SciCombinator

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

Journal: Journal of community hospital internal medicine perspectives

153

A patient with a known biopsy of polyarteritis nodosa diagnosis presented with cyclic fevers, acute kidney injury, and progression of rash from macular to pustular, worsening despite being on antibiotics, without evidence of infection on multiple cultures. The patient had a pathological diagnosis from a skin biopsy of acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis syndrome, with a total resolution of rash, fevers, and acute kidney injury on treatment with pulse steroids.

Concepts: Inflammation, Biopsy, Pathology, Rheumatology, Vasculitis, Acute kidney injury, Polyarteritis nodosa, Diseases involving the fasciae

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The pronounced prevalence of delirium in geriatric patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and its increased morbidity and mortality is a well-established phenomenon. The purpose of this review is to explore the potential use of dexmedetomidine in preventing or managing ICU delirium in older patients. Articles used were identified and selected through multiple search engines, including Google Scholar, PubMed, and MEDLINE. Keywords such as dexmedetomidine, delirium, geriatric, ICU delirium, delirium in elderly, and palliative were used to obtain the specific articles used for this paper and restricted to articles published in 1990 or later. Articles specifically looking at the use of dexmedetomidine as compared to a study drug and its potential for use in ICU patients, as opposed to overall reviews of dexmedetomidine, were compared. When compared to benzodiazepines for the prevention or treatment of ICU delirium in the elderly, dexmedetomidine was associated with a reduction in delirium, as well as decreased morbidity and mortality. Dexmedetomidine has also been shown to be effective in limiting risk factors associated with ICU delirium such as length and depth of sedation. As opposed to benzodiazepines or opiates, dexmedetomidine provides effective analgesia, sympatholysis, and anxiolysis without causing respiratory depression and allows a patient to more effectively interact with practitioners. The review of these nine articles indicates that these favorable attributes and overall decreased duration and incidence of delirium make dexmedetomidine a viable option in preventing or reducing ICU delirium in high-risk geriatric patients and as a palliative adjunct to help control symptoms and stressors.

Concepts: Geriatrics

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Opioid dependence treatment traditionally involves methadone clinics, for which dispensing schedules can be cumbersome. Buprenorphine, a partial agonist of the mu receptor and antagonist of the kappa receptor, is a potential outpatient alternative to methadone. Funded by a grant from the State of Maryland’s Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC), the Buprenorphine Outpatient Outcomes Project (BOOP) evaluates the outcome of Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) treatment on abstinence from heroin use, rates of emergency room visits and hospitalizations, legal issues, and quality of life.

Concepts: Opioid, Receptor antagonist, Morphine, Opioid receptor, Naloxone, Buprenorphine, Methadone, Drug rehabilitation

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Introduction: The aim of our study is to determine the clinical, biochemical, and imaging factors that affect the duration of hospital stay in patients admitted with normotensive acute pulmonary embolism. Methods: This was a single-center retrospective study conducted in a community hospital in New York metropolitan area for patients admitted from October 2015 to October 2017. Results: A total of 79 patients were included, the mean age was 55.76 (SD = 17.33), 29 cases were males (37%) and 50 cases were females (63%). Among all patients, 17 cases had short length of stay (LOS) (≤2 days) and 62 cases had long LOS (>2 days). There were statistically significant differences in age (p = .041), presence of lung disease (p = .036), number of comorbidities (p = .043), and pulmonary embolism severity index (PESI) scores (original and simplified; p = .002 and .001, respectively). Logistic regression analysis showed that PESI score significantly predicted long LOS (OR 1.067, 95% CI [1.001, 1.137], p = .048). Similarly, sPESI significantly predicted long LOS (OR 0.223, 95% CI [0.050, 0.999], p = .050). Both regression models were adjusted for age, lung disease, and number of comorbidities. Conclusion: Both original and simplified PESI scores were statistically significant predictors of duration of hospital stay. Patients with multiple comorbidities or with chronic lung disease were also likely to have prolonged hospital stay. None of the cardiac biomarkers affected the duration of hospital stay, neither did the presence of right ventricular dysfunction nor treatment modality.

