Feb 082014
 
Related Articles

Adrenal insufficiency.

Lancet. 2014 Feb 3;

Authors: Charmandari E, Nicolaides NC, Chrousos GP

Abstract
Adrenal insufficiency is the clinical manifestation of deficient production or action of glucocorticoids, with or without deficiency also in mineralocorticoids and adrenal androgens. It is a life-threatening disorder that can result from primary adrenal failure or secondary adrenal disease due to impairment of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. Prompt diagnosis and management are essential. The clinical manifestations of primary adrenal insufficiency result from deficiency of all adrenocortical hormones, but they can also include signs of other concurrent autoimmune conditions. In secondary or tertiary adrenal insufficiency, the clinical picture results from glucocorticoid deficiency only, but manifestations of the primary pathological disorder can also be present. The diagnostic investigation, although well established, can be challenging, especially in patients with secondary or tertiary adrenal insufficiency. We summarise knowledge at this time on the epidemiology, causal mechanisms, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and management of this disorder.

PMID: 24503135 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Feb 012014
 

Liver cirrhosis.

Lancet. 2014 Jan 27;

Authors: Tsochatzis EA, Bosch J, Burroughs AK

Abstract
Cirrhosis is an increasing cause of morbidity and mortality in more developed countries, being the 14th most common cause of death worldwide but fourth in central Europe. Increasingly, cirrhosis has been seen to be not a single disease entity, but one that can be subclassified into distinct clinical prognostic stages, with 1-year mortality ranging from 1% to 57% depending on the stage. We review the current understanding of cirrhosis as a dynamic process and outline current therapeutic options for prevention and treatment of complications of cirrhosis, on the basis of the subclassification in clinical stages. The new concept in management of patients with cirrhosis should be prevention and early intervention to stabilise disease progression and to avoid or delay clinical decompensation and the need for liver transplantation. The challenge in the 21st century is to prevent the need for liver transplantation in as many patients with cirrhosis as possible.

PMID: 24480518 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Dec 032013
 
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Reduction of adverse effects from intravenous acetylcysteine treatment for paracetamol poisoning: a randomised controlled trial.

Lancet. 2013 Nov 27;

Authors: Bateman DN, Dear JW, Thanacoody HK, Thomas SH, Eddleston M, Sandilands EA, Coyle J, Cooper JG, Rodriguez A, Butcher I, Lewis SC, Vliegenthart AD, Veiraiah A, Webb DJ, Gray A

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Paracetamol poisoning is common worldwide. It is treated with intravenous acetylcysteine, but the standard regimen is complex and associated with frequent adverse effects related to concentration, which can cause treatment interruption. We aimed to ascertain whether adverse effects could be reduced with either a shorter modified acetylcysteine schedule, antiemetic pretreatment, or both.
METHODS: We undertook a double-blind, randomised factorial study at three UK hospitals, between Sept 6, 2010, and Dec 31, 2012. We randomly allocated patients with acute paracetamol overdose to either the standard intravenous acetylcysteine regimen (duration 20·25 h) or a shorter (12 h) modified protocol, with or without intravenous ondansetron pretreatment (4 mg). Masking was achieved by infusion of 5% dextrose (during acetylcysteine delivery) or saline (for antiemetic pretreatment). Randomisation was done via the internet and included a minimisation procedure by prognostic factors. The primary outcome was absence of vomiting, retching, or need for rescue antiemetic treatment at 2 h. Prespecified secondary outcomes included a greater than 50% increase in alanine aminotransferase activity over the admission value. Analysis was by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (identifier NCT01050270).
FINDINGS: Of 222 patients who underwent randomisation, 217 were assessable 2 h after the start of acetylcysteine treatment. Vomiting, retching, or need for rescue antiemetic treatment at 2 h was reported in 39 of 108 patients assigned to the shorter modified protocol compared with 71 of 109 allocated to the standard acetylcysteine regimen (adjusted odds ratio 0·26, 97·5% CI 0·13-0·52; p<0·0001), and in 45 of 109 patients who received ondansetron compared with 65 of 108 allocated placebo (0·41, 0·20-0·80; p=0·003). Severe anaphylactoid reactions were recorded in five patients assigned to the shorter modified acetylcysteine regimen versus 31 who were allocated to the standard protocol (adjusted common odds ratio 0·23, 97·5% CI 0·12-0·43; p<0·0001). The proportion of patients with a 50% increase in alanine aminotransferase activity did not differ between the standard (9/110) and shorter modified (13/112) regimens (adjusted odds ratio 0·60, 97·5% CI 0·20-1·83); however, the proportion was higher with ondansetron (16/111) than with placebo (6/111; 3·30, 1·01-10·72; p=0·024).
INTERPRETATION: In patients with paracetamol poisoning, a 12 h modified acetylcysteine regimen resulted in less vomiting, fewer anaphylactoid reactions, and reduced need for treatment interruption. This study was not powered to detect non-inferiority of the shorter protocol versus the standard approach; therefore, further research is needed to confirm the efficacy of the 12 h modified acetylcysteine regimen.
FUNDING: Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government.

