Feb 112015
 
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Management of acute aortic dissection.

Lancet. 2015 Feb 5;

Authors: Nienaber CA, Clough RE

Abstract
A new appraisal of the management of acute aortic dissection is timely because of recent developments in diagnostic strategies (including biomarkers and imaging), endograft design, and surgical treatment, which have led to a better understanding of the epidemiology, risk factors, and molecular nature of aortic dissection. Although open surgery is the main treatment for proximal aortic repair, use of endovascular management is now established for complicated distal dissection and distal arch repair, and has recently been discussed as a pre-emptive measure to avoid late complications by inducing aortic remodelling.

PMID: 25662791 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Jan 272015
 
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Acute pancreatitis.

Lancet. 2015 Jan 20;

Authors: Lankisch PG, Apte M, Banks PA

Abstract
Acute pancreatitis, an inflammatory disorder of the pancreas, is the leading cause of admission to hospital for gastrointestinal disorders in the USA and many other countries. Gallstones and alcohol misuse are long-established risk factors, but several new causes have emerged that, together with new aspects of pathophysiology, improve understanding of the disorder. As incidence (and admission rates) of acute pancreatitis increase, so does the demand for effective management. We review how to manage patients with acute pancreatitis, paying attention to diagnosis, differential diagnosis, complications, prognostic factors, treatment, and prevention of second attacks, and the possible transition from acute to chronic pancreatitis.

PMID: 25616312 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Jan 232015
 
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Adjunct prednisone therapy for patients with community-acquired pneumonia: a multicentre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial.

Lancet. 2015 Jan 16;

Authors: Blum CA, Nigro N, Briel M, Schuetz P, Ullmer E, Suter-Widmer I, Winzeler B, Bingisser R, Elsaesser H, Drozdov D, Arici B, Urwyler SA, Refardt J, Tarr P, Wirz S, Thomann R, Baumgartner C, Duplain H, Burki D, Zimmerli W, Rodondi N, Mueller B, Christ-Crain M

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Clinical trials yielded conflicting data about the benefit of adding systemic corticosteroids for treatment of community-acquired pneumonia. We assessed whether short-term corticosteroid treatment reduces time to clinical stability in patients admitted to hospital for community-acquired pneumonia.
METHODS: In this double-blind, multicentre, randomised, placebo-controlled trial, we recruited patients aged 18 years or older with community-acquired pneumonia from seven tertiary care hospitals in Switzerland within 24 h of presentation. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1 ratio) to receive either prednisone 50 mg daily for 7 days or placebo. The computer-generated randomisation was done with variable block sizes of four to six and stratified by study centre. The primary endpoint was time to clinical stability defined as time (days) until stable vital signs for at least 24 h, and analysed by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00973154.
FINDINGS: From Dec 1, 2009, to May 21, 2014, of 2911 patients assessed for eligibility, 785 patients were randomly assigned to either the prednisone group (n=392) or the placebo group (n=393). Median time to clinical stability was shorter in the prednisone group (3·0 days, IQR 2·5-3·4) than in the placebo group (4·4 days, 4·0-5·0; hazard ratio [HR] 1·33, 95% CI 1·15-1·50, p<0·0001). Pneumonia-associated complications until day 30 did not differ between groups (11 [3%] in the prednisone group and 22 [6%] in the placebo group; odds ratio [OR] 0·49 [95% CI 0·23-1·02]; p=0·056). The prednisone group had a higher incidence of in-hospital hyperglycaemia needing insulin treatment (76 [19%] vs 43 [11%]; OR 1·96, 95% CI 1·31-2·93, p=0·0010). Other adverse events compatible with corticosteroid use were rare and similar in both groups.
INTERPRETATION: Prednisone treatment for 7 days in patients with community-acquired pneumonia admitted to hospital shortens time to clinical stability without an increase in complications. This finding is relevant from a patient perspective and an important determinant of hospital costs and efficiency.
FUNDING: Swiss National Science Foundation, Viollier AG, Nora van Meeuwen Haefliger Stiftung, Julia und Gottfried Bangerter-Rhyner Stiftung.

PMID: 25608756 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Dec 242014
 

Severe Ebola virus disease with vascular leakage and multiorgan failure: treatment of a patient in intensive care.

Lancet. 2014 Dec 18;

Authors: Wolf T, Kann G, Becker S, Stephan C, Brodt H, de Leuw P, Grünewald T, Vogl T, Kempf VA, Keppler OT, Zacharowski K

