Dec 202012
 
CPAP cures metabolic syndrome in obstructive sleep apnea (Retracted)

CPAP Improves Metabolic Syndrome in Obstructive Sleep Apnea This paper has been RETRACTED! Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy reversed elements of the high cardiovascular risk profile known as metabolic syndrome in a substantial minority of Indians with treatment-naive obstructive sleep apnea, according to this article in the New England Journal of Medicine. More than [… read more]

Dec 192012
 
FDA approves ivacaftor (Kalydeco), new cystic fibrosis drug (Guess what it costs?)

Kalydeco: New Drug Helps Some with Cystic Fibrosis On January 31, the FDA approved ivacaftor (Kalydeco), the first-ever drug that treats an underlying cause of cystic fibrosis. In about 4% of cystic fibrosis patients, defective chloride ion channel transporters (CFTRs) are trafficked to the cell membrane, but don’t work properly. Kalydeco “unlocks” and improves function [… read more]

Dec 182012
 
Enoxaparin prophylaxis: no effect on mortality or fatal pulmonary embolism (RCT)

Does Enoxaparin Prophylaxis Really Help Most Hospitalized Patients? A huge randomized trial (LIFENOX) stunned experts by showing no benefit of enoxaparin prophylaxis in preventing pulmonary embolism or all-cause mortality in acutely ill medical patients, compared to knee-length graduated compression stockings alone. Ajay Kakkar, Claudio Cimminiello, Jean-Francois Bergmann et al report their surprising results in the [… read more]

Dec 172012
 
Tiotropium as add-on "triple therapy" for COPD associated with better outcomes

Adding Spiriva to LABA and Inhaled Steroid Might Improve COPD No strong outcomes-based evidence exists as to the benefits in treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with tiotropium, long-acting beta-agonist and inhaled corticosteroid together — so called “triple therapy.” LABA and tiotropium together do provide additive bronchodilation over either agent alone, evidence suggests. However, only [… read more]

Dec 162012
 
Long-acting beta agonist safety for asthma (Review)

Just How “Dangerous” Are Long-Acting Beta-Agonists, Really? Gustavo Rodriguez and Jose Castro-Rodriguez reviewed 20 systematic reviews and databases reporting on the incidence of adverse events with long-acting beta-agonist (LABA) therapy for asthma, for the April 2012 Thorax. They conclude the following: LABAs as monotherapy significantly increase the risk for adverse effects and bad outcomes from [… read more]

Dec 112012
 
Predicting survival from COPD exacerbations: DECAF score shows promise

DECAF Score Predicts COPD Exacerbation Mortality, But Needs Validation By Brett Ley, MD Despite improvements in care, death during hospitalization for acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD) is not uncommon. In the UK in 2008, almost 1 in 12 people admitted with a COPD exacerbation died in-hospital. In the U.S. in 1996, about 1 in 40 [… read more]

Dec 042012
 
Linezolid (Zyvox) good for MDR, XDR tuberculosis (RCT)

Linezolid (Zyvox) for XDR-TB: New Hope, New Caution Approved by the FDA in 2000 for drug-resistant gram positive bacterial infections, linezolid (Zyvox, Pfizer) has in clinical practice been mainly used for skin infections and the occasional pneumonia due to methicillin-resistant Staph aureus (MRSA). Now linezolid looks to be effective as an adjunct therapy for multi-drug resistant [… read more]

Nov 292012
 
Normal saline: toxic to kidneys? Chloride solutions may cause renal failure

Does Normal Saline Cause Acute Renal Failure? To internal medicine-trained physicians in the U.S., normal saline solution seems as harmless and healthy as mother’s milk. Intensivists trained in anesthesia or surgery might more often mention normal saline’s hypertonicity compared to blood, and its propensity to cause hyperchloremia, compared to lactated Ringer’s or similar solutions. But [… read more]

Nov 232012
 
Intensive glucose control in kids: no brain injury vs. standard care 3 yrs later (RCT)

Intensive Glucose Control: Safe for Critically Ill Kids’ Brains? After evangelizing globally for intensive glucose control (~100 mg/dL) to be the standard of care for virtually all critically ill adults for a decade, Greet van den Berghe might be disappointed that mounting evidence shows that a fanatical approach to maintenance of normoglycemia in critical illness [… read more]

Nov 202012
 
New pleural mesothelioma biomarker can speed diagnosis

(image: Wikipedia) Pleural Mesothelioma Biomarker Fibulin-3: Could It Improve Care? Pleural mesothelioma (malignant mesothelioma) has a dismally sad prognosis of about a year after diagnosis. Earlier detection of this lethal pleural cancer could conceivably result in earlier treatment and some improvement in life expectancy. Researchers report in the October 11, 2012 New England Journal of [… 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]

Nov 092012
 
Do people with pulmonary hypertension need in-flight oxygen?

Is In-Flight Oxygen for Pulmonary Hypertension Necessary? After finding a high rate of symptoms among people with pulmonary hypertension during commercial air flights, Nareg Roubinian, C. Gregory Elliott, and Hubert Chen are recommending that everyone with significant pulmonary hypertension planning to take a flight longer than 2.5 hours should be evaluated for supplemental in-flight oxygen. [… read more]

Nov 062012
 
Lung volume reduction coils improve dyspnea, FEV1 in COPD (RCT)

(image: PneumRx) ATLANTA — In a small, open-label pilot study, bronchoscopically-placed metal coils that retract emphysematous lung, creating lung volume reduction without surgery, produced functional and airflow improvements in a majority of patients with severe COPD, the lead researcher reported at CHEST 2012. Investigators randomized 47 patients with severe emphysema type COPD to undergo either [… read more]

Oct 312012
 
Hospital-acquired infections: stopping Gov't payment did not reduce their incidence

Preventing Hospital Acquired Infections: Stopping Payment Had No Effect In October 2008, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) stopped paying for two hospital-acquired infections: urinary infections due to indwelling catheters (UTIs) and central catheter-associated bloodstream infections (CABSI). At the time the policy was announced years ago, it was described as an incentive [… read more]

Oct 262012
 
Vitamin D is for "doesn't do diddly" for the common cold (RCT)

Extra Vitamin D Doesn’t Prevent Colds in Healthy Adults (JAMA) It looks like you can add Vitamin D to list of supplements (echinacea, vitamin C, etc.) who’ve gone up against the common cold and lost. (Scorekeepers will note that zinc held its own, though, in a Cochrane analysis.) Vitamin D plays an important role in immune responses, [… 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]

Oct 042012
 
Post-pyloric feeding no better than usual NG tube in vented patients (RCT)

Image: EIMJM.com Evidence-based practice guidelines adopted by critical care societies in Canada, Germany, Australia and New Zealand recommend starting enteral nutrition for critical illness shortly after admission to an ICU. In observational studies, critically ill adults get only about 50-70% their caloric goals from enteral feeding; reduced gastric motility is often responsible for the limited [… read more]