Case of the Week COW #14

Presenting Resident

Traficante

Chief Complaint

Cardiac arrest

Brief HPI

Hispanic male in his mid 30s who presented to the ED as John Doe after he was found unresponsive in the field with cardiac arrest. Unknown downtime. As per EMS endorsement from bystanders, the patient allegedly had a witnessed syncopal episode followed by seizure-like activity after which he became unresponsive. No bystander CPR. EMS arrived at the scene and found him pulseless, CPR started. On ALS arrival patient found to be in PEA. CPR, intubated, epi x 2, bicarb then ROSC achieved. Initial rhythm in ED was sinus tach on monitor. After 5 min in ED patient became bradycardic and went into PEA, compressions started, received epi x 1 w ROSC. Pt then went into wide complex tachycardia on monitor – SVT vs Vtach – pt was cardioverted 200J and given Amiodarone 150mg. Post cardioversion, rhythm changed to afib v aflutter. EKG was obtained after 10 min (below).

Pertinent PE and Vitals

On arrival: BP 81/50; P113; SpO2 95% ambubag 100% FiO2; Temp 37.0; BS 136

PE:
Gen: Unresponsive, intubated, occasional myoclonic jerks
HEENT: 2 cm hematoma right occiput, pupils constricted 1-2 mm b/l and non-reactive CV: tachycardic, s1/s2, no murmurs
Resp: Assisted breathing, good air entry b/l
Abd: Soft, NT
Neuro: GCS 3, has occasional myoclonic jerks

On admission: BP 153/83; P153; SpO2 98% on vent 100% FiO2

Pertinent Labs

ABG done on patient arrival = 6.80/86/253/14; Na+ 133; K+ 4.4, Ca++ 1.04; Glu 246, Lac 8.8, BE -10.2 These were the only labs available at the time of admission.

Pertinent Imaging/EKG

Case d/w Cardio fellow who came to evaluate pt at bedside, decision made to transfer pt directly to cath lab. EKG was repeated after 5 minutes prior to patient being transferred, which is shown below.


Working Diagnosis at time of Disposition

Cardiac Arrest
STEMI – possible LMCA, LAD or Triple vessel dx

ED & Hospital Course

Interventional cardiologist advised immediate transfer to cath lab for diagnostic cath (did not want to wait for CT Head). Cath showed normal coronaries with LVEF 75%.

Patient transferred to the CCU post cath. He was noted to have no brainstem reflexes off sedation. CT Head showed findings c/w anoxic encephalopathy, no bleed. Neuro was consulted who stated patient’s exams and further diagnostic studies were significant for loss of all cortical and brain stem function, consistent with brain death. Patient was pronounced on Day 10 (delay with identifying patient and determining NOK).

Pearls & Takeaways

Is ST-Segment Elevation in Lead aVR Getting Too Much Respect?

Introduction

ECG reading is all about pattern recognition. And this particular pattern of ST-Elevation in aVR with diffuse ST Depression is a very important ECG pattern that you must be able to recognize. But what’s probably more important than being able to recognize the pattern, is understanding what it represents. There appears to be a common misconception that the ST-Elevation in aVR always represents “STEMI”, or acute transmural (full- thickness) ischemia. If this were the case the patient would most likely be dead or at the very least in profound cardiogenic shock. The key to understanding what this pattern represents lies in understanding that the ST-Elevation in aVR is reciprocal to the diffuse ST-Depression – and that this diffuse ST-Depression represents global subendocardial ischemia. So the real question that you must answer is: What is causing the global subendocardial ischemia?

What Else can Cause STE in aVR that Won’t Benefit from Going to the Cath Lab?

Worrisome Diagnoses:

  • –  Thoracic Aortic Dissection
  • –  Massive Pulmonary Embolism
  • –  Massive Gastro Intestinal Hemorrhage

Non-Worrisome Diagnoses:

  • –  Left Bundle Branch Block (LBBB)
  • –  Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (LVH) with Strain Pattern
  • –  Severe Atrial Tachydysrhythmias (i.e. SVT)

It is critical to realize that more often than not the cause is global myocardial strain from a Non-ACS etiology! (profound sepsis, tachycardia, anemia, hypoxemia, etc). In our patient above it may have been because of the SVT he was in during the code in addition to being in Afib w/ RVR at the time of the ECG. It is also very important to understand that in these Non-ACS settings, you can see this pattern with or without underlying coronary artery disease.

But of course it could be ACS. And if it is, then you are dealing with Left Main, Proximal LAD, or even multi-vessel plaque instability. But keep in mind that even if it is ACS you are still dealing with subendocardial and not transmural ischemia.