PMID: 24290406 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Dec 032013
 
Related Articles

Adult haemophagocytic syndrome.

Lancet. 2013 Nov 26;

Authors: Ramos-Casals M, Brito-Zerón P, López-Guillermo A, Khamashta MA, Bosch X

Abstract
Haemophagocytic syndromes (haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis) have a wide range of causes, symptoms, and outcomes, but all lead to a hyperinflammatory response and organ damage-mainly reported in paediatric patients, but reports of adult presentation are increasing. Analysis of the genetic and molecular pathophysiology of these syndromes have improved the understanding of the crosstalk between lymphocytes and histiocytes and their regulatoty mechanisms. Clinical presentations with a broad differential diagnosis, and often life-threatening outcome, complicate the management, which might include supportive intensive care, immunosuppressive and biological treatments, or haemopoietic stem cell transplantation. Insufficient knowledge of these syndromes could contribute to poor prognosis. Early diagnosis is essential to initiate appropriate treatment and improve the quality of life and survival of patients with this challenging disorder.

PMID: 24290661 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Oct 052013
 

Sarcoidosis.

Lancet. 2013 Sep 30;

Authors: Valeyre D, Prasse A, Nunes H, Uzunhan Y, Brillet PY, Müller-Quernheim J

Abstract
Sarcoidosis is a systemic disease of unknown cause that is characterised by the formation of immune granulomas in various organs, mainly the lungs and the lymphatic system. Studies show that sarcoidosis might be the result of an exaggerated granulomatous reaction after exposure to unidentified antigens in individuals who are genetically susceptible. Several new insights have been made, particularly with regards to the diagnosis and care of some important manifestations of sarcoidosis. The indications for endobronchial ultrasound in diagnosis and for PET in the assessment of inflammatory activity are now better specified. Recognition of unexplained persistent disabling symptoms, fatigue, small-fibre neurological impairment, cognitive failure, and changes to health state and quality of life, has improved. Mortality in patients with sarcoidosis is higher than that of the general population, mainly due to pulmonary fibrosis. Predicted advances for the future are finding the cause of sarcoidosis, and the elucidation of relevant biomarkers, reliable endpoints, and new efficient treatments, particularly in patients with refractory sarcoidosis, lung fibrosis, and those with persistent disabling symptoms.

PMID: 24090799 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Sep 182013
 

Asthma.

Lancet. 2013 Sep 13;

Authors: Martinez FD, Vercelli D

Abstract
Asthma is a heterogeneous group of conditions that result in recurrent, reversible bronchial obstruction. Although the disease can start at any age, the first symptoms occur during childhood in most cases. Asthma has a strong genetic component, and genome-wide association studies have identified variations in several genes that slightly increase the risk of disease. Asthma is often associated with increased susceptibility to infection with rhinoviruses and with changes in the composition of microbial communities colonising the airways, but whether these changes are a cause or consequence of the disease is unknown. There is currently no proven prevention strategy; however, the finding that exposure to microbial products in early life, particularly in farming environments, seems to be protective against asthma offers hope that surrogates of such exposure could be used to prevent the disease. Genetic and immunological studies point to defective responses of lung resident cells, especially those associated with the mucosal epithelium, as crucial elements in the pathogenesis of asthma. Inhaled corticosteroids continue to be the mainstay for the treatment of mild and moderate asthma, but limited adherence to daily inhaled medication is a major obstacle to the success of such therapy. Severe asthma that is refractory to usual treatment continues to be a challenge, but new biological therapies, such as humanised antibodies against IgE, interleukin 5, and interleukin 13, offer hope to improve the quality of life and long-term prognosis of severe asthmatics with specific molecular phenotypes.

PMID: 24041942 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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