Dec 122019
 
Patients who say they're allergic to penicillin are usually wrong

More than 32 million people in the U.S. have reported penicillin allergies — about 10% of the population. But almost 95% of them are not penicillin-allergic, and are removing themselves from eligibility for ideal antibiotic treatments, according to a review in JAMA. “More than 1 in 10 people who seek medical care self-report a history [… read more]

Dec 122019
 
Inhaled steroids may not work for half of asthma patients

Inhaled corticosteroids have been the mainstay of treatment for persistent asthma for decades. A new trial suggests that for the ~50% of asthma patients with low sputum eosinophils, inhaled steroids are no better than placebo, and neither was tiotropium. Treatment with the inhaled glucocorticoid mometasone or the long-acting muscarinic antagonist tiotropium resulted in similar outcomes [… read more]

Dec 062019
 
New tissue test for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis changes the diagnostic game

Medicare announced it will now pay for a new molecular tissue test for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, called the Envisia Genomic Classifier (Veracyte). The availability of the new assay reshuffles the algorithm for the diagnosis of IPF, forcing consideration of transbronchial biopsy in some patients. However, professional societies do not yet endorse its general use. The [… read more]

Dec 062019
 
Navigational bronchoscopy real-world diagnostic yields reported

Electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy (ENB) can allow biopsy of peripheral pulmonary nodules that are usually not accessible with conventional bronchoscopy. Navigational bronchoscopy requires specialized training and equipment costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, and is not widely available outside urban centers. Multiple studies have reported varying yields and complication rates with ENB, but most have been [… read more]

Dec 052019
 
Intubating robots are coming for your job (someday)

Undergraduate biomedical engineering students have developed the first prototype of a laryngoscope blade whose future iterations could allow novices or robots to intubate patients as well as expert humans. The new laryngoscope blade has embedded force sensors that calculate its location in the airway. The sensors were trained using machine learning, with tactile patterns generated [… read more]

Nov 302019
 
ICU Physiology in 1000 Words: Pulmonary Embolism & Right Ventricular Ischemia

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] Commonly, we are sold that acute pulmonary thromboembolism [PE] burns the right ventricular [RV] candle at both ends.  This is because perfusion of the right coronary artery [RCA] is mediated by both its upstream mean arterial pressure [MAP] and downstream right ventricular end-diastolic pressure [RVEDP].  Given that a PE may decrease [… read more]

Nov 242019
 
ICU Physiology in 1000 Words: Pulmonary Embolism & Pulmonary Vascular Resistance

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] What if I told you that in acute pulmonary thromboembolism [PE] that the initiation of intravenous norepinephrine [NE] decreases the calculated pulmonary vascular resistance [cPVR]?  Would you believe me?  Certainly, you would trust that an infusion of a thrombolytic does so.  Of great interest, both NE and thrombolytics decrease the cPVR [… read more]

Nov 172019
 
Vitamin E acetate in THC liquid is major cause of vaping lung injury, says CDC

The CDC has concluded that vitamin E acetate in vaping oils containing THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is responsible for many cases of vaping-related lung injury. There have been over 2,051 confirmed and probable cases of e-cigarette or vaping-associated lung injury (EVALI), with 39 deaths. CDC made its advisement based on the consistent presence of vitamin E acetate [… read more]

Nov 172019
 
Beta-blockers doubled risk of hospitalization from COPD exacerbations (BLOCK-COPD)

Beta-blockers have generally been considered safe and beneficial for patients with COPD, but a new randomized trial calls that assumption into doubt. The use of oral beta blockers without a cardiac indication appeared to double the risk of hospitalization for people experiencing a COPD exacerbation. Authors randomized 532 patients with moderate or severe COPD with [… read more]

Nov 112019
 
ICU Physiology in 1000 Words: Pulmonary Embolism & Syncope

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] The transient and reversible loss of consciousness that may accompany pulmonary embolism [PE] is well-documented [1-7].  This brief post will not address the controversy regarding the prevalence of PE in ‘unexplained’ syncope; rather, it will focus on pathomechanisms and serve as the foundation for a few forthcoming entries on pulmonary thromboembolism [… read more]

Nov 082019
 
New guidelines on obesity hypoventilation syndrome released

Tens of millions of adults in the U.S. have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), but most are mild cases that pose low health risks. A greater danger is faced by the smaller number of people with sleep apnea that progresses to obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS), a life-threatening condition. Obesity hypoventilation syndrome — an impairment in resting [… read more]

Nov 082019
 
Can C-reactive protein improve treatment for COPD exacerbations?