Take Home Points

    1. STE in aVR Should be Concerning IF you have a patient with:
      1. Worrisome/Concerning Symptoms (Cardiopulmonary Symptoms) AND…
      2. ST-Segment Depression in Several Other Leads

    2. Don’t worry so much about STE 0.5mm or less in lead aVR, because it lacks specificity. Using 1.0mm or greater in lead aVR, has better specificity

    3. Patients with ACS due to LMCA Blockage, Triple Vessel Disease, or Proximal LAD Blockage will look “sick” due to global cardiac ischemia. This narrows the number of patients we would consider activating the cath lab for with STE in aVR.

    4. The key to ECG reading is pattern recognition. The pattern of ST-Elevation of at least 1mm in lead aVR + diffuse ST-Depression with a maximal depression vector towards leads II & V5 is a pattern you must know. It represents global subendocardial ischemia.

    5. When you see this pattern you should divide the differential for the diffuse subendocardial ischemia into two main categories: ACS vs Non-ACS. Do not automatically assume that it is ACS. I have seen this mistake made many times as ACS becomes the focus, at the expense of appropriate resuscitation addressing the underlying cause. It is very important to keep in mind that the etiology is far more likely to be Non-ACS than ACS!

    6. The key to determining the etiology is through history, physical exam, clinical picture, laboratory data, Echo, and vigilant monitoring and frequent reassessment. If you have identified and addressed potentially reversible causes of the ischemia, and the ECG pattern persists then you are dealing with ACS until proven otherwise.

    7. Refrain from using dual-antiplatelet therapy in these patients as there is a high likelihood they will require CABG.

    8. Remember that if this ECG pattern does represent ACS, the ST-Elevation in aVR is not the result of direct injury (or transmural ischemia) and that the ST-Elevation in aVR is reciprocal to the diffuse ST-Depression. Therefore these ACS cases do not represent a clear “STEMI”. However, while there is not great data to guide the timing of cath for these patients, I would advocate going to the cath lab with a much stronger sense of urgency than for other “NSTEMIs”. The reasoning is that ACS is a very dynamic process and without the advantage of optimal medical therapy (a second platelet inhibitor should be withheld) there is a higher chance of the culprit vessel suddenly occluding and evolving to transmural ischemia. If this happens in the Proximal LAD, Left Main, or in the setting of Multi-vessel involvement the myocardial territory in jeopardy is so large that there is a good chance the patient will arrest and die before any reperfusion can be established! If your patient looks sick or has persistent chest pain, they should be going to the cath lab ASAP.

    9. With diffuse subendocardial ischemia, you may not see any wall motion abnormality. Global function can even be normal, although it may be globally depressed as well. A normal bedside echo does not help in:
      1. differentiating the cause of the STE in aVR
      2. ruling out ACS

References: http://hqmeded-ecg.blogspot.com/2018/02/st-elevation-in-avr-with-diffuse-st.html

Case of the Week COW#13

CC: Chest Pain

HPI: 49-year-old female brought in via ALS presents complaining of Chest pain. As per the Paramedics, the patient was found to be in no acute distress, stating she had exertional chest pain, which had subsided. The pre-hospital ECG was suspicious for ischemia and she was given ASA. Patient states she was walking home from the store when she began to have a pressure like pain on the left side of her chest, which was non-radiating and persisted when she laid down. She admits to feeling similar symptoms over the past few months, but today was the most severe. Upon arrival to Emergency Department, she denied chest pain, SOB, palpitations, abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting. Denied ETOH or illicit drugs use

 Physical Exam:
BP:128/91, Hr:88, RR: 14, Temp: 98.0, Pulse O2: 100% RA
General: Patient lying comfortably in bed, in no distress
HEENT: NCAT, pupils PERRLA, neck supple
Respiratory: non-labored, CTA B/L, no wheezing, rales or rhonchi
Cardiac: +S1/S2, no MRG, regular rate and rhythm
Abdomen: soft NT ND, + BS
Neuro exam: AAO X 3, lucid, strength is 5/5 in all extremities, muscle tone is intact,
Skin: No rash or peripheral edema.

Pertinent Labs:
CBC: Unremarkable
CMP: Unremarkable
Troponin: Negative (< 0.010)

Pertinent Imaging/ECG
CXR: no acute infiltrate, No Pneumothorax or cardiomegaly. Normal Chest X-ray
Pre-Hospital ECG

ECG in the ED

Working Diagnosis: Left Main Insufficiency

ED Course: Repeat ECG in ED showed NSR and had completely normalized. Case was discussed with Interventional cardiologist on call. A Code STEMI was activated and patient was taken emergently to the Cath lab. She was given a Heparin bolus as well as Plavix.