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Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is a rare cardiovascular disease that predisposes to ventricular arrhythmias potentially leading to sudden cardiac death (SCD). ARVC varies considerably with multiple clinical presentations, ranging from no symptoms to cardiac arrhythmias to SCD. ARVC prevalence is not well known, but the estimated prevalence in the general population is 1:5000. Diagnosis of ARVC can be made by using the Revised European Society of Cardiology criteria for ARVC that includes ventricular structural and functional changes, ECG abnormalities, arrhythmias, family and genetic factors. The management of ARVC is focused on prevention of lethal events such as SCD. Implantable cardioverter defibrillator placement is the only proven mortality benefit in treatment of ARVC. Other treatment strategies include medications such as beta blockers and antiarrhythmics, radiofrequency ablation, surgery, cardiac transplantation, and lifestyle changes. All these interventions help in symptomatic treatment but none of them have proved to decrease mortality rates. ARVC is a progressive disease that leads to SCD if not treated appropriately. Management of these diseases has been a challenge for physicians. With the advent of technology and many new drugs/devices under clinical investigation, this might change in the future. However, while advances in technologies have helped elucidate many aspects of these diseases, many mysteries still remain of this unique disease. With continued research, we can expect more cost-effective and patient-friendly drug therapies and ablation techniques to be developed in the near future.

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Kratom use as a herbal supplement is on the rise in the United States, with reported medical outcomes and lethal effects suggesting a public health threat. Even though the Drug Enforcement Administration has included kratom on its drugs of concern list and the FDA has published a press release to identify it as an opioid with a potential for abuse, its therapeutic and side effects are still not well defined in the literature. Here, we present a case of a 32-year-old man with a history of kratom use who became acutely ill with a brief prodromal illness, followed by jaundice and elevated liver enzymes showing a cholestatic picture, and his successful treatment. In this case, we emphasize the need for awareness of kratom exposure as a key contributor in the expansion of the opioid crisis, with therapeutic benefits earned at the expense of potentially lethal side effects.

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Gout commonly affects peripheral joints and is rarely found in axial joints, such as the spine and sacroiliac joints. We report a case of a patient that presented with quadriparesis who was empirically treated for spinal gout and a review of relevant literature. A 77-year-old male presented with new-onset quadriparesis that developed over 3 days. MRI imaging was suggestive of tophaceous gout of the cervical spine, but our patient refused a spinal biopsy. He was empirically treated with high-dose steroids and his upper and lower extremities weakness started improving within 3 days and resolved completely. Although spinal gout is uncommon, this case indirectly suggests that gout should be kept as a differential diagnosis when faced with back pain or quadriparesis. This case implies that empiric treatment should be considered when radiographic evidence is suggestive of tophaceous gout of the spine.

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Spontaneous pneumothorax in pregnancy is a rare and life-threatening condition. In this report, a case of spontaneous pneumothorax occurring at 34 weeks' gestation in a healthy 34-year-old primigravida is described. She had typical complaints of chest pain and dyspnoea and diagnosis was made by chest X-ray which showed an extensive pneumothorax in the right side. Pneumothorax recurred twice over approximately three weeks. A caesarean section secondary to small pelvic parameters was scheduled with the chest tube in situ and a healthy 2.5 kg female infant was delivered. We discuss spontaneous pneumothorax during pregnancy and review the literature.

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Acute eosinophilic pneumonia (AEP) is commonly misdiagnosed as infectious pneumonia due to presence of fever and radiological features. However, development of peripheral eosinophilia within days of presentation should raise the concern of AEP especially in previously heathy adults with history of recent tobacco smoking.

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The possible role of infectious and inflammatory states in the pathogenesis of atherosclerotic disease has been a matter of debate in the literature. There are case reports of active cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection unmasking underlying dormant systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). CMV infection has also been postulated to be associated with atherosclerosis development in the coronaries. We present a unique case where a patient with newly diagnosed SLE and acute myocardial infarction was found to have high anti-CMV titers suggesting concomitant active CMV infection. A literature review has postulated strong affiliation of CMV infection with the development of coronary artery disease, an avenue which has yet to be explored further by ongoing research.