Randomized Controlled Trials

May 302019
 
Neuromuscular blockade for ARDS was no help, in supine patients

Continuous neuromuscular blockade for severe ARDS became common practice after the ACURASYS trial (2010) showed it reduced mortality by an absolute 9%. A larger trial, ROSE, now finds no benefit of the therapy over usual care — but leaves lingering questions due to major design differences. The ROSE trial was a multicenter randomized trial in [… read more]

Apr 142019
 
Titrating PEEP using esophageal pressures did not improve ARDS outcomes (EPVent-2)

In acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), using pleural pressure to adjust positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) has long been considered a cumbersome but theoretically ideal technique to optimize ventilator management. Using esophageal pressure as a surrogate for pleural pressure can allow one to calculate and minimize the transpulmonary pressure gradient, elevations in which are the putative [… read more]

Apr 072019
 
Bag-mask ventilation during intubation in ICU prevents severe hypoxemia

A randomized trial confirmed what most intensivists have long believed and practiced: in the moments before endotracheal intubation, we should help patients achieve the highest arterial oxygen saturation possible, using bag-mask ventilation (BMV). This seems self evident — why wouldn’t we? Bag-mask ventilation can distend the stomach with air, potentially increasing the risk for vomiting [… read more]

Apr 072019
 
Early norepinephrine improved septic shock, prevented pulmonary edema

Guidelines advise physicians give large boluses of intravenous crystalloid infusions (two to three liters, generally) to patients with septic shock. Vasopressors are typically begun only if patients’ blood pressure remains low after fluid administration. A vocal minority of researchers have advised against delaying vasopressors in septic shock, arguing that norepinephrine, not intravenous fluid, is the [… read more]

Apr 072019
 
Andexanet works as antidote to apixaban, rivaroxaban, data show

by Nicole Lou, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today HONOLULU — Andexanet alfa (Andexxa), the reversal agent for anticoagulants in the factor Xa inhibitor class, worked for patients who developed acute major bleeding while on one of these agents, the full report of the ANNEXA-4 study confirmed. A bolus of the antidote saw median anti-factor Xa activity drop more [… read more]

Mar 172019
 
Proton pump inhibitors did not improve outcomes in ICUs (SUP-ICU trial)

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are widely prescribed to mechanically ventilated patients to prevent gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. The evidence for their use is not strong; individual randomized trials have not shown a clear benefit over histamine blockers, but when many trials were pooled into meta-analyses, PPIs do appear to be superior. The Surviving Sepsis Guidelines have [… read more]

Mar 152019
 
Time to start using newer oral anticoagulants for DVT-PE in cancer patients?

About one in five patients with cancer will develop pulmonary embolism (PE) or deep venous thrombosis (DVT), together called venous thromboembolism (VTE). Cancer patients who develop VTE are four times more likely to have experience another (recurrent) DVT or PE. Twice-daily injections of enoxaparin are advised for patients with cancer-related DVT/PE, or who are at [… read more]

Mar 152019
 
New antibiotic Omadacycline is effective for community-acquired pneumonia

by Molly Walker, Staff Writer, MedPage Today Omadacycline, a novel antibiotic in the tetracycline class, was non-inferior to standard of care for both community-acquired bacterial pneumonia and acute bacterial skin and skin-structure infections, two randomized trials found. There was no significant difference in early clinical response among patients with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia randomized to omadacycline and those [… read more]

Mar 082019
 
How should we relate to "unreasonable" families in the ICU?

Most families have never suffered through a loved one experiencing prolonged critical illness and respiratory failure (defined as ventilator dependence for weeks, usually with a tracheostomy). But each year, more do. An estimated 400,000 people currently live with chronic critical illness in long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs) and other facilities — a population that has [… read more]

Feb 232019
 
Should We Stop Trending Lactate in Septic Shock?  ANDROMEDA-SHOCK Published

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] “The truth is balance, but the opposite of truth, which is unbalance, may not be a lie.” -Susan Sontag Case A 49 year old man presents with two days of hemoptysis, right-sided pleuritic chest pain and a few hours of ‘confusion’ according to his teammate in a pick-up hockey league.  One [… read more]

