Interventional Pulmonology

Jul 202012
 
Should pleurodesis or PleurX drain be 1st-line Rx for malignant pleural effusion?

(image: Wikipedia) There are an estimated 200,000 pleural effusions due to malignancy each year in the U.S. alone, and these represent an important cause of suffering and limitation in functional ability for people living with advanced cancer. Pleurodesis (using talc or other sclerosants) and placement of indwelling pleural catheters are both accepted, reasonable approaches to the [… read more]

Apr 242012
 
How to make $25,000 on each EBUS

(image: flickrCC) Endobronchial ultrasound with transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA), when performed by skilled physicians, reduces the need for mediastinoscopy and unnecessary thoracotomies with their associated morbidity, and is poised to permanently alter the landscape of lung cancer diagnosis and staging. Prior to 2008, Medicare seemed to recognize the potential value of EBUS by paying hospitals [… read more]

Mar 142012
 

The National Lung Screening Trial (NSLT) showed a 20% reduction in death from lung cancer, but with a number needed to screen of 320 to prevent one death, a false-positive rate of 96% and each abnormal scan generating costs of ~$45,000, the risk / benefit / cost accounts are far from settled. Few insurers (e.g. [… read more]

Feb 262012
 

I knew I smelled something fishy about this paper when I read and commented on it last year.  Now, Chest reports they’re giving this study a burial at sea, after the authors could not produce actual data supporting the trial. To help set the record straight: Chest published a retrospective study in March 2011, “Chest Tube [… read more]

Feb 192012
 

Traditional bronchoscopy with transbronchial biopsy (TBBx) has only a 34% sensitivity at diagnosing peripheral pulmonary nodules < 2 cm in size. Transthoracic needle aspiration (TTNA)’s superior sensitivity of 90% for diagnosing peripheral lesions makes it the standard of care for peripheral lesions, but TTNA carries a considerable risk for pneumothorax. A huge proportion of patients experience [… read more]

Jan 202012
 

Richard Light and friends established that parapneumonic effusions (PPE) associated with community-acquired pneumonia very rarely progress if the effusion is freely layering and less than 1 cm in height on a lateral decubitus chest film. But who orders those anymore? Chest CT use has risen 20-fold since Light’s seminal 1980 paper. Often the CT has [… read more]

Jan 122012
 
How to cure abdominal compartment syndrome without surgery (CHEST)

Intra-abdominal hypertension (defined as a sustained urinary bladder pressure > 12 mm Hg) may be an under-recognized problem in the ICU, especially in patients after abdominal surgery or who have gone massive volume resuscitation with blood and/or fluids (think hemorrhage, burns and sepsis). When high abdominal pressures (> 20 mm Hg sustained) cause organ failure and/or [… read more]

Jan 082012
 
Early tracheostomy doesn't improve outcomes ... much (Meta-analysis, CHEST)

[poll id=”3″] A 2005 meta-analysis of 5 studies (n=406) concluded that early tracheostomy reduced need for mechanical ventilation and ICU days. But then a 2006 randomized trial in trauma patients found no benefit to early trach, and an underpowered 2008 RCT also found no benefit. In a new meta-analysis and systematic review of 7 trials (n=1,044), Fei [… read more]

Jan 012012
 

Ultrasound is the future. It’s even better than that: it’s the present. So say proponents Seth Koenig, Mangala Narasimhan and pioneer & innovator Paul Mayo in this month’s CHEST review. They endorse a “paradigm shift” meaning, in effect, you get professionally trained on this highly versatile, effective, and immediate-results-providing modality and integrate it into your routine [… read more]

Dec 262011
 

More than 65,000 people develop empyema each year, and 25% of them are in the hospital a month or longer. Past randomized trials and a meta-analysis showed streptokinase didn’t help, but case series suggested tissue plasminogen activator might. Rahman et al randomized 210 people to a 2 x 2 table: double-placebo, DNAse and t-PA, DNAse [… read more]

Nov 222011
 

As Sancho et al point out here, there is a paucity of information available about tracheotomy in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — when it’s best to perform the life-prolonging surgery, as well as what patients, families, and physicians can expect afterward. They followed 116 patients with ALS; 76 were recommended to receive tracheotomy when they could [… read more]

Nov 092011
 

Duke’s Momen Wahidi and other luminaries bring you a consensus statement on use of peri-procedure medications during bronchoscopy. I’m assuming you’ve done a few already, so here are some highlights (with slight liberties in paraphrasing): Use topical anesthesia as well as moderate sedation in all patients, unless there are contraindications or you practice at a secret CIA prison. [… read more]

Nov 012011
 

25% of smokers undergoing chest CT have incidentally discovered pulmonary nodules. As questions of national policy re: lung cancer screening with chest CT are considered, Soylemez Wiener et al report the complication rates of 15,865 adults who had transthoracic needle biopsy of a pulmonary nodule in 4 states over the past decade, using a database [… read more]

Oct 272011
 

Resection of isolated pulmonary metastasis resulted in surprising longevity in this study by Hornbech et al. They report a series of 248 patients, 97% of whom had a complete resection of their pulmonary metastasis, following them for an average of 5 years. The five year survival rates after pulmonary metastasectomy were as follows: Colorectal cancer: [… read more]

Oct 232011
 

Talc pleurodesis is 90-95% effective at prevention of recurrent primary spontaneous pneumothorax. However, there have been reports of ARDS occurring after talc pleurodesis, mostly in patients with malignant pleural effusions, raising concerns over its use. Bridevaux et al report results of talc pleurodesis on 418 patients with primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) at nine centers in Europe and [… read more]

Oct 222011
 

Is bronchoalveolar lavage useful in the diagnosis and management of interstitial lung disease? Meyer and Raghu believe so (although their manuscript title suggests they’re not 100% sure). They explain why in the October ERJ. They argue that if interpreted in the right clinical context, certain bronchoalveolar lavage findings can help cinch the diagnosis of ILD: Lymphocytes >= 25%: [… read more]

Oct 122011
 

The elderly have been largely excluded from clinical trials on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), as their surgical risks have been perceived as too high to benefit as a group from lung resection. Many people believe that in practice, elderly people with NSCLC have often been excluded from consideration for lung resection solely based on [… read more]

Oct 072011
 

Zhang et al pooled 20 studies that compared ultrasound, chest X-ray, or both against a reference standard (usually CT scan) for the diagnosis of pneumothorax. Chest X-ray had a pooled sensitivity of 52% and specificity 99% for diagnosis of pneumothorax. Ultrasound’s pooled sensitivity was 88% and specificity, 100%. Unsurprisingly, the accuracy of ultrasonography to diagnose [… read more]

Oct 042011
 

On the off chance you someday need to diagnose tuberculosis from intrathoracic lymphadenopathy (I suppose in the rare patient with smear-negative sputum, which is more common in HIV co-infection), endobronchial ultrasound can help you out, say Navani et al. They report on 156 consecutive patients (over 2 years at 4 centers) found to have tuberculous [… read more]

Oct 022011
 

So you’ve referred your patient with stage III non-small cell lung cancer (N2 or N3 mediastinal nodes) to receive neoadjuvant chemoradiation therapy in the hopes of eliminating cancer from the mediastinal nodes, “downstaging” her to a resectable N0 status. How do you re-evaluate the lymph nodes to ensure resection may be curative? von Bartheld et [… read more]