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Journal: Journal of community hospital internal medicine perspectives

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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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Background: In May 2017, the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM) published guidelines intending to standardize and improve internal medicine residency program director (PD) letters of recommendation (LORs) for fellowship applicants. Objectives: This study aimed to examine fellowship PDs impressions of the new guidelines, letter writers' adherence to the guidelines, and the impact of LORs that conformed to guidelines compared to non-standardized letters. Methods: The authors anonymously surveyed fellowship PDs from January to March 2018 to gather input about LORs submitted to their programs during the 2017 fellowship application cycle. Results: A total of 78% of survey respondents were satisfied with letters that followed the AAIM guidelines, whereas 48% of respondents were satisfied with letters that did not. Fellowship PDs felt that letters that followed the AAIM guidelines were more helpful than letters that did not, especially for differentiating between applicants from the same institution and for understanding residents' performance across the six core competency domains. Fellowship PDs provided several suggestions for residency PDs to make the LORs even more helpful. Conclusion: Fellowship PD respondents indicated that LORs that followed the new AAIM guidelines were more helpful than letters that did not.

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The University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine Internal Medicine residency implemented a program to enhance scholarship among residents. This residency is part of a small Mid-Western community-based school. Background: A Director of Research was hired and developed a structured approach consisting of: 1. Independent study regarding research methods and statistical testing and 2. Mentoring of residents and faculty in scholarly pursuits starting in the first months of residency. Methods: Scholarship for two cohorts of residents for years July 2011-2014 and January 2014-2017 were followed. Products included papers accepted/published and papers accepted/presented at national or international meetings. Results: 7 (14.8%) of 47 residents in the first cohort published 12 papers (0.25 papers/resident) with 18 faculty as co-authors (1.5/paper). 20 (43.4%) of 46 residents in the second cohort (structured program) published 39 papers (0.85 papers/resident) with 80 faculty as co-authors (2.1/paper). The difference in papers was significant by chi-square analysis. Conclusion: A structured program requiring independent study in conjunction with individualized mentoring of scholarship starting early in the first postgraduate year was successful in significantly increasing the scholarly activity of our community-based internal medicine residents and faculty. With this program, the percentage of residents publishing exceeds national statistics recently reported.

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Background: Orientation for new medical residents is challenging due to the diversity of prior experiences and cultural backgrounds and is compounded by a lack of orientation curricula that adequately addresses the needs of the medical residents to allow them to perform their duties in an efficient manner from the start. The beginning of residency training is associated with reduced quality of healthcare widely referred to as the ‘July effect’. Objective: To assess the impact of a peer-led orientation for new interns on (a) self-reported confidence level, (b) improvement in performance of first-year residents in appropriate clinical documentation and efficient discharge procedures and protocols. Design/methods: In June 2016, a hybrid of interactive teaching and simulation exercises was used to teach documentation of critical information, such as discharge medication reconciliation and discharge summary. A handout of an intern guide/manual was also provided. The previous year’s data served as comparison/control data. Comparison data were obtained for both groups from hospital’s utilisation review department. Results: Twenty-one of 23 expected new interns (91%) participated in the intervention. There was a significant decrease in non-compliance for clinical documentation in the intervention group compared to the control group. The self-reported confidence level in the intervention group increased 34%. Conclusions: Such peer-to-peer orientation has the potential to effectively improve appropriate documentation and discharge process by new residents and may help to reduce the ‘July effect’.

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2018 Winners at the Maryland Chapter, ACP Mulholland Mohler Residents Meeting.