Abstract
BACKGROUND: In the current epidemic of Ebola virus disease in western Africa, many aid workers have become infected. Some of these aid workers have been transferred to specialised hospitals in Europe and the USA for intensified treatment, providing the potential for unique insight into the clinical course of Ebola virus disease under optimised supportive measures in isolation units.
METHODS: A 38-year-old male doctor who had contracted an Ebola virus infection in Sierra Leone was airlifted to University Hospital Frankfurt, Germany, on day 5 after disease onset. Within 72 h of admission to the hospital's high-level isolation unit, the patient developed signs of severe multiorgan failure, including lungs, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract. In addition to clinical parameters, the diagnostic work-up included radiography, ultrasound, pulse contour cardiac output technology, and microbiological and clinical chemistry analyses. Respiratory failure with pulmonary oedema and biophysical evidence of vascular leak syndrome needed mechanical ventilation. The patient received a 3 day treatment course with FX06 (MChE-F4Pharma, Vienna, Austria), a fibrin-derived peptide under clinical development for vascular leak syndrome. After FX06 administration and concurrent detection of Ebola-virus-specific antibodies and a fall in viral load, vascular leak syndrome and respiratory parameters substantially improved. We gave broad-spectrum empiric antimicrobial therapy and the patient needed intermittent renal replacement therapy. The patient fully recovered.
FINDINGS: This case report shows the feasibility of delivery of successful intensive care therapy to patients with Ebola virus disease under biosafety level 4 conditions.
INTERPRETATION: The effective treatment of vascular leakage and multiorgan failure by combination of ventilatory support, antibiotic treatment, and renal replacement therapy can sustain a patient with severe Ebola virus disease until virological remission. FX06 could potentially be a valuable agent in contribution to supportive therapy.
FUNDING: University Hospital of Frankfurt.

PMID: 25534190 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Dec 042014
 

Standard versus atrial fibrillation-specific management strategy (SAFETY) to reduce recurrent admission and prolong survival: pragmatic, multicentre, randomised controlled trial.

Lancet. 2014 Nov 17;

Authors: Stewart S, Ball J, Horowitz JD, Marwick TH, Mahadevan G, Wong C, Abhayaratna WP, Chan YK, Esterman A, Thompson DR, Scuffham PA, Carrington MJ

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Patients are increasingly being admitted with chronic atrial fibrillation, and disease-specific management might reduce recurrent admissions and prolong survival. However, evidence is scant to support the application of this therapeutic approach. We aimed to assess SAFETY-a management strategy that is specific to atrial fibrillation.
METHODS: We did a pragmatic, multicentre, randomised controlled trial in patients admitted with chronic, non-valvular atrial fibrillation (but not heart failure). Patients were recruited from three tertiary referral hospitals in Australia. 335 participants were randomly assigned by computer-generated schedule (stratified for rhythm or rate control) to either standard management (n=167) or the SAFETY intervention (n=168). Standard management consisted of routine primary care and hospital outpatient follow-up. The SAFETY intervention comprised a home visit and Holter monitoring 7-14 days after discharge by a cardiac nurse with prolonged follow-up and multidisciplinary support as needed. Clinical reviews were undertaken at 12 and 24 months (minimum follow-up). Coprimary outcomes were death or unplanned readmission (both all-cause), measured as event-free survival and the proportion of actual versus maximum days alive and out of hospital. Analyses were done on an intention-to-treat basis. The trial is registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTRN 12610000221055).
FINDINGS: During median follow-up of 905 days (IQR 773-1050), 49 people died and 987 unplanned admissions were recorded (totalling 5530 days in hospital). 127 (76%) patients assigned to the SAFETY intervention died or had an unplanned readmission (median event-free survival 183 days [IQR 116-409]) and 137 (82%) people allocated standard management achieved a coprimary outcome (199 days [116-249]; hazard ratio 0·97, 95% CI 0·76-1·23; p=0·851). Patients assigned to the SAFETY intervention had 99·5% maximum event-free days (95% CI 99·3-99·7), equating to a median of 900 (IQR 767-1025) of 937 maximum days alive and out of hospital. By comparison, those allocated to standard management had 99·2% (95% CI 98·8-99·4) maximum event-free days, equating to a median of 860 (IQR 752-1047) of 937 maximum days alive and out of hospital (effect size 0·22, 95% CI 0·21-0·23; p=0·039).
INTERPRETATION: A post-discharge management programme specific to atrial fibrillation was associated with proportionately more days alive and out of hospital (but not prolonged event-free survival) relative to standard management. Disease-specific management is a possible strategy to improve poor health outcomes in patients admitted with chronic atrial fibrillation.
FUNDING: National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.

PMID: 25467562 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Dec 032014
 

Typhoid fever.

Lancet. 2014 Oct 21;

Authors: Wain J, Hendriksen RS, Mikoleit ML, Keddy KH, Ochiai RL

Abstract
Control of typhoid fever relies on clinical information, diagnosis, and an understanding for the epidemiology of the disease. Despite the breadth of work done so far, much is not known about the biology of this human-adapted bacterial pathogen and the complexity of the disease in endemic areas, especially those in Africa. The main barriers to control are vaccines that are not immunogenic in very young children and the development of multidrug resistance, which threatens efficacy of antimicrobial chemotherapy. Clinicians, microbiologists, and epidemiologists worldwide need to be familiar with shifting trends in enteric fever. This knowledge is crucial, both to control the disease and to manage cases. Additionally, salmonella serovars that cause human infection can change over time and location. In areas of Asia, multidrug-resistant Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S Typhi) has been the main cause of enteric fever, but now S Typhi is being displaced by infections with drug-resistant S enterica serovar Paratyphi A. New conjugate vaccines are imminent and new treatments have been promised, but the engagement of local medical and public health institutions in endemic areas is needed to allow surveillance and to implement control measures.

PMID: 25458731 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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