Dec 312012
 
In ARDS, women and short people get higher, potentially deadly tidal volumes

In most areas of life, it helps to be tall, and needing treatment for ARDS further proves the rule. Tall people are less likely to get harmful lung-distending tidal volumes during mechanical ventilation, simply by virtue of having bigger lungs. It’s bad enough that we intensivists might discriminate against the under-six-feet crowd (of which I [… read more]

Dec 302012
 
Bad news for IP guys? Incidental mediastinal lymphadenopathy may not need routine biopsy

(image: Wikipedia) With increasing use of chest CT, incidental mediastinal lymphadenopathy seems to be frequently discovered and subsequently biopsied using EBUS. The “if it’s enlarged, stick a needle in it” mantra is challenged by a paper by Stigt et al. 83 people (age ~59) with at least one incidentally discovered mediastinal lymph node > 1 [… read more]

Dec 302012
 
Meet the New ARDS: Expert panel announces new definition, severity classes

(image: Wikipedia) An expert panel announced a new definition and severity classfication system for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) that aims to simplify the diagnosis and better prognosticate outcomes from the life-threatening pulmonary illness. The proposed “Berlin definition of ARDS” predicted mortality ever-so-slightly better than the existing ARDS criteria (created at the 1994 American-European Consensus [… 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
 
Xigris' epitaph: "I Never Worked a Day in My Life" (PROWESS-SHOCK)

Recombinant human activated protein C or dotrecogin alfa — better known as Xigris, by Eli Lilly — seemed a godsend when it was first approved for treatment of severe sepsis in 2001. Xigris’ FDA approval (despite an evenly split 10-10 vote) was based solely on the Eli Lilly-funded PROWESS study, a phase 3 randomized trial [… read more]

Dec 292012
 
Xarelto (rivaroxaban) gets FDA indication for DVT and PE; no heparin bridging needed

Xarelto (rivaroxaban): New FDA Indication for DVT, PE The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Bayer’s Xarelto (rivaroxaban) for a new indication for treating deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE), and for long-term prophylaxis of recurrent DVT and PE. Xarelto already had FDA approval for prevention of DVTs and PEs after knee or [… 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 282012
 
ACCP, ATS only weakly recommend lung cancer CT screening, warn of harms

The American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) has issued its long-awaited recommendations on lung cancer screening with chest CT — and far from a ringing endorsement of screening, they are conservative and subdued, emphasizing the potential risks of an uncontrolled approach to lung cancer screening in the general population. The American Society of Clinical Oncology [… read more]

Dec 282012
 
American Lung Association recommends CT screening for lung cancer

The American Lung Association has become the largest advisory body to recommend lung cancer screening for high-risk people, advising nearly all people aged 55-74 with a 30+ pack-year smoking history (the entry criteria for the National Lung Screening Trial, or NLST) to undergo low-dose CT scanning to detect early lung cancer. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network, [… read more]

Dec 272012
 
Surviving Sepsis Guidelines Updated: Preview from SCCM Meeting

More: Surviving Sepsis Guidelines Review / Update The Surviving Sepsis Campaign is a collaboration between the U.S. Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine, and the International Sepsis Forum, whose recommendations on the management of sepsis are considered widely. At the 2012 SCCM meeting, the Surviving Sepsis committee revealed [… read more]

Dec 262012
 
New IPF staging and prognosis model announced

(image: Wikipedia) Access the online GAP Score Calculator for IPF Although idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) has a poor prognosis — a median survival of only 3 years — there is wide heterogeneity among individual patients. Some have a precipitous decline and die within months of diagnosis; others live for a decade or longer, with little [… read more]

Dec 262012
 
Pleural catheters equal to pleurodesis for dyspnea relief from malignant effusions (TIME2)

(image: Wikipedia) In the TIME2 randomized trial published in the June 13 2012 JAMA, indwelling pleural catheters and talc pleurodesis were equivalent at reducing dyspnea over the 6 weeks following the procedure among 106 patients with malignant pleural effusions. Most patients receiving pleural catheters required no hospital stays, and overall had fewer repeat procedures than those [… read more]

Dec 252012
 
Go back to bed; overnight intensivists don't reduce mortality

We intensivists are a scarce and valuable commodity — just ask us, we’ll tell you. It’s been consistently shown, for example, that involved intensivists in an ICU during the day correlates with improved mortality and efficiencies in care. Now that’s something we can all cheer (ourselves) about. Many intensivists also like to sleep, and may [… read more]

Dec 242012
 
Hydroxyethyl starches kill people with severe sepsis; use crystalloid instead (RCT)

Colloids are believed to be more effective expanders of plasma volume than crystalloids, making them a tempting therapy to use for patients in septic shock and other causes of hemodynamic instability. Problem is, some colloid solutions seem to kill people. The VISEP Trial using hydroxyethyl starch 200 kDa/0.5 demonstrated that this high molecular weight HES [… read more]

Dec 242012
 
Let's be honest: quitting smoking usually does make you fatter

There’s no use in sugar-coating the truth: Nicotine is an appetite suppressant, and smoking prevents weight gain. Not wanting to gain weight is a common reason why body-obsessed teenage girls say they smoke–and as far as we know, they’re “right:” teens who smoke gain slightly less weight than teens who don’t. It’s also long been believed [… 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]

Dec 232012
 
Nicotine patches don't help in pregnancy, esp. if you don't wear them (RCT)

(image: Smokersworld.info) You never see pregnant women smoking in public, but surveys say 12-25% of pregnant women in developed countries smoke during pregnancy. Of course they know they shouldn’t — with smoking’s increased risks for miscarriage, low birth weight, premature birth, birth defects, and even sudden infant death after delivery. Most pregnant women want badly [… read more]

Dec 222012
 
Trophic feeding equal to full enteric feeding in acute lung injury (EDEN trial)

Where should we set the dial for caloric delivery to our patients with acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)? Weak observational trials suggest low caloric intake might be associated with poor outcomes [ref1, 2]. On the other hand, other observational data suggests just the opposite: restricting calories early on may reduce ventilator [… read more]

Dec 222012
 
Lansoprazole didn't help kids with uncontrolled asthma (RCT)

Proton Pump Inhibitors No Help for Kids’ Asthma Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) is a mysterious co-conspirator with asthma. Many people with uncontrolled asthma have reflux (either symptomatic by history, or asymptomatic and detected on esophageal pH studies). Randomized trials in adults suggest that treating symptomatic GERD (gastroesophageal reflux DISEASE) improves asthma, but treating asymptomatic GER does not [… read more]