Review Articles

Feb 192018
 
The Great Lactate Debate Part 1: should we be counting protons or strong ions?

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] “….  She was here on earth to grasp the meaning of its wild enchantment and to call each thing by its right name …” -Boris Pasternak Background Over the last half-decade, there has been a distinct shift in the approach to lactate elevation.  The long-held belief that elevated serum lactate [… read more]

Feb 112018
 
Vasopressors and Inotropes for Shock Syndromes: Review

Overview Vasopressors and inotropes are cornerstones in the management of shock syndromes. Understanding vasopressors’ receptor activity and resultant pharmacological response enables clinicians to select the ideal vasopressor(s) for a patient suffering from shock. The following table outlines common vasopressors/inotropes and their general receptor activity profiles.1,2 Drug Dose α1 ß1 ß2 DA V1 V2 cAMP Norepinephrine [… read more]

Feb 062018
 
Meta-analysis: statins for COPD associated with better walk distance and quality of life

By Salynn Boyles, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today Treatment with statins may be beneficial in terms of improving exercise tolerance, pulmonary function and quality-of-life among chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients with co-existing cardiovascular disease, increased systemic inflammation or hyperlipidemia. That is the finding from meta-analysis of 10 randomized, controlled trials involving close to 1,500 patients, [… read more]

Jan 302018
 
Lung cancer screening with CT: Does it work in the real world?

The first real-world results from a population-based deployment of lung cancer screening are in, from a demonstration project at Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals. Screening was generally effective at identifying early-stage lung cancer, but with far more effort per cancer detected than in the seminal National Lung Screening Trial. High false positive rates led to a [… read more]

Jan 172018
 
Vitamin D improved asthma symptoms and reduced exacerbations

Multiple randomized trials have suggested that vitamin D supplementation might improve asthma control and reduce severity of asthma attacks. A new meta-analysis bolsters that hypothesis, and may encourage more physicians and people with asthma to consider vitamin D supplements for low vitamin D levels. In a study in Lancet Respiratory Medicine, authors analyzed the experience [… read more]

Jan 152018
 
Weekend hospital admissions associated with increased risk of death

“Don’t get admitted to the hospital on a weekend.” Listen, and you might hear that rueful advice muttered under the breath of a frustrated physician unable to get a prompt Saturday consultation or procedure, the requested specialist being at another hospital, or maybe her son’s soccer game. The weekend effect — patients admitted on a [… read more]

Jan 072018
 
Management of Ground Glass and Subsolid Pulmonary Nodules: Review

Authors: Samuel Copeland, MD; Ebtesam Islam, MD, PhD Pulmonary nodules are small, generally spherical abnormalities, commonly noted incidentally on chest radiography or computed tomography1. Ground glass opacifications (GGO) are a subset of pulmonary nodules or masses with non-uniformity and less density than solid nodules. GGO are usually described as either pure ground glass or part solid [… read more]

Jan 012018
 
Best of 2017 on PulmCCM

Here are the top articles from 2017 on PulmCCM: Meta-analysis confirms EGDT for sepsis is unhelpful and wasteful (PRISM) Could vitamin C save lives in sepsis? These hospitals aren’t waiting for proof. Surviving Sepsis Guidelines: A Review and Analysis Intubation during CPR was associated with worse survival and brain health FDA Approves Angiotensin-II for Septic [… read more]

Dec 132017
 
Real-world bleeding risks of new anticoagulants similar to warfarin (or lower)

New-generation oral anticoagulants (NOACs) like dabigatran, rivaroxaban, and apixaban all had similar efficacy and bleeding risk compared to warfarin in the randomized trials that led to their FDA approval. That didn’t stop trial lawyers from filing bundles of lawsuits on behalf of patients experiencing hemorrhages after taking NOACs. (The large brand-name pharmaceutical manufacturers advertising new [… read more]

Dec 012017
 
Should patients watch videos of CPR before code status decisions?

Physicians and patients alike tend to avoid frank discussions about “code status” — whether a patient would want CPR or mechanical ventilation in the event of a cardiac or respiratory arrest. When doctors address code status at all, they tend to phrase the questions in such a way to cut off any thoughtful discussion: “If [… read more]

Nov 112017
 
ICU Physiology in 1000 Words: Venous Excess & the Myth of Venous Return

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] In the last few weeks I have been contacted by curious clinical physiologists craving my conceptions of ‘venous excess’ [1].  These words will address this model, concisely and – I pray – clearly. The Myth of Venous Return The roots of venous excess took hold within the fertile soil of [… read more]

Aug 302017
 
An Illustrated Guide to the Phases of ARDS: Implications for management

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] with illustrations by Carla M. Canepa MD “Our life consists partly in madness, partly in wisdom: whoever writes about it merely respectfully and by rule leaves more than half of it behind.” -Montaigne Marking the 50 year anniversary of the first description of the adult respiratory distress syndrome – later [… read more]

Aug 242017
 
Procalcitonin Testing in Suspected Infection: Review

Procalcitonin Test: Overview Procalcitonin (PCT) is the precursor of the hormone calcitonin and is mainly produced by the thyroid. Procalcitonin is a so-called acute phase reactant, rising in response to tissue inflammation and injury. Outside the thyroid, PCT is secreted by the lungs, intestines and other tissues in increasing amounts in response to bacterial endotoxin [… read more]

Aug 232017
 

Scleroderma-Related Interstitial Lung Disease Scleroderma (SSc) is an autoimmune disease characterized by vasculopathy and fibrosis with multi organ involvement. Pulmonary complications such as interstitial lung disease (ILD) and pulmonary hypertension contribute significantly to mortality and morbidity of the disease. Up to 90% patients with scleroderma can have interstitial changes on high resolution CT scan (HRCT) [… read more]

Aug 202017
 
Contrast induced nephropathy: what's the true risk?

Iodinated IV contrast has long been considered a significant contributor to acute kidney injury in hospitalized patients. But so-called contrast induced nephropathy is hard to accurately identify in real clinical circumstances. Acute kidney injury (AKI) can happen from a variety of causes, or their combination, during acute illness. And no randomized trial has established the risk [… read more]

Aug 092017
 
Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia (HIT) Review

HIT Overview Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is a dangerous complication of heparin exposure. In HIT, the body creates an autoantibody against the complex of platelet factor 4 bound to heparin. The anti-PF4 autoantibodies can activate platelets and cause life- and limb-threatening thrombosis in arteries and veins. Platelets generally fall by more than 50% five to ten [… read more]

Jul 082017
 
Intubation during CPR was associated with worse survival and brain health

“Stop chest compressions for a minute while I intubate this patient!” That refrain must have been heard tens of thousands of times during CPR after cardiac arrest before 2010, when the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) guidelines advised resuscitation teams not to interrupt chest compressions to place advanced airways, unless a patient [… read more]

Jun 272017
 
Is hypothermia harmful after in-hospital cardiac arrest?

Will “therapeutic” hypothermia someday need to be renamed? After a rush of optimism surrounding small trials showing large benefits from hypothermia to 33° after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, hospitals and intensivists flocked to provide hypothermia to all victims of cardiac arrest (in- or out-of-hospital). When the much more powerful TTM trial showed no benefit of deep cooling [… read more]

May 072017
 
Fleischner Society Guideline Update 2017: Management of Solid Pulmonary Nodules

Updated 2017 Fleischner Society guidelines advise a less intensive approach to the management of most small pulmonary nodules incidentally discovered on CT scans. The Fleischner Society now recommends that solid nodules 6 mm or less in diameter in low-risk adults >35 years old generally need no further follow-up. In higher-risk patients, a follow-up CT scan should [… read more]