Cardiovascular Disease

Feb 052013
 
Pulmonary Hypertension Update, Part 1: Classification & Diagnosis (Review)

Pulmonary Hypertension Update/Review Part 1 of 2: Classification and Diagnosis Read Part 2: Treatment of PAH by Brett Ley, MD Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is defined simply as a mean pulmonary artery pressure of 25 mmHg or greater. However, this entity encompasses a heterogeneous group of patients and underlying etiologies where accurate diagnosis, correct physiologic classification, and careful evaluation for [… read more]

Jan 292013
 
Forget "embolic burden" of pulmonary embolism: location is everything

In Most Patients with Pulmonary Embolism, Central Clot is Worse than Peripheral by Brett Ley, MD Pulmonary embolism (PE) presents with a wide range of clinical severity and course. Management decisions (level of care, length of observation, and aggressive therapies such as thrombolysis) are generally based on a patient’s risk of a poor outcome. Guidelines recommend risk [… read more]

Jan 242013
 
Continuing beta blockers safe during acute COPD exacerbations

Continuing Selective Beta Blockers Safe During COPD Exacerbations by Blair Westerly, MD Many COPD patients also have congestive heart failure or ischemic heart disease, two conditions where beta blocker therapy improves survival, but it has consistently been underutilized. The fear physicians have of instituting beta blockers in COPD is mostly secondary to the theoretical concern [… read more]

Dec 302012
 
Azithromycin associated with cardiovascular death

(image: Rxhealthdrugs.com) People taking 5 days of azithromycin had a very small absolute increased risk of death, especially due to cardiovascular causes, compared to people taking amoxicillin, in a retrospective cohort review by Wayne Ray, Katherine Murray, and C. Michael Stein published in the May 17 New England Journal of Medicine. Erythromycin and clarithromycin (the other [… read more]

Dec 292012
 
Oral rivaroxaban (Xarelto) noninferior to warfarin for PE (RCT)

(image: InPharm) Rivaroxaban (Xarelto) was noninferior to standard treatment (heparin and warfarin) in preventing recurrent VTE in patients with acute pulmonary embolism (PE), in the large EINSTEIN-PE randomized trial published in the April 5 New England Journal of Medicine. A once-daily oral factor Xa inhibitor that has already been demonstrated to be noninferior for treatment [… read more]

Dec 292012
 
An aspirin a day keeps recurrent DVT and PE away (RCT)

(image: Rex Parker) Among people with unprovoked deep venous thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE), 1 in 5 will experience another DVT or PE within 2 years after stopping anticoagulation with warfarin (Coumadin). For this reason, the ACCP’s recommendations for treatment of unprovoked proximal DVT or PE suggest consideration of an “indefinite” period of anticoagulation [… read more]

Dec 232012
 
Blood banks recommend restrictive transfusions in ward patients

The American Association of Blood Blanks (AABB) announced upcoming new guidelines in the March online Annals of Internal Medicine, recommending against transfusion for adults and children with stable illness and hemoglobin levels above 7-8 g/dL. They made it a 1A recommendation (strong recommendation with high quality evidence). Jeffrey Carson et al reviewed literature from 1950 to 2011 and [… read more]

Nov 162012
 
Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT): Initial Diagnosis and Treatment (Review)

Supraventricular Tachycardia, Initial Diagnosis and Treatment When supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) causes symptoms, it requires immediate medical attention.  Although many physicians believe that the precise type of SVT must be identified before providing treatment, this is not true: treatment can often be started safely and effectively without knowing the exact SVT, by tailoring it to the [… read more]

Oct 192012
 
"Practice ischemia" on an arm reduces contrast nephropathy after procedures (RCT)

Contrast-induced nephropathy (kidney damage) is a serious problem that can occur after many medical tests and procedures, but coronary angiography (cardiac catheterization) is the main culprit. People with pre-existing renal disease are most susceptible to contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) — about 1 in 8 of them develop a “bump” in creatinine of >0.5 mg/dL after cardiac [… read more]

Sep 302012
 
Treatment of Acute Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) of the Arm (Review/Guideline)

The content previously here was removed at the request of the American College of Chest Physicians. For the ACCP 9th edition clinical practice guidelines for prevention and treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE), please visit the ACCP website. PulmCCM is not affiliated with ACCP or Chest.

Sep 122012
 
Anemia in the ICU (Review)

Anemia in the ICU: Review and Update (More PulmCCM Topic Updates) This document will be updated periodically to incorporate new research findings. To suggest an article for inclusion, please comment below. Anemia is almost inevitable during many episodes of critical illness, and has been associated with worsened outcomes and prognosis. However, the preponderance of evidence suggests that correcting anemia [… read more]

Aug 082012
 
CPAP gives the heart a tune-up for 1 year or 30 million beats, whichever comes first

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) might be the perfect disease to describe the American health care system. The condition is overwhelmingly due to our over-indulgence and under-activity; its expensive diagnosis (polysomnography) and best treatment (CPAP) help physicians and device manufacturers prosper while consternating those who pay (the government and insurance companies), who then threaten to cut off [… read more]

Jul 152012
 
Superior Vena Cava Syndrome Review

Superior Vena Cava Syndrome: A Cancer-Related Medical Emergency (More PulmCCM Topic Updates) Multiple cancers are expected to rise in prevalence in the U.S. over the coming decades, and so is the risk for cancer-related medical emergencies. For a few, superior vena cava syndrome (SVC syndrome) will be the first manifestation of their cancer. It’s important [… read more]

Jul 042012
 
Blood pressure cuffs vs arterial lines for hypotensive patients

If you and your team just can’t get an arterial line into your critically ill, hypotensive patient for continuous invasive blood pressure measurement, you may be somewhat comforted by a study in Critical Care Medicine. Authors found that among 150 critically ill patients (83 of whom were in shock), mean arterial pressure (MAP) measurements with an [… read more]

May 162012
 
Tattletales rain on private cardiologists' cash-grabbing parade

Did you know that about half of cardiologists’ $400,000+ average income comes from self-referring patients to undergo imaging studies on scanners owned in part or in whole by the physicians themselves? This type of arrangement violates the spirit but not the letter of the Stark Law, created in 1992 to address the inevitable economic and medical inequities that result when physicians are permitted [… read more]

May 132012
 
Chantix: no excess cardiovascular risk in new meta-analysis

(image: People’s Pharmacy) Sure to re-light controversy around Pfizer’s varenicline (Chantix): a new study concludes the smoking cessation drug likely carries no increased risk for cardiovascular events.  Judith Prochaska and Joan Hilton (University of California – San Francisco) report the results in the May 4 BMJ. Sonal Singh (Johns Hopkins) et al’s previous meta-analysis, reported in CMAJ [… read more]

May 032012
 
Epinephrine in field no help after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest?

(image: Hospira) Akihito Hagihara et al present suggestive data in the March 21 JAMA that giving epinephrine to people with out of hospital cardiac arrest increases their chances of making it to the hospital with a pulse, but not of making it home with decent brain function or functional status. In a prospective observational analysis [… read more]