Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: Current opinion in pulmonary medicine


The aim is to inform the reader on the recent advancements in the minimally invasive treatment of chylothorax.

Concepts: Minimally invasive, The Reader


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Light’s criteria combine three dichotomous tests into a decision rule that is considered positive if any one of the tests is positive. This strategy clearly maximizes sensitivity, although at the expense of specificity. Although Light’s criteria identify 98% of pleural exudates, they misclassify about 25% of transudates as exudates. The way to overcome this limitation is discussed in this review. RECENT FINDINGS: Traditionally, measurement of the protein gradient between the serum and pleural fluid has been recommended to decrease the misclassification rate of Light’s criteria. A recent study demonstrated that a gradient between the albumin levels in the serum and the pleural fluid more than 1.2 g/dl performs significantly better than a protein gradient more than 3.1 g/dl to correctly categorize mislabeled cardiac effusions (83 vs. 55%). On the other hand, the accuracy of a pleural fluid to serum albumin ratio less than 0.6 excelled when compared with albumin and protein gradients in patients with miscategorized hepatic hydrothoraces (77 vs. 62 vs. 61%). SUMMARY: The simplest strategy to reveal the true transudative nature of heart failure-related effusions, labeled as exudates by Light’s criteria, is to calculate the serum to pleural fluid albumin gradient. Conversely, for misclassified hepatic hydrothoraces, measurement of the pleural to serum albumin ratio is recommended. The serum to pleural fluid protein gradient should no longer be considered the preferred test for this purpose.

Concepts: Blood, Albumin, Decision theory, Pleural effusion, Lactate dehydrogenase, Exudate, Transudate, Rivalta test


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review discusses the current developments in biomarkers for sepsis. RECENT FINDINGS: With quantum leaps in technology, an array of biomarkers will become available within the next decade as point-of-care tools that will likely revolutionize the management of sepsis. These markers will facilitate early and accurate diagnosis, faster recognition of impending organ dysfunction, optimal selection and titration of appropriate therapies, and more reliable prognostication of risk and outcome. These diagnostics will also enable an improved characterization of the biological phenotype underlying sepsis and thus a better appreciation of the condition. SUMMARY: The potential for novel biomarkers in sepsis will need to be properly realized with considerable funding, academic-industry collaborations, appropriate investigations and validation in heterogenous populations, but these developments do hold the capacity to transform patient care and outcomes.

Concepts: Medicine, Natural selection, Biology, Patient, Diagnosis, The Current, Outcome, The Next Decade


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This article reviews findings from longitudinal observational studies in both general and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) populations, as well as from intervention trials in COPD, in which the annual rate of decline in forced expired volume in 1 s (FEV1) has been measured. The purpose of the review is to describe the individual variability in rates of decline in FEV1 within these populations, explore the factors contributing to this variability and discuss its implications. RECENT FINDINGS: Individual rates of decline in FEV1 have been found to vary considerably across participants with COPD in both observational cohorts and intervention trials from decreases as rapid as 150-200 ml per year to increases of up to approximately 150 ml per year, with mean rates of decline ranging from 33 to 69 ml per year. Aside from technical and biologic (e.g., time of day, season, weather, fatigue) sources of variation, other influential factors have included smoking status (most notably current versus former smoking), baseline smoking intensity, baseline lung function, airway hyperresponsiveness, exacerbation frequency, and, variably, age and sex. The presence of emphysema may also be a determinant, as well as certain biomarkers and gene variants. SUMMARY: The wide distribution of individual rates of decline in FEV1 includes especially rapid and slow declines. Future research is needed to identify biomarkers that both are predictive of a rapid decline within individuals who might then be targeted for special intervention and might also serve as surrogate endpoints in interventional trials.

Concepts: Asthma, Lung, Pneumonia, Smoking, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Emphysema, Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency, Spirometry


The review describes recent advances in bronchoscopic modalities used to diagnose peripheral pulmonary lesions.

Concepts: Diagnosis


Linear endosonography, including intrathoracic lymph nodal sampling by endobronchial ultrasound with transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) and endoesophageal ultrasound fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA), has an important role in the diagnosing and staging of lung cancer. Furthermore, endosonography is applied in the mediastinal evaluation of sarcoidosis, lymphoma, cysts, and nodal metastases of extrathoracic malignancies. Endosonography-related complications as well as sedation and training strategies are discussed. The purpose of this review is to summarize current practice, recent advances, and future directions.

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Pulmonology, Lung cancer, Cancer staging, Biopsy, Lymph node, Pneumothorax


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a widespread disease process with important clinical and economic implications. This review will summarize new pharmacotherapy for the treatment of COPD.

Concepts: Medicine, Asthma, Pneumonia, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


Cannabis sativa (marijuana) is used throughout the world, and its use is increasing. In much of the world, marijuana is illicit. While inhalation of smoke generated by igniting dried components of the plant is the most common way marijuana is used, there is concern over potential adverse lung effects. The purpose of this review is to highlight recent studies that explore the impact upon the respiratory system of inhaling marijuana smoke.

Concepts: Pulmonology, Respiratory system, Inhalation, Cannabis, Cannabis sativa


To explore the evidence for using exogenous melatonin in the treatment of sleep disorders, both primary and secondary, in children and adults.


Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use is rapidly increasing, with many users reporting trying e-cigarettes as a method to quit combustible cigarettes. This review highlights recently published studies assessing the use of e-cigarettes as a tool for cessation of combustible cigarettes.

Concepts: Smoking, Tobacco, Cigarette, Nicotine, Electronic cigarette, Propylene glycol, Glycerol, Cigarettes