New England Archives - PulmCCM
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New England Articles

Dec 212014
 
Ischemic stroke: Interventional treatment + alteplase = new standard of care? (MR CLEAN)

In the early 1990s, the clot-busting drug alteplase (intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator or rTPA) revolutionized stroke treatment when it was shown to significantly increase the chances of a good outcome after ischemic stroke when given in the first 4.5 hours since symptom onset. But alteplase is not a miracle drug. In a meta-analysis of 9 randomized trials, rTPA improved [… read more]

Oct 142014
 
Total parenteral nutrition vs enteral nutrition: no difference in critically ill? (CALORIES trial)

Feeding patients enterally (nasogastric or nasojejunal tube feedings) has been the standard of care for critically ill patients, based on weak evidence that it reduces infection rates; hence the adage “feed the gut, if you can.” That last caveat is included because so many critically ill patients have gastric motility impairment (with inability to achieve [… read more]

Oct 102014
 
Transfusion for hemoglobin above 7 g/dL: no benefit in septic shock (TRISS Trial)

Blood transfusions have been a central component of protocols for care of severe sepsis and septic shock, ever since the single-center 2001 Rivers trial included them in its interventions. Any benefit (or harm) caused by red cell transfusion independently was unknowable, and so the therapy became standard care as part of the so-called sepsis bundle. The Surviving [… read more]

Oct 052014
 
Are traditional protocols for goal directed therapy for sepsis dead? (ARISE trial)

Update: As astute commenters have mentioned below, and as I stated in our post on the ProCESS trial, protocols of some kind could still have a place in the care of sepsis if they ensure more rapid recognition and thorough treatment. Accordingly, I changed the headline to clarify that it’s only traditional sepsis protocols to which I refer, not the [… read more]

Sep 122014
 

All the best in the pulmonary and critical care medicine literature from our ongoing journal survey. Browse all the PulmCCM Roundups to stay up to date. Thrombolytics for Pulmonary Embolism: New Metaanalysis Most patients with massive pulmonary embolism (PE with shock) should receive thrombolytics, but it’s unclear from randomized trial data which patients with submassive pulmonary embolism [… read more]

Aug 162014
 
Which cancer patients need prophylaxis for DVT and pulmonary embolism?

People with cancer have the highest rates of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). However, the risk of venous thromboembolism varies widely by cancer type and between patients. Daily anticoagulant use can reduce the risk of DVT and pulmonary embolism, but at a cost of increased bleeding risk, patient inconvenience and discomfort, and cost. [… read more]

Jul 202014
 
PulmCCM Roundup #5

The PulmCCM Roundup gathers all the best in pulmonary and critical care from around the web.  Browse all the PulmCCM Roundups. Statins Fail for COPD, ARDS Statins have been optimistically tested as a tonic for everything from diabetes to dementia — so far, without success. That consistency was maintained in 2 recent trials showing statins’ [… read more]

Jun 272014
 
Azithromycin for COPD exacerbations: 2014 Update

Azithromycin to Prevent COPD Exacerbations: What’s New? By Abhishek Biswas, MD Multiple previous studies have suggested likely benefits from using azithromycin as an immunomodulator for cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, diffuse panbronchiolitis, post-transplant obliterative bronchiolitis and COPD. This month, a new Cochrane analysis and clinical review in JAMA concludes that “continuous macrolide antibiotic use for prophylaxis [is] associated with a [… read more]

Jun 262014
 
CPAP better than oxygen for obstructive sleep apnea

About half of people diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can’t or won’t use the most effective therapy, overnight continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Most people with untreated OSA experience multiple episodes of hypoxemia — sometimes hundreds per night. For many patients declining CPAP treatment, their doctors provide overnight oxygen, in the hope that it might [… read more]

Jun 082014
 
PulmCCM Roundup #4

All the best in pulmonary and critical care from around the web. Browse all the PulmCCM Roundups. Asthma Childhood obesity increases the risk for asthma, and obesity is also strongly associated with asthma in adults. The mechanisms are likely multiple, complex and interdependent (pro-inflammatory mediators, etc.), not simply causative. Losing weight does seem to improve [… read more]

May 302014
 
N-acetylcysteine: no benefit in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

