De Smet et al reheat the data from their 2009 NEJM study, in which they cluster-randomized and crossed-over 5,939 patients staying >48hrs in 13 Dutch ICUs to receive either 1) standard care; 2) selective oropharyngeal decontamination (topical amphotericin B, colistin, and tobramycin in the oropharynx), or 3) selective digestive tract decontamination (the same drugs in the mouth, stomach, [… read more]
Patients taking pramipexole for 6 months had a 14-point fall in their IRLS score, and 59% “responded” (had at least a 50% fall in their score). But time worked well, too: placebo patients had an 11-point decline in scores and 43% responded. So 1 in 6 responded to pramipexole, practically speaking (they don’t say this, [… read more]
Those patients with severe acute lung injury due to pneumonia or aspiration who received the rSP-C surfactant product did no better on important outcomes (28-day survival, need for ventilation, organ-failure-free days) than those receiving usual care, report Spragg et al.(n=843). AJRCCM 2011;183:1055-1061.
Four-drug therapy (RIPE) requires high patient commitment and imposes logistical demands on health systems in developing countries. Lienhardt et al report that a fixed-drug combination (FDC) of rifampin, isoniazid, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol was noninferior in producing negative cultures at 18 months compared to taking the drugs separately (both arms ~94% cure rate) in Africa, Asia and Latin [… read more]
Fen-phen died in court, but phenteramine was cleared of all serious charges. Gadde et al report phase III results for Qnexa (by Vivus), a phenteramine-topiramate combination. Over 56 weeks, takers of a double-dose of study drug lost 10 kg; single-dose, 8 kg; and placebo, 1.4 kg. There were plenty of side effects (dry mouth and paresthesias [… read more]
Maki et al randomized 407 patients at 25 dialysis units to have their catheters “locked” for up to 6 months with either heparin, or “C-MB-P solution” (citric acid, methylene blue, and propylparaben). The patients getting the antimicrobial potion had a 0.29 relative risk for bloodstream infection (BSI) without loss of catheter patency. (n=407) Crit Care Med 2011;39:613-620.
Varenicline is to be started one week prior to the smoking cessation quit date. Hajek et al randomized patients to take Chantix or placebo as a run-in for 3 weeks prior to that. All patients took varenicline for 1 week prior and 3 months after quitting. Those who were “preloaded” had 12-week abstinence rates of [… read more]
Adolescents randomized to the ASMA school-based intervention (education and self-assessment tools for kids & their providers) had better control of their asthma on multiple hard and soft outcome measures, compared to kids getting usual care, Bruzzese et al report. (n=345).AJRCCM 2011;183:998-1006.
After implementing an “MRSA bundle” in 2007 including nasal surveillance, contact precautions for positive patients, hand hygiene, and culture-indoctrination of employees, MRSA infections among all VA hospital ICUs fell from 1.64 to 0.62 per 1000 patient-days (a 62% reduction, p<0.001). MRSA infections on the wards fell from 0.47 to 0.26 per 1000 patient-days (45% reduction, [… read more]
Huskins et al cluster-randomized 18 ICUs to an intervention of surveillance cultures with contact precautions for positive patients, or a control of no cultures and universal precautions (gloves). The intervention ICUs used contact precautions more frequently (51% vs. 38%), but had the same MRSA/VRE colonization/infection rates, the primary endpoint (40 vs 35%, p=0.35). Clinician compliance [… read more]
Trouillet et al randomized patients requiring mechanical ventilation 4 days after cardiac surgery to either immediate perc-trach, or delayed percutaneous tracheostomy at 15 days. There were no differences in ventilator-free days at 60 days, nor in survival at 28, 60, or 90 days, nor in rates of VAP; however, the early-trach group had a lower [… read more]
Hooman et al pooled 5 randomized trials with 112 patients, who had 184 episodes of elevated intracranial pressure. They concluded hypertonic saline is better at reducing ICP; but the relative-risk-for-ICP-control confidence interval was 1.0-1.3 and the mean ICP reduction included zero (-1.6 to 5.7 mm Hg). So, maybe. Crit Care Med 2011;39:554-559.
Busse et al randomized 419 inner-city kids (age 6-20) with uncontrolled, skin-test-positive, mostly severe allergic asthma and IgE < 1,300 IU/mL to 60 weeks of omalizumab or placebo. The treated group had modest improvements: ~1 fewer day of symptoms per month and a 5% absolute reduction in hospitalizations (1.5% vs 6.3%); 18% fewer of them [… read more]
Roquilly et ses amis francais randomized 150 critically ill victims of severe French trauma to hydrocortisone or placebo for 7 days. The treated group had an absolute 16-19% lower risk for hospital-acquired pneumonia, the primary endpoint (36% vs. 51-54% depending on which intention-to-treat analysis you prefer, p=0.007 to 0.01). (n=150). JAMA 2011;305:1201-1209.
Fernandez-Cerrano et al randomized 56 people with CAP in Spain (only 3 needed mechanical ventilation) to receive methylprednisolone bolus-and-taper or placebo, in addition to ceftriaxone and levofloxacin. The steroid-treated group had less hypoxemia (lower PaO2/FiO2). (n=56). Critical Care 2011;15:R96. FREE FULL TEXT MORE ON THIS: In AJRCCM 2005, Confalonieri found less septic shock and need [… read more]
Accurso et al report phase 3 results from industry-funded TIGER-1, testing t.i.d. inhaled denufusol (an ion channel regulator that alters sodium/chloride transport to improve mucociliary clearance) vs. placebo in early cystic fibrosis (FEV1>74% predicted). After 24 weeks, FEV1 was 45 mL better in the treated group, most of whom were younger than age 19. There [… read more]
Valdyanathan et al gave prednisolone 25 mg (equivalent to prednisone) or placebo daily for 2 weeks to sufferers of chronic rhinosinusitis in the UK, followed by 8 months of nasal fluticasone (drops, then spray) for all. The orally-treated group had a 2.1-point fall in their polyp grade and could smell better, at 6 months. Ann [… read more]
How “hard” should we “hit” our patients with Lasix? And does that hurt? Felker et al asked that (sort of) in a NHLBI-funded trial. They gave furosemide to 308 patients hospitalized for ADHF in an IV dose either equivalent to their home dose, or at 2.5 times their home dose, and either at q12-hour intervals [… read more]
In a rare encouraging positive study in the chronically critically ill, 71% of vent-dependent patients (~6 weeks on MV) who did multiple sets of daily inspirations backwards through a PEEP valve weaned from mechanical ventilation (defined as >72 hrs off the vent), vs. 47% receiving a sham treatment. MIP also improved by 10 cmH2O in [… read more]
Tashkin et al randomized 504 patients at 27 centers with COPD and FEV1 > 49% to varenicline or placebo for 12 weeks, with 52 weeks follow up. Smoking cessation / abstinence rate (carbon monoxide-confirmed) was 42% vs 9% in weeks 9 – 12 (1′ endpoint), and 19% vs. 6% in weeks 9 – 52 (p<0.0001). [… read more]