Review Articles Articles

Aug 202017
 
Is intravenous contrast safer for kidneys than we thought?

Iodinated IV contrast has long been considered a significant contributor to acute kidney injury in hospitalized patients. But so-called “contrast nephropathy” is hard to accurately identify in real clinical circumstances. Acute kidney injury (AKI) can happen from a variety of causes, or their combination, during acute illness. And no randomized trial has established the risk of [… read more]

Aug 092017
 
Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia (HIT) Review

Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is a dangerous complication of heparin exposure. In HIT, the body creates an autoantibody against the complex of platelet factor 4 bound to heparin. The anti-PF4 autoantibodies can activate platelets and cause life- and limb-threatening clots in arteries and veins. In HIT, platelets generally fall by more than 50% five to ten [… read more]

Jul 082017
 
Intubation during CPR was associated with worse survival and brain health

“Stop chest compressions for a minute while I intubate this patient!” That refrain must have been heard tens of thousands of times during CPR after cardiac arrest before 2010, when the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) guidelines advised resuscitation teams not to interrupt chest compressions to place advanced airways, unless a patient [… read more]

Jun 272017
 
Is hypothermia harmful after in-hospital cardiac arrest?

Will “therapeutic” hypothermia someday need to be renamed? After a rush of optimism surrounding small trials showing large benefits from hypothermia to 33° after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, hospitals and intensivists flocked to provide hypothermia to all victims of cardiac arrest (in- or out-of-hospital). When the much more powerful TTM trial showed no benefit of deep cooling [… read more]

May 072017
 
Fleischner Society Guideline Update 2017: Management of Solid Pulmonary Nodules

Updated 2017 Fleischner Society guidelines advise a less intensive approach to the management of most small pulmonary nodules incidentally discovered on CT scans. The Fleischner Society now recommends that solid nodules 6 mm or less in diameter in low-risk adults >35 years old generally need no further follow-up. In higher-risk patients, a follow-up CT scan should [… read more]

Apr 052017
 
Meta-analysis confirms EGDT for sepsis is unhelpful and wasteful (PRISM)

Three large, well-conducted randomized trials around the world (ProCESS, ARISE, and ProMISe) all agreed: use of early goal-directed therapy (EGDT) for sepsis does not improve mortality or any other important clinical outcome. The Big Three sepsis trials were a death knell for the formerly ubiquitous “sepsis bundles,” protocols based on the single-center 2001 trial of EGDT [… read more]

Mar 012017
 
Are ventilator-associated pneumonia rates plummeting, or unchanged?

In 2008 hospitals were informed they would no longer be paid for treating hospital acquired infections like ventilator associated pneumonia. Miraculously, the rates of VAP (self-reported by hospitals to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) fell dramatically by 60 to 70% between 2006 and 2012, to less than one VAP per 1,000 ventilator days [… read more]

Feb 142017
 
A Primer on the Perils of Intravenous Fluids – Part 2

Jon-Emile S. Kenny [@heart_lung] Read part 1 here Fluids and the Glycocaylx Critically-ill patients all likely have endothelial dysfunction to some degree.  This perturbation in microvascular physiology may be underpinned by abnormal glycocalyx structure and function.  Sepsis, trauma, surgery and ischemic insults are all known to disrupt the glycocalyx which will increase vascular fluid capacitance.  [… read more]

Feb 012017
 
Passive leg raise test: helpful maneuver, or ICU parlor trick?

Patients who arrive at the hospital with hypotension will almost all receive intravenous fluid resuscitation (one hopes). When signs of hypoperfusion occur later in a patient’s hospital course, it can be much harder to decide if additional fluid will be helpful. Physical exam is unreliable, and no available technology can accurately identify how much water is [… 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 162016
 
Inferior vena cava filters are overused. What's the harm?

Inferior vena cava filters (IVCF) are placed to prevent deep venous thromboses (DVT) from traveling to the heart and lungs, causing pulmonary embolism (PE). IVC filters’ rationale makes sense, but despite their wide use, the benefits and risks of IVCF remain unclear. With about 50,000 IVC filters placed annually in the U.S., that’s a lot of unclarity. [… read more]

Dec 072016
 
New 2017 GOLD Guidelines for COPD Released

The Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD – because GIOLD sounded weird) is an international collaboration of experts in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Every so often the GOLD gang releases another update of their standard-setting GOLD guidelines. (Read PulmCCM’s 2014 GOLD guideline review and our COPD Review.) Get the full 2017 GOLD guidelines or the 36 page [… read more]

Dec 012016
 
Targeted molecular therapies for non-small cell lung cancer: Clinical Update

For too long, treatment for advanced non-small cell lung cancer was brutally simple: platinum chemotherapy and a trip to the attorney to get one’s affairs in order. Fortunately for patients, it’s not quite so straightforward anymore. Effective targeted molecular therapies for non-small cell lung cancer are now available, often taken orally with fewer side effects than traditional cytotoxic [… 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 092016
 
Almost half of intensivists feel severe burnout, report says

Almost half of critical care physicians report symptoms of severe burnout associated with their ICU work, according to a report and “call to action” from the Critical Care Societies Collaborative (CCSC). Symptoms of severe burnout were highest among pediatric critical care specialists, while 45% of intensivists caring for adults acknowledged severe burnout. Burnout symptoms include [… 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]