Remember when you were a third year medical student? Me neither. But that’s when you first started to build that tough & isolating carapace to protect you from all the overwhelming emotions flying through the hospital, & you, this essay suggests. A seasoned clinical educator and a third-year med student have a conversation about our [… read more]
Patel et al ran 9,999 computer simulations using various vancomycin doses and MICs. When the MIC was 2.0 or greater, 2 g IV q12 hours failed to achieve target drug levels 57% of the time, with 35% predicted nephrotoxicity. But…it’s also true that multiple vancomycin models have been published, which are each internally valid using their own [… read more]
Mucormycosis: clinical presentations and management: Sun H, Lancet Infect Dis 2011;11:301-311.
In a retrospective review of 418 tunneled pleural catheters placed over 2 years, 91% of patients did not require any other drainage procedure. Spontaneous pleurodesis occurred in one-quarter, in whom the catheter was taken out at a median 44 days. More patients with catheters placed in the operating room achieved pleurodesis (36%). Complication rate overall [… read more]
Post cardiac arrest syndrome: Review of therapies: Stub D, Circulation 2011;123:1428-1435.
Survival varies widely among people with N1 non-small cell lung cancer. Examining SEER data on 1,682 patients age > 65, who had a median 8 lymph nodes resected between 1992 and 2005, Wisnivesky et al observe that the ratio of positive-to-negative sampled lymph nodes independently predicted survival. Having more than 50% positive LNs foretold a median survival [… read more]
Probiotics and lung diseases: Forsythe P, CHEST 2011;139:901-908.
Establishing mediastinal spread of non-small cell lung cancer (N2-3 disease) precludes surgery and worsens prognosis; whether PET-CT imaging can improve overall accuracy or safely prevent mediastinoscopies is still unknown. Fischer et al re-heat the data from their 2009 NEJM randomized trial in Denmark, with EUS-FNA and mediastinoscopy on 189 NSCLC patients, in which they concluded that the [… read more]
Pseudomonas pneumonia: Epidemiology, clinical diagnosis, source (Part 1) Fujitani S et al, CHEST 2011;139:909-919.
Ashraf et al selected people with lung nodules from the Danish Lung Cancer Screening Trial, referring them for PET. Having a suspicious PET scan, or a volume-doubling time (VDT) of < 1 year, each separately had a sensitivity of 71% and a specificity of 91% for lung cancer. Combining PET data with VDT improved sensitivity [… read more]
Sleep medicine, a 3,000-year history: Kirsch DB, CHEST 2011;139:939-946.
A retrospective look at 447 patients with stage I non-small cell lung cancer by Inoue et al suggests yes, but without affecting survival. When cancer recurred in those initially diagnosed by CT-guided needle biopsy, pleural dissemination was more likely (8 of 13 recurrences). However, 5-year disease free survival was 89% in the CT-biopsy group and [… read more]
Status epilepticus, refractory, treatment of: Holtkamp M, Curr Opin Crit Care 2011;17:94-100.
Subarachnoid hemorrhage, critical care of: Wartenburg KE, Curr Opin Crit Care 2011;17:85-93.
Tako-tsubo cardiomyopathy, natural history of: Parodi G et al, CHEST 2011;139:887-892.
Fang et al prospectively observed 126 patients undergoing lung transplant at 9 U.S. centers. PA pressure was obtained invasively in the OR just after transplant. Those who developed grade 3 primary graft dysfunction at 72 hours (1′ endpoint) had mPAP of 38.5 mm Hg, compared to 29.6 for those who did not; the relationship persisted [… read more]
Venous thromboembolism, long term management of: Bauer K, JAMA 2011;305:1336-1345.
Analyzing 50,481 victims of prolonged mechanical ventilation in Taiwan 1997-2007, Hung et al report outcomes were frankly terrible, with median survival of about 4 months. Those with a primary indication of neurologic damage fared significantly better. Those with a PMV indication of COPD, younger than 85, had 6-18 months median survival. Authors take the additional [… read more]
Viral community-acquired pneumonia: Ruuskanen O, Lancet 2011;377:1264-1275.
Psychiatrist Aaron Lazare from U-Mass has been writing and thinking about humiliation in medical education and practice for years. This engrossing article exposes the destructiveness and persistence of this toxic emotion that he argues is sadly endemic in our profession. CHEST 2011;139:746-751.