Randomized Controlled Trials

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]

Sep 202012
 
Gabapentin improved chronic cough in randomized trial

Chronic cough is the scourge both of the coughers themselves, and the doctors who treat them. Although rarely medically serious, chronic cough can be surprisingly debilitating by disrupting sufferers’ social and professional lives. Doctors, for their part, often feel frustrated and powerless in treating chronic cough. Although gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), asthma, ACE inhibitor use, [… read more]

Jul 092012
 
Meropenem + moxifloxacin: no improvement over meropenem alone in severe sepsis (RCT)

In the first randomized trial of its kind, patients with severe sepsis or septic shock who were given meropenem alone had equivalent clinical outcomes to patients who were given combination therapy including meropenem and moxifloxacin. The results, reported in JAMA, provide ethical support to critical care physicians who prefer to be conservative antibiotic stewards. But [… read more]

Jul 072012
 
GM-CSF (Leukine) for acute lung injury & ARDS (RCT)

Human recombinant granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF or Leukine) did not reduce ventilator-days in patients with acute lung injury / ARDS in a randomized trial published in the January 2012 Critical Care Medicine. Why would it have? Interestingly, patients with ARDS with higher levels of GM-CSF in their BAL fluid are more likely to survive. GM-CSF maintains [… read more]

Jun 232012
 
Acupuncture improved COPD in a "real" randomized trial

Acupuncture has danced on the fringes of mainstream Western medical therapy for decades. Acupuncture has been shown to improve numerous conditions –for example, reducing dyspnea in patients with cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in a few randomized trials. But — unsurprisingly, given complementary medicine’s lack of funding and acceptance among traditional academics — [… read more]

Jun 142012
 
Most clinical trials are too small, often underpowered

The past decade has seen an explosion in the number of clinical trials; there are now more than 10,000 new trials registered each year. Although clinical trials’ quality is improving somewhat, most are still small and single-center and a large proportion do not adhere with reporting requirements, raising serious questions as to what we are [… read more]

Jun 092012
 
COPD self-care program fail; unexplained deaths at VA hospitals (RCT)

Chronic diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) account for at least 2/3 of medical care spending in the U.S. Policy makers, payers, and many physicians recognize that the outpatient clinic-based model is poorly suited to provide support in between physician visits, when most complications or exacerbations occur. Many hospitalizations and decline in function could [… read more]

Jun 072012
 
Inhaled hypertonic saline for young kids with cystic fibrosis: no benefit? (RCT)

(image: Bennett Gamel blog) Inhaled hypertonic saline (7% NaCl) increases clearance of mucus by airway cilia, making it an attractive treatment for cystic fibrosis. Hypertonic saline has been a cornerstone of daily therapy for CF ever since a 2006 NEJM randomized trial showed that ~80 adults and kids older than 6 using hypertonic saline for [… read more]

May 252012
 
Fever reduction improves early mortality in septic shock? Take a closer look

by Scott Aberegg, MD, MPH It is rare occasion that one article allows me to review so many aspects of the epistemology of medical evidence, but alas Schortgen et al afforded me that opportunity in the May 15th issue of AJRCCM. The issues raised by this article are so numerous that I shall make subsections for each one. [… read more]

May 132012
 
Chantix: no excess cardiovascular risk in new meta-analysis

(image: People’s Pharmacy) Sure to re-light controversy around Pfizer’s varenicline (Chantix): a new study concludes the smoking cessation drug likely carries no increased risk for cardiovascular events.  Judith Prochaska and Joan Hilton (University of California – San Francisco) report the results in the May 4 BMJ. Sonal Singh (Johns Hopkins) et al’s previous meta-analysis, reported in CMAJ [… read more]

Apr 122012
 
Release the data on Relenza and Tamiflu, Cochrane implores Pharma (NYT)

Antiviral drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) made big bucks for Roche and GSK respectively during the H1N1 influenza pandemic: Roche reportedly sold  about $3 billion of Tamiflu in 2009. Although sales have dropped off precipitously, the drugs are still recommended by CDC for serious cases of seasonal influenza. But do Relenza and Tamiflu even [… read more]

Apr 062012
 

The 5-year results of the Danish Lung Cancer Screening Trial (DLCST) were reported in the April 2012 Thorax, and they show no mortality benefit from annual screening for lung cancer with chest CT. Rather, it appeared that more harmless early stage cancers were identified through screening — “overdiagnosis” of cancers that would never have advanced [… read more]

Mar 042012
 

It wasn’t such a crazy idea, injecting beta-agonists continuously into the veins of people with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) for a week. After all, if you spray some albuterol on alveolar epithelial cells in a dish, it upregulates their cAMP production and doubles the rate at which they clear fluid across their basement membranes. [… read more]

Feb 282012
 

For unclear reasons, people receiving chemotherapy for solid tumors are at particularly increased risk for deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism (DVT/PE). Semuloparin is an ultra-low-molecular weight heparin with a long half life of 16-20 hours that (like enoxaparin) is renally excreted. Sanofi, makers of Lovenox, report in the February 16 New England Journal of [… read more]

Feb 232012
 

GlaxoSmithKline has a new once-daily inhaled corticosteroid called fluticasone furoate; it has enhanced affinity for glucocorticoid receptors and a longer duration of action compared to the commonly-used fluticasone propionate, which must be taken twice daily to achieve a steady bioavailable concentration. In the January Thorax, William Busse et al report the findings of a Phase [… read more]

Feb 222012
 
Restrictive blood transfusion was fine for high-CV-risk patients after hip fracture repair (RCT, NEJM)

There’s not much data to guide the transfusion of red blood cells. In 1999, there was the beautifully executed and practice-changing Transfusion Requirements in Critical Care (TRICC) trial, which showed that a restrictive transfusion strategy (hemoglobin trigger of 7 g/dL) in ICU patients resulted in a non-stat.significantly lower mortality (19% vs. 23%) compared to a [… read more]

Feb 212012
 
Amoxicillin speeds resolution of acute sinus infections, but imperceptibly? (RCT, JAMA)

Amoxicillin may hasten the recovery from acute sinusitis (sinus infections), with more patients feeling just a tiny bit better after a week of amoxicillin compared to placebo, according to a clinical trial published in the February 15 JAMA. After 10 days, those taking placebo felt as well as those taking antibiotics. You may have heard [… read more]