardiac arrest brought no benefits compared to fever prevention (maintenance at 36.8°C), in the large THAPCA randomized trial. After one year, survival was 39% with hypothermia and 36% with management of body temperature in the normal range. There were no differences in neurologic outcomes or any other [… read more]

Jan 112017
 
ICU Physiology in 1000 Words: Hidden Hemodynamics in Respiratory Mechanics

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] Hemodynamic assessment, by any means, demands a shrewd familiarity with mechanical heart-lung interaction.  The two ventricles communicate in series and in parallel; each ventricle’s pressure-volume characteristics and loading conditions pulsate between systole and diastole.  And around the heart and pericardium lies the respiratory pump – the lungs within the thorax [… read more]

Dec 012016
 
ICU Physiology in 1000 Words: The Folly of Pulmonary Vascular Resistance

By Jon-Emile S. Kenny [@heart_lung] When interpreting hemodynamic studies of drugs which – potentially – alter the resistance of the pulmonary vascular tree, we often turn to the calculated pulmonary vascular resistance [cPVR] as our guide.  For instance, a vasopressor determined to increase the cPVR is wholly avoided in a patient with pulmonary arterial hypertension.  We [… read more]

Nov 172016
 
Older transfused blood as good as fresh (INFORM)

What’s the shelf life of human blood? Like the milk in your fridge, stored donated human blood has an expiration date: currently it’s 42 days, set by the FDA. But is fresher blood actually better? As with ordering wine by the glass, should patients about to be transfused blood ask for “whatever was opened most recently”? There’s [… read more]

Nov 112016
 
Methylene Blue: the drug you’ve never used

By Jon-Emile S. Kenny [@heart_lung] “Major Major had been born too late and too mediocre. Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them. With Major Major it had been all three …” -Joseph Heller In my younger days, parked on a bench overlooking Stanley Park, I sought [… read more]

Nov 052016
 
Levosimendan in Septic Shock: the LeoPARDS study

By Jon-Emile S. Kenny [@heart_lung] “I want to be your medicine, I want to feed the sparrow in your heart …” -Kristian Matsson Case A 39 year old woman is admitted to the intensive care unit for hypotension, anuria and altered mentation despite 3 litres of intravenous lactated ringers infusion.  She is febrile and found to [… read more]

Oct 202016
 
Mechanical Circulatory Support Devices: What You Need to Know (Part 2 of 2)

The Rise of Mechanical Circulatory Support Devices What Critical Care Physicians Need to Know Felipe Teran-Merino M.D. Part 2 of 2 (read part 1)   II. Main MCS devices used for emergency and short-term support Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump The oldest and simplest mechanical device is the intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP). Introduced in 1968, the IABP is still used as a [… read more]

Oct 202016
 
Mechanical Circulatory Support Devices: What You Need to Know (Part 1 of 2)

The Rise of Mechanical Circulatory Support Devices What Critical Care Physicians Need to Know Felipe Teran-Merino M.D. Part 1 of 2 (read part 2)   I. The failing pump and hemodynamic rationale for the use of MCS devices The rising field of mechanical circulatory support (MCS) offers a spectrum of therapies and devices with the potential to rescue patients [… read more]

Aug 262016
 
Rising Lactate & the Art of Venous Blood Gas Interpretation

Jon-Emile S. Kenny [@heart_lung] A 23 year old woman is admitted with severe abdominal pain following 5 days of profound non-bloody diarrhea and 72 hours of recalcitrant non-bloody emesis.  She has lost 7 pounds in this time frame and has been unable to maintain oral hydration.  Her eyes are sunken and her vital signs are [… read more]

Jan 212016
 
That Fallible IVC

Jon-Emile S. Kenny [@heart_lung] A 58 year old man with ethanol-related cirrhosis is admitted to the floor with anuria and a rising creatinine.  Over the day, serial ultrasounds of his interior vena cava [IVC] consistently reveal that it is diminutive and collapsing.  He receives many liters of crystalloid without much change in his urine output.  [… read more]

