Randomized Controlled Trials

Oct 142018
 
Procalcitonin strategy in the ED did not reduce antibiotic use (ProACT)

Procalcitonin-driven algorithms did not lead to lower antibiotic use for suspected pneumonias in the emergency department, in a large randomized trial. The multicenter ProACT trial enrolled 1,656 patients presenting with symptoms of pneumonia at multiple emergency departments. Patients were randomized to receive care guided by procalcitonin results (with thresholds to guide initiation or withholding of antibiotics), [… read more]

Sep 262018
 
Endobronchial valves now FDA approved for severe COPD

In the lungs of patients with severe emphysema (COPD), relatively large spaces previously containing lung tissue (obliterated by smoking) become filled with stagnant air that doesn’t circulate with breathing. This ominously-named “dead-space ventilation” reduces the overall mechanical efficiency of breathing, often causing disabling dyspnea. Lung volume reduction surgery (cutting out the dead space, usually at [… read more]

Aug 192018
 
Seven days of antibiotics were as good as 14 for gram-negative bacteremia

Two-week antibiotic courses have been considered standard care for most patients with bacteremia who do not have sepsis or an untreated primary source (e.g. endocarditis). No good evidence ever supported the practice, which was supported mainly by retrospective data in patients with sepsis. A new study suggests that treating gram-negative bacteremia for seven days is [… read more]

Aug 122018
 
Increasing inhaled steroids to abort asthma attacks: does it work?

When patients with asthma feel their symptoms worsening and fear a full-blown exacerbation is imminent, what should they do? Doctors and researchers have never found a good answer to this question for most patients. The options are, generally: 1) continue current controller inhalers and observing; 2) increase the dose of inhaled steroid inhalers; or 3) [… read more]

Aug 032018
 
Scheduled nebulization with acetylcysteine didn't help ventilated patients

by Salynn Boyles, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today Regular nebulization proved to be no more effective than nebulization on demand in a randomized trial involving critically ill patients receiving invasive ventilation, researchers reported. Among ICU patients expected to need invasive ventilation for at least 24 hours, scheduled nebulization four times a day involving acetylcysteine with salbutamol did not [… read more]

Jul 232018
 
Sodium Bicarbonate Administration in Severe Metabolic Acidemia: the BICAR-ICU Trial

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] “What is REAL?” -Velveteen Rabbit A 42 year old woman with poorly-controlled type II diabetes is admitted with a severe soft tissue infection of her left lower extremity.  She is hypotensive with altered sensorium and she is noted to have a rapidly progressing border of deep, crimson erythema and edema [… read more]

Jul 202018
 
Prophylactic Precedex prevented delirium in ICU patients

Quick Take: This small (n=100), two-center, industry-funded (Hospira) study showed a remarkable 80% prevention rate of ICU delirium (compared to 20% with placebo) with patients given dexmedetomidine prophylactically during their ICU stay. Although associated with poor outcomes in critically ill patients, delirium is not known to be an independent predictor of those outcomes. This small [… read more]

Jul 192018
 
Prophylactic haloperidol did not prevent delirium in the ICU

Delirium occurs in a large proportion of critically ill patients, and ICU patients who get delirious tend to have longer hospital stays and higher mortality. However, it has never been shown that delirium independently increases the risk for poor outcomes, or is just a fellow traveler with severe illness, i.e., a signal of more severe [… read more]

Jul 152018
 
Should antibiotics for sepsis be given in the ambulance?

Observational studies of patients in sepsis strongly suggest that outcomes are improved by giving antibiotics as soon as possible after recognition of sepsis. The Surviving Sepsis Campaign recently decided everyone with suspected sepsis should receive antibiotics within one hour of emergency department arrival. So why not give antibiotics before the patient even arrives to the [… read more]

Jun 242018
 
DVT-PE in cancer: Oral anticoagulant edoxaban non-inferior to enoxaparin

Most patients with cancer-associated deep venous thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE) in the U.S. are treated indefinitely with subcutaneous injections of low-molecular weight heparin (LMWH), like enoxaparin. LMWH has been shown to be better than warfarin at preventing DVT/PE in cancer patients, with similar rates of bleeding. A new generation of oral anticoagulants have [… read more]