ED/Hospital course:  The catheterization report revealed 80-90% Distal left main, 30 % mid LAD, and LM stenosis improved partially during catheterization with nitroglycerin. Patient admitted to recently using cocaine. CT surgery was called due to the fact that patient had recent cocaine use and it was believed she might have had Left Main Coronary spasm. On hospital day 2, patient went back for repeat catheterization, which revealed Left main distal 30% and LAD mid 30% stenosis. Patient was transferred to telemetry, and discharged on hospital day 4.

Pearls:

aVR in ACS
Typical ECG findings with left main coronary artery (LMCA) occlusion:

  1. Widespread horizontal ST depression, most prominent in Leads I, II and V4-6
  2. ST elevation in aVR ≥ 1mm
  3. ST elevation in aVR ≥ V1

(Don’t worry so much about STE 0.5mm or less in lead aVR, because it lacks specificity. Using 1.0mm or greater in lead aVR, has better specificity)

ST-Segment Elevation in lead aVR foreshadows a worse prognosis in ACS and often predicts the need for CABG. Patients with NSTEMI and ST elevation ≥ 1mm in aVR are likely to have multi-vessel or LMCA disease and are likely to require CABG, therefore withholding Clopidogrel may be prudent. ST-segment elevation in aVR can be caused by any of the following 4 mechanisms

  1. Critical narrowing of the LMCA causing sub-endocardial ischemia due to insufficient blood flow. (LMCA insufficiency)
  2. Transmural infarction of the basal septum due to a very proximal LAD occlusion or complete LMCA occlusion (patient will be VERY sick)
  3. Severe multi-vessel coronary artery disease.
  4. Diffuse sub-endocardial ischemia from oxygen supply/demand mismatch.

Patients with complete occlusion of the LMCA (mechanism 2), often present in cardiogenic shock and require immediate revascularization. Patients with acute coronary occlusions typically will have active symptoms and look sick!

There is an estimated 70% mortality without immediate PCI. Medical therapy (including thrombolytic) does not improve mortality. Emergency PCI may decrease mortality to 40%.

 What Else can Cause STE in aVR that Won’t Benefit from Going to the Cath Lab?

Other causes of global cardiac ischemia
o Thoracic aortic dissection
o Large pulmonary embolism
o Severe anemia
o Post-arrest (within 15 min. of epinephrine or defibrillation)

oMiscellaneous causes
o Supraventricular Tachycardia (esp. AVRT)
o Left bundle branch block (LBBB) & paced rhythms
o LVH with strain (from severe hypertension)
o Severe hypokalemia
o Na+ channel blockade (TCA toxicity, hyperkalemia, Brugada, etc.)

REMEMBER: ST-Segment Elevation in Lead aVR is NOT SPECIFIC for an acute LMCA Lesion, Acute Proximal LAD Lesion, or Acute Triple Vessel DiseasE

    • Correlate Your ECG with the Patient’s Clinical Status
    • Patients with ACS due to LMCA Blockage, Triple Vessel Disease, or Proximal LAD blockage will look “sick” due to global cardiac ischemia

Case presented by Dr. Kerri Clayton.

EM Conference Pearls (9/20)

Pediatric congenital heart disease

  • Congenital HD: Two types: Neonates with ductal dependent lesions and infants (2-6months) presents with CHF
  • Cyanosis presentation: When ductal-dependent lesion is required for pulmonary blood flow (Will not respond to oxygen)
  • Shock presentation: When ductal-dependent lesion is required for systemic blood flow (appear septic and not response to fluids, may get worse with fluids)
  • Hypoxic/cyanotic or shocky/acidotic baby treatment = Prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) and transfer to facility with pediatric cardiovascular surgeon.
  • PGE1 treatment may cause apnea (monitor closely and consider intubation)
  • CHF in infants = wheezing, retractions, tachypnea, sweating/crying, difficulty feeding

EBM in the ED

  • EBM = What the evidence shows in the literature + What the physician wants for the patient + what the patient wants for themselves
  • Just like we need to practice intubation, central lines –> Learning to read and interpret literature is a skill that needs to be practiced.

Aortic Dissection

  • AD: Chest pain plus disease (ex: CP + Neurodeficit)
  • If you find your self giving large amounts of strong pain meds (narcotics) while treating what is seemingly ACS…STOP..think about AD or alternative diagnosis of chest pain
  • The 3 important questions, aortic dissection is the subarachnoid hemorrhage of the torso, migrating pain, colicky pain + opioids = badness and pain that comes and goes can still be a dissection.
  • Treatment: Treat pain, HR, BP
  • Pain: Fentanyl 25 – 50 mcg bolus
  • HR: Goal of 60 bbpm
  • Esmolol 0.5 mg/kg bolus then 50 – 300 mcg/kg/min or
  • Labetalol 10 – 20 mg bolus then 0.5-2 mg/minor
  • BP control: Goal SBP =110
  • Nitroprusside 0.25 – 0.5 mcg/kg/min then titrate (CN toxicity)
  • Nicardipine 5 mg/hr
  • Warning: Giving a vasodilator without concomitant reduction in ionotropy may cause progression of dissection. Start BB first before vasodilation meds.

