N Engl J Med Archives - Page 3 of 8 - PulmCCM
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N Engl J Med Articles

Mar 162013
 
High frequency oscillation ventilation fails as 1st-line treatment for ARDS (RCTs)

(image: Wikipedia) High-Frequency Oscillatory Ventilation (HFOV) for ARDS Two Randomized Trials: Early HFOV Doesn’t Help, May Harm High-frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV) has been proposed as a first-line therapy for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). By delivering 3-15 breaths per second of tiny tidal volumes (~70 mL), HFOV has appeal as the “ultimate” lung protective ventilator [... read more]

Mar 132013
 
Weaning from Mechanical Ventilation Update (Review)

Weaning From Mechanical Ventilation Update (See More PulmCCM Reviews) by Brett Ley, MD Nearly 800,000 patients require mechanical ventilation yearly. There’s no doubt it is a life-saving intervention, but it is one that is fraught with the potential for iatrogenesis, especially if continued for longer than necessary. That is the main message of this review in [... read more]

Mar 102013
 
Hope floats: Fecal transplants cure >90% of recurrent C. difficile (RCT)

Fecal Transplants Cure C. difficile Infections, When Drugs Can’t Antibiotics are what cause Clostridium difficile infection to emerge in the first place, so it’s perhaps no surprise that the usual treatment — more antibiotics — often fails. From 15-25% of patients with C. difficile are not permanently cured by their initial treatment with metronidazole, and among those [... read more]

Mar 062013
 
Diuretics beat ultrafiltration at treating congestive heart failure with acute renal failure (RCT)

Ultrafiltration No Better Than Diuresis for CHF Exacerbations by Blair Westerly, MD Cardiorenal syndrome — simultaneous heart failure and renal failure — is a frequently encountered problem in people with acute decompensated heart failure.  Treatment with diuretics for congestive heart failure exacerbations is standard care, but diuretics may at times worsen renal function. Venovenous ultrafiltration [... read more]

Feb 072013
 
Blood transfusion harmful, even deadly, in some patients with GI bleeds (RCT)

Blood Transfusion: Deadly for GI Bleeds? You read the headline right: in a randomized trial published in the January 3 New England Journal of Medicine, liberal blood transfusions (to a hemoglobin of 9 g/dL) seemed to cause the deaths of people with acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding, as compared to transfusing when hemoglobin fell below 7 [... read more]

Jan 062013
 
PANTHER-IPF negative, stopped early for harm from steroids, Imuran in IPF (RCT)

(image: Wikipedia) As we reported a few months ago, the PANTHER-IPF trial was stopped early for safety, when it became clear that the combination of prednisone and azathioprine was hurting people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Ganesh Raghu (U-Washington), Kevin Anstrom (Duke), Talmadge King (UCSF) et al report the final results in the May 24 New [... read more]

Jan 042013
 
Antibiotics (azithromycin) to prevent COPD exacerbations (Review)

(image: Rxhealthdrugs.com) Azithromycin for Prevention of COPD Exacerbations Azithromycin taken daily prevents exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD exacerbations), but seems to also carry risks for cardiovascular death and hearing loss. The true balance of risks and benefits with use of azithromycin to prevent COPD exacerbations is unknown, but physicians who choose to prescribe [... read more]

Jan 032013
 
Inhaled corticosteroids stunt growth of America's youth by a half-inch

Daily Inhaled Steroids Stunt Kids’ Growth, Study Shows If you’re a half-inch shy of six feet, the next time you’re getting your jump shot blocked by your non-asthmatic friend, you can blame the inhaled corticosteroids your Mom made you take as a kid. Studies have consistently showed children’s height slows down for a few years [... read more]

Jan 022013
 
Adding tiotropium (Spiriva) helped some with uncontrolled asthma (RCT)

Spiriva (Tiotropium) for Uncontrolled Asthma Most people with asthma can achieve good control with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and a long-acting beta-agonist (LABA). Some people living with asthma, though, experience persistent symptoms despite maximum doses of these inhaled medications. Fairly or not, LABAs have also been sullied with an FDA black-box warning for worsening bronchospasm in a [... read more]

Jan 012013
 
Hydroxyethyl starch fries kidneys in another large trial (RCT)