Feb 212019
 
Theophylline as add-on therapy was no use in preventing COPD exacerbations

Theophylline is derived from methylxanthine, naturally present in tea and cocoa beans. Initially used medically in 1895 as a diuretic, theophylline was one of the first drugs for asthma and COPD/emphysema (beginning in 1922), after its bronchodilation effects were discovered. Theophylline also has cardiac and central nervous system stimulant side effects and can produce tachyarrhythmias [… read more]

Feb 172019
 
Cricoid pressure no help during endotracheal intubation in large trial

Pressing fingers against the cricoid cartilage (the Sellick maneuver) during rapid sequence intubation compresses the esophagus beneath the firmer trachea. It has long been espoused that this prevents aspiration (emesis or reflux of gastric contents into the supraglottic space and airway, obscuring the operator’s view and harming the patient). The Sellick maneuver is believed to [… read more]

Feb 082019
 
Decontaminating patients did not reduce bloodstream infections

A large proportion of patients who remain in ICUs for more than a few days develop hospital-acquired infections, including bloodstream infections. Indwelling urinary or venous catheters, gut translocation, aspiration and impaired host defenses can all be causative. Bloodstream infection incidence has been reduced over time, but remains persistently ineradicable. One enticing method of prevention has been [… read more]

Jan 242019
 
For most critically ill patients, a 'starvation diet' seems just fine (TARGET trial)

Very little evidence guides nutrition in critical illness. Because of critically ill patients’ catabolic state, and probably influenced by the normalization fallacy, nutrition practices often include efforts to provide daily calories in the 1,800 – 2,000 range. However, anorexia may be adaptive during illness (since it is common to multiple disease states); greater enterally infused [… read more]

Jan 012019
 
Best of 2018 on PulmCCM

Best of 2018:       Prone positioning for severe ARDS advised by major societies    2018 Update to Surviving Sepsis Guidelines: Cue Backlash   Management of Ground Glass and Subsolid Pulmonary Nodules: Review   Vasopressors and Inotropes for Shock Syndromes: Review     Prophylactic Precedex prevented delirium in ICU patients   Corticosteroids do help [… read more]

Dec 162018
 
Dupilumab as add-on biologic improved allergic asthma outcomes

by Salynn Boyles, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today  SEATTLE — Add-on treatment with the biologic therapy dupilumab (Dupixent) was associated with reduced severe exacerbations and improved lung function in patients with allergic asthma in a post-hoc analysis of phase III data from the Liberty Asthma Quest study reported here. The analysis compared outcomes in patients with allergic disease versus those [… read more]

Dec 072018
 
Could anti-reflux surgery slow idiopathic lung fibrosis?

by Diana Swift, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today Laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery deserves further investigation for prevention of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) progression in some patients with gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), after favorable results were seen in a phase II study. Known as the WRAP-IPF trial, the study found GERD surgery was safe and well tolerated, with fewer serious adverse [… read more]

Nov 292018
 
Delay renal replacement in severe sepsis with acute kidney injury: IDEAL-ICU

Another large study suggests that there is no benefit to early initiation of renal replacement therapy (RRT) in patients with severe sepsis with septic shock and acute kidney injury (AKI). And many patients whose renal replacement was delayed recovered sufficient kidney function to avoid dialysis entirely. Because AKI is associated with worse outcomes in critical [… read more]

Nov 102018
 
Intubation or bag-mask ventilation: Outcomes similar for cardiac arrest patients

Well-done bag-mask ventilation can produce adequate gas exchange for the vast majority of cardiac arrest patients, but does not provide a secure airway and is physically taxing. Patients in cardiac arrest undergoing CPR tend to immediately receive bag-mask ventilation, which is often interrupted to perform endotracheal intubation. To facilitate intubation, chest compressions may also be [… read more]

Oct 302018
 
Point of Care Ultrasound Unhelpful in Undifferentiated Hypotension? The SHOC-ED trial & the 'Tale of the Eighth Mare'

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] with illustrations by Carla M Canepa MD [@_carlemd_] “History does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” -Mark Twain Case An 89 year old man with a 100 pack-year smoking history is admitted with weakness and inability to take anything by mouth.  He was discharged 2 months prior after a treatment [… read more]