Case of the Week COW #7

CC: Numbness and palpitations

HPI: 21-year-old Female presents to the Emergency Department (ED) complaining of palpitations and left arm weakness with perioral numbness, which began just prior to arrival. The patient states the episode lasted 30 minutes before completely resolving on its own. In the ED, she denies any other complaints except for a mild headache. Patient notes she experienced a similar episode of palpitations yesterday afternoon, while resting, which she described as “skipping beats”. On further questioning, the patient admitted to being hospitalized to a NYC hospital 2 weeks ago where she had a Cardiac Echocardiogram done which showed “hypertrophy.” Patient never followed up with cardiologist as instructed. In the past, a doctor in her country prescribed her an unknown antihypertensive medication, which she took for one year but stopped taking it once she moved to NJ. Denies fever, dizziness, chest pain, and shortness of breath, recent travels, calf pain or swelling.

Physical Exam:

BP 109/72   HR 82     RR 18     SpO2 100% on RA    Temp 97.0F

General: Well appearing female, in non-acute distress

HEENT: NCAT, pupils PERRLA, neck supple

Respiratory: CTA B/L, no wheezing, rales or rhonchi

Cardiac: +S1/S2, no MRG, regular rhythm

Abdomen: soft NT ND

Neuro exam: AAO X 3, No focal deficits

Extremities: no edema, no tenderness or swelling, 5/5 strength in all extremities. Sensory intact

Skin: pink and warm, No diaphoresis, no rashes, lacerations, or abrasions

Pertinent Labs: Troponin 0.308

Pertinent Imaging and other tests:

  • Chest X-Ray: Cardiomegaly with a boot shaped heart, which may indicated right heart failure.
  • CT Head: Normal 
  •  ECG: Normal Sinus Rhythm, Bi-atrial enlargement, RBBB, LVH

Working Diagnosis: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCOM)

ED/Hospital course:  Patient was given 324 mg of ASA and admitted to Telemetry with a diagnosis of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. While still in the ED waiting for a bed on Telemetry the patient had multiple runs of non-sustained V-Tach and Cardiology was consulted. The patient was started on ASA and Metoprolol PO. A 2D ECHO was done which was consistent with HCOM. Patient remained stable on Telemetry for 3 days prior to discharge. The patient’s Troponin was trended daily, 0.308 in the ED, 0.288 on day 1 of admission, and 0.314 on day 2 of admission. Patient was told to follow up with Cardiology Clinic for possible AICD placement planning.

Pearls:

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is one of the most common inherited cardiac disorders (affecting ~ 1 in 500 people) and is the number one cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes. Annual mortality is estimated at 1-2 %.

  • Pathology and Pathophysiology:
    • Dynamic Obstruction of the Left Ventricular Outflow Obstruction (LVOT)
    • Primarily Autosomal Dominant Inheritance
    • Left Ventricular diastolic dysfunction resulting from impaired relaxation and filling of the stiff and hypertrophied left ventricle (often associated with increased filling pressure)
    • Abnormal intramural coronary arteries with thickened walls and narrow lumens
    • Chaotic, disorganized left ventricular architecture (“ cellular disarray’) predisposing to abnormal transmission of electrical impulses and thus serving as a substrate for the formation of arrhythmia.
  • Clinical Manifestation
    • Exertional syncope or pre-syncope – this is the most worrisome symptom, suggesting dynamic LVOT obstruction with or without dysrhythmia, with the potential for sudden cardiac death.
    • Symptoms of pulmonary congestions due to left ventricular dysfunction (e.g. exertional dyspnea, fatigue, orthopnea, paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea)
    • Chest pain – may be typical angina pain due to increased demand (thicker myocardial walls) and reduced supply (aberrant coronary arteries).
    • Palpitations due to supraventricular or ventricular arrhythmias.
  • ECG Features:
    • Left atrial enlargement
    • Left ventricular hypertrophy with associated ST segment / T-wave abnormalities
    • Deep, narrow (“dagger-like”) Q waves in the Lateral (V5-6, I, aVL) and inferior (II, III, aVF) leads. Most common in Lateral vs. Inferior
    • Giant precordial T-wave inversions in apical HCM
    • Signs of WPW (Short PR, delta wave)
    • Dysrhythmias: Atrial Fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia, PACs, PVCs, VT