Aug 252015
 
Dabigatran-induced bleeding: antidote (idarucizumab) on the way

New oral anticoagulants like dabigatran, apixaban and rivaroxaban have advantages over warfarin: not requiring regular monitoring for efficacy; faster onset of action; shorter half-lives. Unlike warfarin, they’ve had the significant disadvantage of having no proven antidote for the bleeding that inevitably occurs when any anticoagulant is given to thousands of people. [lawsuits] Boehringer Ingelheim, makers [… read more]

Jul 172015
 
Recurrent PE risk after long-term warfarin therapy remains high (PADIS-PE)

Not long ago, doctors were taught that 6 months of anticoagulation was plenty for patients with unprovoked pulmonary embolism. That standard was never based on long-term outcomes studies. And as longer-range data started to come in — gulp — it was clear that large numbers of people treated with 6-month warfarin courses after unprovoked PE [… read more]

Jul 022015
 
Direct thrombin inhibitors associated with heart attack risk in multiple trials

Direct thrombin inhibitors (DTIs) are anticoagulants (blood thinners) most often used as alternatives to heparin and warfarin. DTIs are approved by the FDA for prevention and treatment of venous thromboembolism (deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism) and to prevent blood clots in people with atrial fibrillation. But multiple randomized trials suggest these widely used anticoagulants might cause heart [… read more]

Mar 272015
 
Endovascular therapy helps in ischemic stroke, again (ESCAPE)

Endovascular Therapy Improves Outcomes from Ischemic Stroke By Parth Rali, MD and Igor Titoff, DO Endovascular therapy for ischemic stroke has long been an attractive treatment modality for ischemic strokes, but until recently large randomized trials have not confirmed a benefit [1,2,3]. Two of these—IMS III1 and SYNTHESIS2—failed to prove the benefit of endovascular therapy (with-or-without tissue plasminogen activator) [… read more]

Mar 192015
 
ICU Physiology in 1,000 Words: The Right Ventricular Afterload (Part 2 of 2)

ICU Physiology in 1000 Words The Right Ventricular Afterload [Part 2 of 2] Jon-Emile S. Kenny M.D. [@heart_lung] Having considered the short-comings of Laplace’s Law and the PVR with respect to the RV afterload in part 1, we will now turn to each of the following in turn: the pulmonary arterial input impedance, a measureable [… read more]

Mar 132015
 
ICU Physiology in 1,000 Words: Right Ventricular Afterload (Part 1 of 2)

ICU Physiology in 1,000 Words: The Right Ventricular Afterload (Part 1 of 2) By Jon-Emile S. Kenny M.D. With my trusted-resident – Dr. Lina Miyakawa – at my side we watched as our patient could not maintain his oxygen saturation above 82%. The patient had terrible aspiration pneumonia superimposed upon horrendous methamphetamine-related pulmonary arterial hypertension [… read more]

Feb 012015
 
ICU Physiology in 1,000 Words: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation by Jon-Emile S. Kenny, MD The first time I performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation [CPR] on a patient was in the emergency department of Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, Canada; it was certainly an indelible moment in my training. As an intern, and especially as medical consult at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, I was [… read more]

Oct 162014
 
ICU Physiology in 1,000 Words: Stroke Volume Variation and the Concept of Dose-Response

Stroke Volume Variation and the Concept of Dose-Response Jon-Emile S. Kenny M.D. Awareness of the undulating pattern of an arterial line tracing is high amongst health professionals in the intensive care unit; certainly this is an aftereffect of a cacophony of studies and reviews pertaining to pulse pressure variation and fluid responsiveness in the operating [… read more]

Sep 052014
 
New 2014 Pulmonary Hypertension guidelines released

The American College of Chest Physicians (unaffiliated with PulmCCM) published its new consensus guidelines in August 2014 for the drug treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). They’re free to view on the Chest website, and well worth a look. Remember that pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is but one small subset (“Group 1”) of the much larger [… read more]