N Engl J Med Archives - Page 5 of 8 - PulmCCM

N Engl J Med Articles

Feb 172012
Tobacco warnings, free speech, and "in-activist" judges (NEJM)

Legal eagle Kevin Outterson explains the latest twists in the saga of the FDA’s quest to get large, scary pictures on every cigarette package under its new regulatory muscle of the 2009 Obama-authorized Tobacco Control Act. R.J. Reynolds sued, and federal judge Richard Leon took their side in November 2011, deciding to apply the more [... read more]

Feb 032012

Jean-Pierre Tourtier and Sophie Cottez of the Military Hospital Val-de-Grâce, Paris share the case of a 61-year-old man who underwent vertebroplasty after a therapeutic laminectomy for resection of a vertebral hemangioma. Cement made it into his paravertebral vascular system, and thence to his systemic circulation and pulmonary arteries, where it made for some interesting radiographic pictures. [... read more]

Jan 282012

Hayder Saeed and Suleiman Massarweh of the University of Kentucky share with us the story and images of a woman presenting with weight loss and cough, and discovered to have hypertrophic pulmonary osteoarthropathy, velvety palmar skin, clubbing … and an 11 cm adenocarcinoma in the right lung. Saeed H, Massarweh S. Hypertrophic Pulmonary Osteoarthropathy and [... read more]

Jan 282012
Apixaban for thromboprophylaxis post-discharge causes bleeding (ADOPT Trial, NEJM)

For years, Pharma have been itching to prove a benefit of extended chemoprophylaxis against DVT / PE in medically ill patients after hospital discharge. Three weeks or more of enoxaparin after surgical knee or hip replacement is standard care, since it reduces the high risk of serious venous thromboembolism with a relatively low risk of [... read more]

Jan 192012

A 40-year old asthmatic woman coughed the corner of her right lower lobe right through her chest wall, needing a thoracotomy to repair it. She seemed to have recovered well at 3-month follow-up. Matthew O’Shea and Morgan Cleasby of Good Hope Hospital in Birmingham (United Kingdom) share their fascinating pictures in a New England Journal show-and-tell. [... read more]

Jan 112012
13 doses rifapentine + isoniazid as good as 9 months INH for latent TB (RCT, NEJM)

Nine months is a long time to take daily isoniazid — and an even longer time to go without beer. If you have latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) diagnosed by a positive tuberculin skin test, and you make it through a year or 2 without developing active TB, your lifetime risk of reactivation TB (given a healthy [... read more]

Jan 062012
Big bucks riding on FDA's little dosing decision for indacaterol (NEJM)

In July 2011, FDA approved indacaterol, Novartis’s new once-daily long-acting beta agonist, for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In contrast to its European counterpart (EMA), which approved indacaterol there at doses up to 300 mcg, FDA only approved indacaterol in the 75 mcg daily dose. The FDA’s Badrul Chowdhury explains why in the [... read more]

Jan 012012

Macrolide antibiotics are increasingly recognized for their salutary anti-inflammatory effects in lung disease, potentially distinct from any antimicrobial effect. Albert et al report that among 1,142 people with severe COPD (FEV1 ~40% predicted) who were randomized to take either azithromycin 250 mg or placebo daily for one year, those taking azithromycin had fewer exacerbations, as [... read more]

Jan 012012

Cytisine is a partial nicotine agonist extracted from acacia seeds. In a single-center trial, West et al randomized 740 smokers to receive either cytisine or placebo for 25 days; they were then followed for 12 months with surveys and periodic biochemical verification. At 12 months, those receiving cytisine had an 8.4% rate of biochemically verified [... read more]

Dec 272011

COPD is a progressive disease causing inexorable decline in lung function, right? We were all taught it, but maybe no one checked first. Vestbo et al’s ECLIPSE, a simple but large and elegant observational study that continues to furnish new insights into COPD, shows the truth is far more nuanced and complicated. After following 2,163 patients with COPD of [... read more]

Dec 262011

Results of the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) are in! Enrollment was 8/2002 to 4/2004. Follow-up was through end of 2009. Patients were age 55-74, with >30 pack-year smoking history, still smoking or quit <15 years. Intervention / Control: Low-dose chest CT vs. chest plain films thrice-yearly. By screening these 53,454 high-risk people, 62 deaths [... read more]

Dec 262011

More than 65,000 people develop empyema each year, and 25% of them are in the hospital a month or longer. Past randomized trials and a meta-analysis showed streptokinase didn’t help, but case series suggested tissue plasminogen activator might. Rahman et al randomized 210 people to a 2 x 2 table: double-placebo, DNAse and t-PA, DNAse [... read more]

Dec 262011

Wechsler et al randomized and crossed-over 39 subjects with stable asthma to sequentially receive treatment with 1) albuterol; 2) fake albuterol; 3) fake acupuncture, or 4) nothing. Although albuterol improved stable asthmatic subjects’ FEV1 by 20%, they perceived equal improvement in subjective symptoms when given a sham inhaler or a sham acupuncture treatment. (These also [... read more]

Dec 262011

Grainge et al collected bronchial biopsies from 48 allergic asthmatics, then randomly gave them either inhaled dust mite allergen; methacholine; saline (control); or albuterol followed by methacholine (control). Those inhaling allergen or methacholine had immediate bronchoconstriction, followed by an increase in bronchial wall thickness (on repeat bronchial biopsy 4 days later) compared to controls. Dogma [... read more]

Dec 182011

Who’s the best bronchodilator on the block? In 725 centers, in 25 countries, among COPD’ers with FEV1<=70% (moderate-or-worse) and an exacerbation in the past year, after using tiotropium or salmeterol (double-dummy) for 1 year, the winner is…. Tiotropium … probably! With a time-to-first-exacerbation of 187 vs. 145 days — but only in the quartile of [... read more]

Dec 182011

In the longest longitudinal study of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) yet, Herridge et al followed 109 young survivors of severe ARDS (medians: age 44; Lung Injury Score 3.7 out of 4) in Canada for 5 years, enrolling 1998-2001. Twelve died in the first year. At 5 years, the survivors remained below their pre-ARDS exercise tolerance; they [... read more]

Dec 182011

Dalteparin is a low-molecular weight heparin that, unlike enoxaparin, is safe for people with renal failure. Among 3,746 ICU patients in 6 countries, followed until hospital discharge, there was no difference in the rate of proximal deep venous thrombosis (5.1% vs 5.8%, 1′ endpoint) between once-daily dalteparin and twice-daily UFH, as detected by twice-weekly ultrasounds. [... read more]

Dec 182011

Lungs from brain-dead or deceased donors are considered unusable 85% of the time, worsening waiting-list times and death rates. At a single Toronto center, Cypel et al perfused damaged donor lungs ex-vivo (EVLP; here’s how) for 4 hours, and if their numbers were good (PaO2/FiO2 > 349; less than 15% worsening in compliance, pulmonary vascular resistance and [... read more]