*** Infarction Q Waves are wider with a different morphology compared to HCM.

Pathologic Q Waves:

  • Usually > 40 ms (1mm) wide
  • > 2mm Deep
  • > 25% of depth of QRS Complex
  • Best seen in V1-V3

 

Post by Tyler Manis, MD, PGY4

ACEP Now Review on LVADs

Check out this excellent review on managing patients with LVADs from this month’s ACEP Now publication which was written by our own Dr. Yenisleidy Paez Perez, DO PGY-3 and one of our newly graduated residents, Dr. Terrance McGovern, DO. The article is entitled ‘How to Manage Emergency Department Patients with Left Ventricular Assist Devices.” Click the link below to be forwarded to the article.

http://www.acepnow.com/article/manage-emergency-department-patients-left-ventricular-assist-devices/

EM Conference Pearls (8/2/17)

Pearl’s from Wed conference August 2nd 2017:

Agenda:
– Asthma/COPD: Baldino
– Sepsis Core Measures: Patel
– Pulmonary cases: Patel
– Medical student pearls (from Mike Taylor, one of our students)


Dr. Baldino: Asthma/COPD

-All that wheezes is not asthma (or COPD).
-Use diagnostics to rule out mimics such as pneumonia or ptx.
-Get the CXR in COPD exacerbation, not routinely in simple asthma exacerbation.
-Good evidence and NNT’s for benefit of ipratropium, systemic steroids, magnesium,  and BiPAP.
-Intubation last resort for asthma.  Remember to adjust I to E ratio on vent.
-Steroids at discharge for asthma/COPD.  Antibiotics at discharge for COPD.
-Discharge with a plan! (and a spacer)


Dr. Patel: Sepsis Core Measures

-Sepsis core measures are from CMS, not from SSC guidelines or Sepsis 3.0. They are not necessarily rooted in great evidence, but we have to follow them!
-Remember the 3 and 6 hour severe sepsis and septic shock bundles. Timing is based on presentation time (when chart displays severe sepsis, septic shock), not door time.  To make your life easy, just use door time to meet the metrics.
-The focused exam for septic shock can now just be documented with one statement, which is in Medhost.  Make sure to click that.
-Fluids from the field count (as your 30 cc/kg), as long as it is given as a bolus and documented on the chart.
-Antibiotic choice and timing both looked at for core measures. For choice, best to go with a monotherapy agent first to meet the metric.


Dr. Patel: Pulmonary Cases

-The term HCAP is not in the newest pneumonia guidelines from 2016.
-Treat HCAP like CAP unless the patient is going to the MICU.  If going to the MICU, cover for MRSA and Pseudomonas.

Hemoptysis:

-Minor hemoptysis (streaks in the sputum)–d/c unless CXR abnormal
-Moderate hemoptysis (frank hemoptysis)—admit for further work up and obs
-Massive hemoptysis (hemoptysis interfering with respirations)–intubate and consult pulmonary (for bronch) and IR (for possible bronchial artery embolization). If there is a suspicion of a bronchovesicular fistula or other arterial fistula, CT surgery may also need to be on board.


Medical Student Pearls

One of our current medical student’s Mike Taylor put together some info on questions that were raised in conference:

Intentional “L Main Bronchus Intubation:” (for hemoptysis)

Take Home Points from 1995 Anesthesiology Case Report:
 -Can use a double lumen ET tube with a endobronchial cuff
 -The inflated endobronchial cuff can tamponade the hemorrhaging R lung and occlude airflow into it. This allows only the L lung to be effectively intubated and the provider not have to be tasked with putting the tube in the L main bronchus
 Reference: http://anesthesiology.pubs.asahq.org/article.aspx?articleid=1949905

Rate Control for MAT:

Take home points from Uptodate
 -Treat underlying cause
 -Maintain phos and mag levels
 -Can use CCBs or beta blockers for rate control in symptomatic pts
 Reference (requires access to UpToDate): https://www.uptodate.com/contents/multifocal-atrial-tachycardia

Bandemia Cut Offs:

Take home points from 2012 Retrospective Cohort Study:
 -With normal white counts, pts with bandemia of at least 11% had higher in hospital mortality
 -So 11% or higher could use as a cut off for admission, more aggressive treatment, etc.
 Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22939096

Special thanks to Chief Dan Poor PGY-4 for organizing this week’s Conference Pearls and for Mike Taylor MS-IV for his Medical Student Pearls