Hydroxyethyl Starch (Voluven) Causes Kidney Failure In Large Trial Hydroxyethyl starch (HES) was already wearing a scarlet letter as an potentially dangerous volume resuscitation agent for patients in shock, after evidence emerged this year that hydroxyethyl starch kills people with severe sepsis. Now, another huge, convincing trial shows that hydroxyethyl starch (Voluven) damages kidneys and [... read more]

Dec 302012
 
Azithromycin associated with cardiovascular death

(image: Rxhealthdrugs.com) People taking 5 days of azithromycin had a very small absolute increased risk of death, especially due to cardiovascular causes, compared to people taking amoxicillin, in a retrospective cohort review by Wayne Ray, Katherine Murray, and C. Michael Stein published in the May 17 New England Journal of Medicine. Erythromycin and clarithromycin (the other [... read more]

Dec 292012
 
Xigris' epitaph: "I Never Worked a Day in My Life" (PROWESS-SHOCK)

Recombinant human activated protein C or dotrecogin alfa — better known as Xigris, by Eli Lilly — seemed a godsend when it was first approved for treatment of severe sepsis in 2001. Xigris’ FDA approval (despite an evenly split 10-10 vote) was based solely on the Eli Lilly-funded PROWESS study, a phase 3 randomized trial [... read more]

Dec 292012
 
Xarelto (rivaroxaban) gets FDA indication for DVT and PE; no heparin bridging needed

Xarelto (rivaroxaban): New FDA Indication for DVT, PE The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Bayer’s Xarelto (rivaroxaban) for a new indication for treating deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE), and for long-term prophylaxis of recurrent DVT and PE. Xarelto already had FDA approval for prevention of DVTs and PEs after knee or [... read more]

Dec 292012
 
Oral rivaroxaban (Xarelto) noninferior to warfarin for PE (RCT)

(image: InPharm) Rivaroxaban (Xarelto) was noninferior to standard treatment (heparin and warfarin) in preventing recurrent VTE in patients with acute pulmonary embolism (PE), in the large EINSTEIN-PE randomized trial published in the April 5 New England Journal of Medicine. A once-daily oral factor Xa inhibitor that has already been demonstrated to be noninferior for treatment [... read more]

Dec 292012
 
An aspirin a day keeps recurrent DVT and PE away (RCT)

(image: Rex Parker) Among people with unprovoked deep venous thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE), 1 in 5 will experience another DVT or PE within 2 years after stopping anticoagulation with warfarin (Coumadin). For this reason, the ACCP’s recommendations for treatment of unprovoked proximal DVT or PE suggest consideration of an “indefinite” period of anticoagulation [... read more]

Dec 252012
 
Go back to bed; overnight intensivists don't reduce mortality

We intensivists are a scarce and valuable commodity — just ask us, we’ll tell you. It’s been consistently shown, for example, that involved intensivists in an ICU during the day correlates with improved mortality and efficiencies in care. Now that’s something we can all cheer (ourselves) about. Many intensivists also like to sleep, and may [... read more]

Dec 242012
 
Hydroxyethyl starches kill people with severe sepsis; use crystalloid instead (RCT)

Colloids are believed to be more effective expanders of plasma volume than crystalloids, making them a tempting therapy to use for patients in septic shock and other causes of hemodynamic instability. Problem is, some colloid solutions seem to kill people. The VISEP Trial using hydroxyethyl starch 200 kDa/0.5 demonstrated that this high molecular weight HES [... read more]

Dec 232012
 
Nicotine patches don't help in pregnancy, esp. if you don't wear them (RCT)

(image: Smokersworld.info) You never see pregnant women smoking in public, but surveys say 12-25% of pregnant women in developed countries smoke during pregnancy. Of course they know they shouldn’t — with smoking’s increased risks for miscarriage, low birth weight, premature birth, birth defects, and even sudden infant death after delivery. Most pregnant women want badly [... read more]

Dec 202012
 
CPAP cures metabolic syndrome in obstructive sleep apnea (Retracted)

CPAP Improves Metabolic Syndrome in Obstructive Sleep Apnea This paper has been RETRACTED! Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy reversed elements of the high cardiovascular risk profile known as metabolic syndrome in a substantial minority of Indians with treatment-naive obstructive sleep apnea, according to this article in the New England Journal of Medicine. More than [... read more]