Use of C-reactive protein (CRP) in decision-making may reduce antibiotic use in COPD exacerbations, but not as a replacement for clinical judgment, a study suggested. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations are characterized by increased inflammation in the airways and the body generally. C-reactive protein (CRP) is a serum test for inflammation, and has been [… read more]

Nov 072019
 
In sepsis, antibiotics reduced yield of blood cultures by almost 40%

by Molly Walker, Associate Editor, MedPage Today If you want an accurate reading from sepsis patients’ blood cultures, don’t start antibiotics until you’ve drawn the blood samples, a new study suggested. Among patients with severe sepsis, blood cultures taken prior to antibiotic therapy were positive for one or more microbial pathogens in 31.4% of patients [… read more]

Oct 312019
 
Vitamin C reduces mortality from sepsis with ARDS in CITRIS-ALI randomized trial ... ?

Vitamin C infusion has generated tremendous interest as an adjunctive treatment for patients with sepsis, since a widely publicized cohort study claimed vitamin C dramatically reduced sepsis-related mortality at a single institution. The publicity, the plausible pathophysiologic mechanism, and the lack of any therapy for sepsis have led many intensivists to prescribe the so-called Marik [… read more]

Oct 302019
 
Vaping-Associated Lung Injury – Part 2

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] “There are sadistic scientists who hurry to hunt down errors instead of establishing the truth.” -Marie Curie In part 1 of Vaping-Associated Lung Injury, the very basics of electronic nicotine delivery systems [ENDS] were covered as well as highlights on clinical presentation, radiology and pathology.  In this second part, flurries of [… read more]

Oct 292019
 
Vaping-Associated Lung Injury – Part 1

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] with illustration by Carla M. Canepa MD [@_carlemd_] “Inside the word ‘emergency’ is ‘emerge’; from an emergency, new things come forth.” -Rebecca Solnit Case A 32-year-old man is admitted with three days of fevers, chills, malaise, dyspnea and productive cough.  He works in a stressful job in the heart of Manhattan [… read more]

Oct 212019
 
2019 IDSA Guidelines for Community Acquired Pneumonia in Adults: To HCAP, we just say fare thee well

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] with illustrations by Carla M. Canepa MD [@_carlemd_] “Better never means better for everyone… It always means worse, for some.” -Margaret Atwood Case A 73-year-old woman with a history of severe chronic bronchitis, ESRD receiving thrice-weekly hemodialysis and heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction is admitted from home with fevers, [… read more]

Oct 182019
 
Prolonged hypothermia improved neurologic outcomes after non-shockable cardiac arrests (HYPERION, CRICS-TRIGGERSEP)

Targeted temperature management (TTM, or therapeutic hypothermia) has become standard therapy after cardiac arrest, especially for ventricular tachycardia and fibrillation–so called shockable rhythms. A new randomized trial has shown that deep, prolonged cooling after cardiac arrest from non-shockable rhythms (PEA and asystole) improved neurologic outcomes. But how robust were the results, and should they change [… read more]

Oct 112019
 
Major asthma guideline update: ICS-LABA as-needed replaces albuterol

In their first major update in 30 years, newly published asthma guidelines recommend significant changes to the way physicians treat millions of patients diagnosed with asthma. The Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) now advises that, in general: Most people with asthma can now be prescribed just one inhaler: an inhaled corticosteroid-and-long-acting beta agonist (ICS-LABA) combination [… read more]

Sep 062019
 
Prophylactic IVC filters prevent PE in high-risk trauma patients, but were often unnecessary

Inferior vena cava filters placed prophylactically in patients hospitalized for trauma prevented symptomatic pulmonary embolism in those patients with persistent contraindications to anticoagulation, in a significant randomized trial. However, prophylactic IVC filter placement for all post-trauma patients did not improve outcomes generally. Trauma teams have always faced a difficult dilemma in the prevention and treatment [… read more]