Case of the week COW #6

CC: Vomiting for 2 days

HPI: 32 yo female with PMH of Romano Ward Syndrome s/p AICD, previous cardiac arrest, Atrial Fibrillation s/p Ablation, renal artery thrombosis on Coumadin and deafness presents to the Emegency Department (ED) via ALS after being found unresponsive at home and with ventricular tachycardia. Paramedics state they were called to the patient’s home for an “unconscious” person. They arrived to find the patient lethargic but arousable, cool, pale, and diaphoretic with BP 90/50. The patient soon became unresponsive and was in Ventricular tachycardia on the monitor. Patient underwent synchronized cardioversion with 150 Joules and converted to sinus tachycardia. Patient also received 150 mg Amiodarone bolus and 250 mL of Normal Saline IVF. Patient’s sister arrived to ED approximately 10 minutes after patient’s arrival and states that patient had multiple episodes of becoming unconscious at home earlier today. Denied recent illness, fever/chills, vomiting, diarrhea

Physical Exam:

BP 133/105,   HR 115 Sinus tachycardia,   RR 20,   SpO2 100% on 3 lpm NC,    Temp 97.0F

General: Lethargic but arousable to painful stimuli

HEENT: NCAT, pupils PERRLA, neck supple

Respiratory: Moderate respiratory distress with bibasilar rales, otherwise clear, no wheezing

Chest: AICD in left anterior chest

Cardiac: +S1/S2, no MRG, tachycardia, regular rhythm

Abdomen: soft NT ND

Neuro exam: arousable to painful stimuli, pt reading lips, answering appropriately

Extremities: weak thready pulses throughout, no edema

Skin: cool, pale, diaphoretic, no rashes, lacerations, or abrasions

 Labs:

CBC: Unremarkable     CMP: K 3.2   Glucose 595     BUN/Cr 17/1.62

AST/ALT 359/401       INR: 1.7             Troponin 0.122

ED Course: Approximately 5 minutes after arrival to the ED during the initial exam, patient became unresponsive and was noted to be in Ventricular Fibrillation on the monitor. CPR/ACLS was started and patient was intubated immediately. Her defibrillator appeared to be delivering shocks however there was no conversion of the rhythm. ACLS was performed for 30 minutes and pulses were regained multiple times. Patient was in V-fib, then PEA, then V-tach arrest. 100mg Lidocaine and 2 grams Magnesium were also given. Defibrillation with external pads ultimately led to Return of Spontaneous circulation. Bloody, frothy sputum was also noted from the ETT post-arrest. A right IJ central line was placed

EKG:

Pre-arrest: Atrial-paced with PACs. QTc 503      Post-arrest: Atrial tachycardia. QTc 609

DX: VFib & VTach arrest s/p ROSC in the setting of Congenital Long QT syndrome and AICD non-capture.

ED/Hospital course:  Post-ROSC EKG did not show STEMI. Post-ROSC Chest XR demonstrated diffused pulmonary edema. Patient was hypoxic with SpO2 in the 80s on 100% FiO2. Decreased tidal volume and increased PEEP improved oxygenation. Bedside cardiac Ultrasound showed global hypokinesis and no pericardial effusion. CT Head w/o contrast was normal. Amiodarone drip was started. Hypothermia protocol was initiated. The patient was admitted to the CCU. She did not code again while in the ED. Her AICD was interrogated and it showed she had been in sustained Vtach to which her AICD gave multiple shocks without capture. She was in the hospital for 11 days where she initially was improving and was therefore extubated after 7 days. Unfortunately she again went into Vtach arrest multiple times and then PEA arrest and was pronounced dead.

Pearls:

Congenital Long QT Syndrome (LQTS)

  • The major variant of congenital prolonged QT syndrome (there are 6 total). Affects estimated 1/2500 to 1/7000 people worldwide
  • Can have varying degrees of penetrance
  • Thought to account for ~3000/year of sudden deaths in children
  • May play a roll in prevalence of SIDS
  • Autosomal dominant inheritance, results in mutation of genes responsible for creating ion-channel proteins. The impaired transport of ions in cardiac tissue causes prolonged QT à impaired repolarization à ventricular arrhythmias (symptomatically syncope, seizure, cardiac arrest). May also present with AV blocks and bradydysrhythmias.
  • Romano-Ward is the more common, autosomal dominant (AD) form with purely cardiac phenotype.
  • The Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome refers to the autosomal recessive (AR) phenotype of congenital LQTS that is associated with profound sensorineural hearing loss and a high risk for sudden death. MORE MALIGNANT CLINICAL COURSE. Our patient likely had this variation since she also had deafness.