Jun 142018
 
Vitamin C cocktail for sepsis: randomized trials to test efficacy

Since Marik et al announced exceptional survival rates among patients with septic shock given a cocktail of vitamin C, thiamine, and hydrocortisone, physicians taking care of septic patients have expressed both enthusiasm and skepticism about the cocktail’s reported lifesaving effects. Soon, more rigorous testing from randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trials should provide harder data about the [… read more]

Jun 132018
 
Bougies for all intubations led to high success rates, even on difficult airways

Bougies are long, stiff plastic wands inserted into the trachea through the glottis during direct laryngoscopy (DL), providing a “guidewire” over which an endotracheal (ET) tube can then be more easily advanced into the trachea. Bougies have traditionally been used after one or more failed intubation attempts with direct laryngoscopy, at which point the airway [… read more]

Jun 072018
 
Prolonged infusions of beta-lactam antibiotics save lives in sepsis: meta-analysis

Infusing antipseudomonal beta-lactam antibiotics over longer periods could save lives in sepsis over intermittent bolus dosing, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials. Vardakas et al aggregated data from studies of patients with sepsis receiving infusions of carbapenems, cephalosporins, and penicillins with antipseudomonal activity. Studies included compared prolonged infusion (over at least three [… read more]

May 012018
 
Catheter-Directed Lysis Adds Risk, Not Benefit, for Proximal DVT

by Crystal Phend, Senior Associate Editor, MedPage Today Thrombolytics delivered to acute proximal deep-vein thrombus (DVT) with clot removal did not reduce the risk of post-thrombotic syndrome but did raise major bleeding risk over anticoagulant treatment alone in the Acute Venous Thrombosis: Thrombus Removal with Adjunctive Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis (ATTRACT) clinical trial. The proportion of patients with post-thrombotic [… read more]

Apr 192018
 
Checking procalcitonin in the ICU saves lives? Maybe

Procalcitonin (PCT) levels can be useful (although limited) in deciding whether and when to start, de-escalate, and stop antibiotic therapy in patients with suspected infection. Physicians’ use of procalcitonin in antibiotic decisions has exploded since the FDA approval of a PCT assay whose manufacturer provides specific (albeit oversimplified) cut-off values at which to consider infection [… read more]

Apr 042018
 
Are balanced crystalloids better than saline? SMART Talk with Dr. Michael Pinsky

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] with illustrations by Carla M Canepa MD “Each time new experiments are observed to agree with the predictions, the theory survives and our confidence in it is increased; but if ever new observation is found to disagree, we have to abandon or modify the theory.” — Stephen Hawking A 47 [… read more]

Mar 022018
 
Corticosteroids do help in sepsis: ADRENAL trial

Stress-dose corticosteroids appear safe and generally beneficial in patients with septic shock undergoing mechanical ventilation, without improving survival. That’s the takeaway from the ADRENAL trial recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Investigators (led by the famed ANZICS collaborative) randomized 3,800 patients with septic shock requiring mechanical ventilation in 69 medical-surgical ICUs around the [… read more]

Feb 162018
 
Ruling Out PE in the ED: Critical Analysis of the PROPER Trial

By Scott Aberegg, M.D., M.P.H. This post is going to be an in-depth “journal club” style analysis of the PROPER trial. In this week’s JAMA, Freund et al report the results of the PROPER randomized controlled trial of the PERC (pulmonary embolism rule -out criteria) rule for safely excluding pulmonary embolism (PE) in the emergency department (ED) [… read more]

Feb 152018
 
PERC Can Safely Rule Out Pulmonary Embolism in ED Setting

By Salynn Boyles, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today A clinical assessment protocol proved to be as effective as blood testing and CT imaging in the emergency department setting for ruling out pulmonary embolism in very low-risk patients in a newly reported French clinical trial. The crossover cluster-randomized PROPER study was conducted at 14 emergency departments (EDs) in France [… read more]

Jan 312018
 
Choose Wisely – Avoid Sildenafil for Pulmonary Hypertension in Corrected Left-Heart Valvular Disease (SIOVAC Trial)

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] “It’s these expressions, I never give, That keep me searching for a heart of gold … And I’m gettin’ old.” -Neil Young An 86 year old woman is admitted with progressive dyspnea and lower extremity edema.  8 months ago she received a trans-catheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) for severe aortic [… read more]