NAC for IPF: Fail (PANTHER-IPF Wrap-Up) Long ago, when pulmonologists were more ingenuous (in 2000), flawed clinical trials convinced the American Thoracic Society to recommend prednisone and either azathioprine or cyclophosphamide in its consensus guideline for some patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). By not including a true control arm, the also-flawed follow-up 2005 IFIGENIA trial reinforced this [… read more]

May 272014
 
Nintedanib protects lung function, prevents exacerbations of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (INPULSIS)

In 2011 PulmCCM reported the findings of the phase 2 TOMORROW study, showing Boehringer Ingelheim’s tyrosine kinase inhibitor code-named BIBF 1120 reduced lung function decline and prevented exacerbations in people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). At the 2014 American Thoracic Society annual meeting and in the New England Journal of Medicine, investigators announced their latest [… read more]

May 232014
 
Pirfenidone prolongs survival, preserves lung function in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (ASCEND)

For idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis treatment pirfenidone, the third time wasn’t the charm; the fourth was. After reducing decline in forced vital capacity over one year in a Japanese trial of 275 IPF patients, pirfenidone went one-and-one in the multinational CAPACITY trials (n=779), meeting the primary outcome of FVC preservation in one but not the other. [… read more]

May 162014
 
How to provide nutrition for critically ill patients (Review)

Nutritional Support During Critical Illness This PulmCCM topic review will be periodically updated and expanded as new research is published. Originally published 22 September 2013. Most recent update: 16 May 2013. During critical illness, catabolism (breakdown of muscle protein, fat and other complex molecules) occurs faster than anabolism (synthesis of these same macromolecules). Historically, the [… read more]

Apr 182014
 
Thrombolytics (tPA) improve intermediate risk PE outcomes, with a few head bleeds (PEITHO Trial)

The use of thrombolytics for pulmonary embolism is not controversial — that is, if the PE is massive with hypotension (give thrombolytics) or mild, with normal blood pressure and right ventricular function (don’t give them). It’s the patients with intermediate risk pulmonary emboli — with normal blood pressure but with evidence of right ventricular dysfunction [… read more]

Apr 132014
 
Albumin for severe sepsis and septic shock: More confusing findings (ALBIOS Trial)

Source: KP Albumin: Better Than Crystalloid in Septic Shock? Human albumin boosts oncotic pressure, and has a number of important biologic functions (protein binding, antioxidant, etc.) that could in theory support the body during critical illness. In the 2004 SAFE study, which tested albumin against crystalloid solutions in ~7,000 critically ill patients of various etiologies, 4% [… read more]

Mar 292014
 
No benefit from higher mean arterial pressure in most with septic shock

In Septic Shock, Goal of MAP > 65 mm Hg Remains Standard by Abhishek Biswas, MD In the 13 years since Rivers et al published their seminal paper that established “early goal directed therapy” for sepsis as the standard of care, treatment for severe sepsis and septic shock have evolved dramatically. Newer research questions the wisdom [… read more]

Mar 212014
 
Early goal directed therapy does not improve outcomes in septic shock (ProCESS)

Can we finally “Just Say No” to the mandatory use of central venous catheters and central venous saturation in severe sepsis and septic shock? by Muhammad Adrish, MD In a single center study published in 2001, Rivers et al reported that patients with severe sepsis and septic shock had significantly lower mortality (30.5% vs 46.5%) [… read more]

Mar 162014
 
Bleeding and Coagulation Disorders in the ICU (Review)

Because coagulopathies (an impairment of blood clotting), thrombotic states, and bleeding are all interrelated through the coagulation cascade, and because they occur often in critically ill patients, it makes sense to consider these bleeding and clotting disorders together. That’s what Beverly Hunt did in a review in the February 27 2014 New England Journal of [… read more]

Mar 082014
 
Community Acquired Pneumonia (Review)

Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is “ordinary” pneumonia, usually (but not always) caused by one of a short list of pathogens susceptible to common antibiotics. Pneumonia remains one of the main reasons for hospital admissions, and causes an estimated 3.5 million deaths yearly, including more than 50,000 in the U.S. Catching pneumonia also increases the risk for [… read more]