Management and treatment

  • Beta- blockers = 1st line treatment in symptomatic patients. Blunts catecholaminergic response
  • Whenever syncopal episodes recur despite full-dose beta-blocking therapy, left cardiac sympathetic denervation (LCSD) should be considered. Cardiac pacing is only rarely indicated (e.g. in infants or young children with 2:1 atrioventricular block).
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are always indicated after cardiac arrest, or when requested by the patient, and whenever syncope recurs despite beta-blockade and LCSD.
  • Potassium supplementation or spironolactone
  • Other antiarrhythmic therapy based on genotype

Risk Factors  for syncope or SCD

  • Congenital deafness
  • Hx/o syncope
  • Hx/o Ventricular arrhythmia
  • Family hx/o SCD
  • Female gender
  • QTc > 600ms
  • Medical non-compliance

Event triggers (vary depending on which genetic mutation)

  • Exercise-related
  • Auditory stimuli (alarm clock, telephone ringing!)
  • Acute emotional events
  • Catecholamine-induced
  • Pregnancy and up to 9 months post-partum
  • Onset of menopause

Post by Katrina D’Amore, DO.

 

Case of the Week (COW) #5

CC: Vomiting for 2 days

HPI: 47 year old female with PMHX of HTN and ETOH abuse presents with abdominal pain. Patient states that beginning two days ago she was woken up from her sleep with sudden onset non-bloody vomiting as well as epigastric pain which radiates to the back and is sharp in nature. She admits to over 15 episodes of vomiting. She is also having cramping of her feet bilaterally. She admits to daily ETOH use, and states her last intake was two days ago, denies illicit drug use. Denies taking any medication prior to arrival. Denies fever, chills, chest pain, SOB or dysuria. Denies recent travel or sick contacts. PMHX/PSHX: none Meds: none Allergies: none

Physical Exam: Vitals: BP 150/96 P 98 RR 16 O2 sat 98% RA General: Awake, alert, anxious Cardiac: Regular rate, no murmurs Lungs: CTAB, no rales, no rhonchi, no wheezing Abd: soft, non-distended, Mild tenderness to palpation epigastric area

Labs: Magnesium- 1.3 Potassium- 3.5 Troponin- 0.017

EKG:

DX: Prolonged QT interval with non-sustained polymorphic Ventricular tachycardia secondary to Hypomagnesemia

ED/Hospital course:  Upon arrival to ED patient had Epigastric pain with vomiting, Patient started on IVF and received Pepcid and Zofran. EKG at this time showed QT prolongation and patient found to have magnesium of 1.3. While waiting for magnesium, she started to have short runs of polymorphic ventricular tachycardia and during these times she complained of chest tightness. After 2 grams of magnesium patients repeat EKG showed normal QT and runs of ventricular tachycardia stopped. She received another 2mg of Magnesium and 40 mEq of Potassium Chloride. Patient was then admitted to Telemetry floor. Patient observed for 24hours and discharged to home with follow up with a cardiologist and Norvasc 5 mg 1tab PO daily, Losartan 100 mg 1tab PO daily, Ranitidine 150mg 1tab PO BI.

Pearls:

  • An abnormally prolonged QTc, especially >500 is associated with an increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias, Torsade’s de Pointes
  • Prolonged QT with prolonged T wave is due to: HypoK, HypoMg, Medications, Elevated ICP, Cardiac ischemia, Congenital.
  • Prolonged QT with prolonged ST-segment is due to: HypoCa, Hypothermia.
  • If EKG reveals long QT start by reviewing drug history and checking electrolytes. Stop any offending agents. Suppress early after depolarization with IV magnesium sulfate and keep potassium >4.5meq/L.
  • If non responsive to magnesium, may consider cardiac pacing and rarely isoproterenol infusion. Acceleration of the heart rate may produce suppression of arrhythmias, with a reduction in the QT interval.
  • Unstable patients should undergo non-synchronized electrical defibrillation.

Post by: Dr. Kerri Clayton, DO

 

Take Home Pearls from 2017 UM EM Cardiac Arrest Symposium

Below is a review of the key points of each lecture from the 2017 University of Maryland Emergency Cardiology Symposium which was hosted by Amal Mattu, MD in Baltimore, MD. This year’s topic was Cardiac Arrest.

To view video and presentations of all of the lectures, visit: www.livestream.com/UMEmergencyMed.


How Far We’ve Come!

John M. Field, MD; Penn State University

  • JAMA 2016: trial showed LOWER likelihood of survival to discharge and worse neurological outcome for patients with in-hospital cardiac arrest treated with therapeutic hypothermia.
  • JAMA 2017: no mortality benefit for tracheal intubation during cardiac arrest – consider using LMA (quick placement and less compression interruption).

Running the Perfect Code

Michael Winters, MD; University of Maryland

  • Team leadership is key! (Take charge of your resuscitation. Assign roles prior to patient arrival.)
  • Early defibrillation
  • High-Quality CPR:
    • Highest rate of survival at 121-140 compressions/min.
      • Journal of Resuscitation: 120-140 compressions per minute (compared to ACLS taught 100-120) showed improved ROSC at this rate in the year 2017. Single center. Roughly 200 something patients.
    • 5-6 cm depth of compressions with appropriate recoil of chest wall.
    • Avoid leaning on the chest.
    • Chest compression fraction (percentage of time in which chest compressions are done by rescuers during cardiac arrest) should be greater than 60%; goal of 80%.
  • Hemodynamic-Directed CPR
    • Using femoral arterial line, aim for DBP >25-35 mmHg. This is also helpful for determining PEA vs pseudo-PEA.
    • Using end tidal CO2, aim for >20 mmHg.
    • Hold epinephrine if these parameters are met.
    • Aim for a coronary perfusion pressure (CPP = aortic diastolic pressure minus the left ventricular end-diastolic pressure) of >20 mmHg to attain ROSC. Need arterial and central line to obtain the CPP which may be difficult during a resuscitation. Instead, we can guide our resuscitations with the use of early arterial line placement and/or end tidal CO2.
  • Consider video laryngoscopy as first attempt in CPR because DL increases “no flow” time seen bc of holding compressions to optimize view.  Success rate is similar.
  • Code Medications: Epinephrine: ? evidence of efficacy.  There exists no definitive evidence of epi’s benefit to long term survival to date.
  • NEJM 2016:  Amiodarone vs Lidocaine vs Placebo in out of hospital cardiac arrest shockable rhythms:  NO DIFFERENCE.  However, there was a non-statistically significant trend towards benefit to hospital discharge in those getting amio or lido vs placebo.

ECHO Evaluation in Cardiac Arrest

Sarah A. Stahmer, MD; UNC

  • US can interrupt cardiac compressions. Need to use a focused approach to limit delay during CPR
  • Use ultrasound to evaluate pump, tank, pipes during the resuscitation
  • SHoC Study 
    • Look for the Four F’s:  Fluid (pericardial), Form (RV dilatation), Function (wall movement), Filling (IVC diameter
    • RUSH Exam – Rapid Ultrasound for Shock and Hypotension
    • FEEL Study
    • Asystole or PEA with any degree of wall movement had higher rate of survival
    • Use cardiac ultrasound to determine appropriate pacemaker capture; appropriate myocardial squeeze with capture.
    • A twitch in the heart muscle is not cardiac stand still.  Must be no cardiac muscle movement for standstill. However, valvular motion with cardiac stand still is considered cardiac death.
    • Sonographic asystole has a poor prognosis, but not no prognosis.  Small chance of survival exists.  If patient young, continue resuscitative efforts.  Older/Nursing home patients it may be reasonable to call the code.
    • Must consider all patient variables with continuation of resuscitative efforts.

A Rational Approach to PEA 

Laszio Littmann, MD; UNC

  • Almost impossible to remember all H’s and T’s during a code
  • New algorithm for PEA: Based on whether the QRS is Narrow or Wide
    • QRS Narrow:
      • Mechanical (RV) problem (tamponade, tension PTX, PE, mechanical hyperinflation) (US: hyperdynamic LV—PSEUDO PEA).  These patients may benefit from an intervention – fluids/phenylephrine/needle decompression etc. and not CPR.
    • QRS Wide:
      • Metabolic (LV) problem (HyperK, Na channel blocker tox) (US: Hypokinetic—TRUE PEA). These patients likely will benefit from CPR
      • Consider Phenylephrine (NOT Epinephrine) in pseudo-PEA (narrow QRS): 2-10 mcg/kg bolus. 200-500 mcg IVP over 10-30 seconds. May repeat in 10-15 minutes. Approximately 20-minute half-life. No scientific evidence behind using phenylephrine; Littmann’s personal experience.

Optimizing Post-Arrest Care

Joshua C. Reynolds, MD, MSU

  • Hard to share pearls considering detail of lecture
  • Best take home from this lecture is not to settle after initial resuscitation. Must consider domains of injury and phenotypes of injury. Direct care down to the cellular level.

Making ECMO a Reality in the ED

Zack Shinar, MD; San Diego

  • 8% survival to hospital discharge in cardiac arrests – number hasn’t moved in many years
  • JAHA 2016: 50% survival achieved by one hospital in Minnesota with wide use of ECMO
  • Arterial line for all cardiac arrest patients to monitor response
  • Getting ECMO in your ED: 1. Assess your capabilities; 2. Develop relationships (CT surg, Cardio, Intensive care); 3. Become a “professional proceduralist”

Where are we going?

Robert O’Connor, MD, MPH; University of Virginia

  • AHA 2012:  Dispatch pre-arrival instructions (on how to perform CPR until EMS arrives) improve survival in out of hospital cardiac arrest
  • Japan has a cardiac arrest registry. USA does not. