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Jun 122016
 
Blood Pressure Goals in Intracerebral Hemorrhage - ATACH II

“… it is a tale.  Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Macbeth: Act V, Scene V The results of the ATACH II trial are out; we have even more guidance when managing the blood pressure of hypertensive patients with supratentorial, intra-cerebral hemorrhage of less than 60 cm3 in volume.  The question: [… read more]

Jun 112016
 
ICU Physiology in 1,000 Words: ARDS - Part 3

Jon-Emile S. Kenny [@heart_lung] While parts 1 and 2 of this trilogy considered the mechanical power applied to the lung skeleton and the effects of lung inhomogeneity [i.e. ‘stress raisers’], respectively; this final installment will draw the reader towards the pulmonary vasculature as a key mediator of ventilator induced lung injury [VILI].  That the pulmonary [… read more]

Jun 102016
 
Call for Abstracts: Pittsburgh-Munich International Lung Conference

Have you submitted your abstract to the 2016 Pittsburgh – Munich International Lung Conference? Concurrent submissions are accepted!  Use the abstracts you have submitted this spring for other national/international conferences (i.e. ATS) for a chance to further showcase your work.  Click on the links below to begin. The 2016 Pittsburgh – Munich International Lung Conference [… read more]

May 282016
 
The Cerebral Circulation and Sepsis-Associated Delirium

The Journal of Intensive Care has newly published a series of sepsis-related organ dysfunction reviews.  Additionally, a comprehensive yet concise overview of the cerebral circulation was just disseminated.  This summary draws on both of these terrific primary resources as a point-of-departure for discussion of sepsis-associated delirium [SAD]. Cerebral blood flow [CBF] ultimately depends on 1. the [… read more]

May 012016
 
ICU Physiology in 1,000 Words: ARDS - Part 2

Jon-Emile S. Kenny [@heart_lung] Gattinoni and Quintel have, very recently, outlined their approach to managing the acute respiratory distress syndrome [ARDS] [1].  They argue that treatment of ARDS should minimize firstly, the mechanical power applied to the lungs – as described in part 1.  Secondly, Gattinoni and Quintel note that, in the treatment of ARDS, [… read more]

Apr 222016
 
ICU Physiology in 1,000 Words: ARDS - Part 1

Jon-Emile S. Kenny [@heart_lung] “Often, as new knowledge progresses, old knowledge is abandoned or forgotten.” -Luciano Gattinoni In a succinct and current treatise, Gattinoni and Quintel outline the modern management of the acute respiratory distress syndrome [ARDS] [1].  It is imperative, they reason, that treatment of ARDS minimizes firstly, the mechanical power applied to the [… read more]

Mar 182016
 
The Physiologically Difficult Airway – Part 2

In part 2, I continue my commentary on this excellent review; part 1 may be found here.  In this post I will consider patients with severe metabolic acidosis and those with right ventricular [RV] dysfunction and/or failure. Severe Metabolic Acidosis In patients with severe metabolic acidosis, alveolar ventilation tends to be maximal as a compensatory mechanism.  [… read more]

Mar 112016
 
The Physiologically Difficult Airway – Part 1

To celebrate the birthday of Dr. Erin Hennessey [@ErinH_MD] – my former co-fellow and current Stanford intensivist-anesthesiologist – I will interpret a relatively recent and terrifically high-yield overview of physiologically challenging intubations.  In this must-read survey, the authors highlight particularly troublesome intubations not from the classic, anatomical perspective, but from the standpoint of the – [… read more]

Mar 012016
 
An Expected or Maladaptive Response to Infection?  Sepsis Reconsidered

“A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks … English … becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.” George Orwell reminds us [… read more]

Feb 172016
 
Recruitment Maneuvers & PEEP in the Morbidly Obese

A recent study of applied respiratory physiology in the mechanically-ventilated, obese patient was published.  The ubiquitous focus on lung protective ventilation with “low” [physiological] lung volumes, and low plateau pressure may leave the obese patient susceptible to untoward respiratory embarrassment.  Excess abdominal and chest wall weight affect each of the following: reduction in lung volume, [… read more]

Feb 132016
 
ICU Physiology in 1000 Words: Driving Pressure & Stress Index

By Jon-Emile S. Kenny [@heart_lung] The problem with the lung in the acute respiratory distress syndrome [ARDS] is not that it is stiff, but rather, that it is small [1].  In the 1980s, CT scans of the lungs of patients with ARDS revealed that the functional lung was attenuated in size and that dependent densities [… read more]

Jan 212016
 
That Fallible IVC

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.  In the middle of [… read more]

Jan 172016
 
Review: Lactate & Sepsis

On this snowy, Stockholm Sunday, I look out from my quarters on the Mälardrottningen across the still, icy waters and I think about a cirrhotic patient for whom I recently cared.  She presented with significant dyspnea as she had stopped taking her diuretics.  Instead, she was using excessive doses of her friend’s albuterol inhaler to treat [… read more]

Sep 172015
 
Overdiagnosis of pulmonary embolism on CT-angiogram by radiologists may be widespread

Contrasted CT-angiography of the chest, often called a “PE protocol CT,” has dramatically improved the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism. When used in conjunction with validated clinical decision tools like modified Wells criteria, CT-angiography is highly sensitive (good at detecting PE when it’s there and ruling it out when it’s not) and specific (generating few false-positive [… read more]

Aug 272015
 
Limited cancer screening seems appropriate after unprovoked PE

Cancers can cause pulmonary embolism, and an unprovoked PE may signal an undiscovered cancer lurking in the body. In older studies, as many as 1 in 10 patients with unprovoked PE were diagnosed with cancer within a year. (The current terminology is that a PE is provoked if associated with a known cancer or another provoking factor, but [… 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]