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Background: There is limited information about the clinical profile and outcome on patients admitted to a coronary care unit (CCU) in Saudi Arabia is available. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate reasons for admission, clinical characteristics, outcome and predictors of outcome in CCU patients. Materials and methods: The data of 392 patients admitted to the CCU of a secondary care centre in southern region of Saudi Arabia from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017 were collected. Data that were extracted from the patients included demographics, admission diagnosis and outcome. Results: A total of 392 patients, comprising 305 (77.81%) males and 87 (22.19%) females, were admitted to the CCU. Their mean age was 64.62 ± 15.7. The most common cause of admission was acute coronary syndrome (63.3%), the majority (97.2%) of whom were above 50 years of age (Table 2). Thirty-one patients died. This figure accounted for 7.7% of all the patients admitted to the CCU and 23.4% of the patients that were fully managed in the CCU. The majority of the patients that died were those with cardiac arrest (12 out of 16). Acute coronary syndrome (p = 0.029), cardiac arrest (p = 0.000) and age greater than 50 years (p = 0.000) were associated with death in the study patients. However, cardiac arrest (p = 0.002) and age greater than 50 years (p = 0.017) were independent predictors of death in the study patients. Conclusion: The reasons for admission to the CCU were acute coronary syndrome, heart failure and cardiac arrest. Mortality among CCU patient was comparable to reports elsewhere. Cardiac arrest and age greater than 50 years were independent predictors of death.

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Background: Heart failure remains one of the highest disease burdens in the USA and worldwide. Heart failure guidelines recommend starting with a higher or equal to home dose of loop diuretics in acute decompensated heart failure admissions. To date, no study has been published assessing the effect of first 24 h loop diuretic dose on length of hospital stay. Objective: We hypothesize that the higher the first 24 h loop diuretic dose to home dose ratio, the shorter the length of hospital stay will be. Design/Methods: Retrospective chart review was conducted in a community teaching hospital and included patients discharged between February, 2015 and April, 2016, with a primary diagnosis of acute decompensated heart failure. The primary outcome was the length of hospital stay. The study population was divided into three groups based on the hospital to home dose ratio. Results: Among the 609 patients included in the data analysis, there was no statistically significant difference in length of hospital stay among the study groups. Inpatient mortality and incidence of acute kidney injury were highest in the group that received a first-24-hours hospital dose that was less than their home dose. Percentage of weight loss and 30-day readmission were not statistically significantly different among the groups. Conclusion: There was no association between the dose ratio and length of hospital stay in each group. Additional randomized controlled trials need to be conducted to provide more evidence and guidance for dosing loop diuretics in acute decompensated heart failure admissions.

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Diabetic nephropathy (DN is a dreaded consequence of diabetes mellitus, accounting for about 40% of end-stage renal disease (ESRD). It is responsible for significant morbidity and mortality, both directly by causing ESRD and indirectly by increasing cardiovascular risk. Extensive research in this field has thrown light on multiple pathways that can be pharmacologically targeted, to control or reverse the process of DN. Glomerulocentric approach of DN still continues to produce favourable results as evidenced by the recent data on SGLT-2 (sodium glucose co-transporter type 2) inhibitors. Beyond the glomerular mechanisms, numerous novel pathways have been discovered in the last decade. Some of these pathways target inflammatory and oxidative damage, while the others target more specific mechanisms such as AGE-RAGE (advanced glycation end products-receptors for advanced glycation end products), ASK (apoptotic signal-regulating kinase), and endothelin-associated pathways. As a result of the research, a handful of clinically relevant drugs have made it to the human trials which have been elucidated in the following review, bearing in the mind that there are many more to come over the next few years. Ongoing research is expected to inform the clinicians regarding the use of the newer drugs in DN. Abbreviations: USFDA: Unites States Food and Drug Administration; SGLT-2: Sodium glucose transporter type 2; GLP-1: Glucagon-like peptide-1; DDP-4: Dipeptidyl peptidase-4; UACR: urinary albumin creatinine ratio; eGFR: Estimated glomerular filtration rate; CKD: Chronic kidney disease; DN: Diabetic nephropathy; TGF: Tubuloglomerular feedback; RAAS: Renin angiotensin aldosterone system; T1DM: Type 1 diabetes mellitus; T2DM: Type 2 diabetes mellitus; RCT: Randomized controlled trial; AGE-RAGE: Advanced glycation end products-receptors for advanced glycation end products; ASK-1: Apoptotic signal-regulating kinase-1; Nrf-2: Nuclear 1 factor [erythroid derived-2]-related factor 2; ml/min/1.73m2: Millilitre/minute/1.73 square meters of body surface area; ~: Approximately.