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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]

Jun 052014
 
Tenecteplase for submassive PE: more conflicting evidence (TOPCOAT)

By Parth Rali, MD and Marvin Balaan, MD Submassive pulmonary emboli (PE) are those that are severe enough to produce right ventricular dysfunction on echocardiogram or elevated biomarkers (mainly troponin), but not hemodynamic instability (i.e., systemic blood pressure and cardiac output are preserved). The management of the patient with submassive PE is a matter of controversy with several [… 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 222014
 
Medicare bucks USPSTF, denies coverage for lung cancer screening

The Centers for Medcare and Medcaid Services sent lung cancer screening’s forward momentum into a tailspin last month, when Medicare’s advisory panel shocked observers by voting  against covering lung cancer screening with annual low dose chest CT as a standard benefit. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) had already recommended lung cancer screening be [… 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]

May 082014
 
Red blood cell transfusions increase hospital-acquired infections (meta-analysis)

Red Cell Transfusions Increase Risk for Nosocomial Infection: Meta-Analysis Transfusing blood to anemic patients has an almost irresistible intuitive and theoretical appeal both to physicians and the patients who get transfused. It’s perhaps the archetypal example of the “find it – fix it” approach to doctoring: correct all laboratory abnormalities and ipso facto, the patient [… read more]

May 072014
 
FDA approves implantable tongue-buzzer for obstructive sleep apnea treatment

Image: Inspire Med Systems Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation for Sleep Apnea Wins FDA Approval The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Inspire Medical Systems’ pacemaker-like hypoglossal nerve stimulator for patients with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) who cannot tolerate continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). The Inspire device stimulates key airway muscles controlled by the hypoglossal [… read more]

May 032014
 
N-acetylcysteine for COPD: another trial shows benefit (PANTHEON)

Image: pipingrock.com Can N-acetylcysteine help prevent exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)? Another randomized trial says yes. N-acetylcysteine, or NAC, is a nutritional supplement with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. After ingestion, N-acetylcysteine is metabolized into glutathione, a key antioxidant with effects throughout the body. In the lungs, glutathione deficiency (common in alcoholics) is linked [… read more]

May 022014
 
Diaphragmatic ultrasound could predict extubation success

Source: criticalecho.com Diaphragmatic Ultrasonography to Assess Readiness for Extubation By Muhammad Adrish, MD Weaning a patient from mechanical ventilation is a challenge that intensivists face routinely. Clinical examination and objective measurements like minute ventilation, respiratory rate, maximal inspiratory pressure, and ratio of respiratory rate to tidal volume have all been used with varying reported sensitivity [… 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 182014
 
Steroids did not improve outcomes in severe COPD exacerbations (RCT)

Image: 1800petmeds Systemic steroids in COPD exacerbations requiring ventilator support: Are we treating our patients, or ourselves? By Muhammad Adrish, MD Acute exacerbations of COPD are a major cause of hospitalizations, and are associated with more rapid decline in lung function and reduced survival. Because COPD exacerbations are associated with increased inflammatory responses, corticosteroids have [… 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]

Apr 112014
 
PulmCCM Roundup #3

PulmCCM Roundup #3 All the best in pulmonary and critical care we’ve found lately. Browse all the PulmCCM Roundups. Surviving Sepsis Campaign Responds to ProCESS Trial In the wake of the ProCESS trial demonstrating no benefit from use of protocols for septic shock, the Surviving Sepsis Campaign released a statement in which they “continue to recommend [… read more]

Apr 042014
 
Catheter directed thrombolysis for submassive PE: better than heparin? (RCT)

Image: EKOS Patients with acute pulmonary embolism (PE) fall into three general clinical categories: Massive PE, most often defined as hypotension due to right ventricular dysfunction. Short-term mortality is high (more than 1 in 7 die in-hospital). Systemic thrombolytic therapy (tissue plasminogen activator or tPA) is considered standard care by AHA and ACCP, because it [… read more]

Apr 032014
 
PulmCCM Roundup, Issue #2

PulmCCM Roundup #2 Welcome back to the PulmCCM Roundup, formerly the Critical Care Roundup. Let’s jump right in to issue #2. Browse all the PulmCCM Roundups here. Etomidate for intubation in sepsis: what’s the risk, really?  Etomidate has been suspected of causing adrenal insufficiency and potentially death in patients with severe sepsis, when used as an anesthesia-induction agent [… read more]

Apr 032014
 
FDA warns against doripenem (Doribax) for ventilator-associated pneumonia

FDA Warning on Doripenem (Doribax) for VAP In March 2014, the FDA issued a warning statement against Doribax (doripenem) for ventilator associated pneumonia, saying: Doribax carries an increased risk of death and lower clinical cure rates compared to use of imipenem and cilastatin … Doribax is not approved to treat any type of pneumonia. (Doripenem is approved [… read more]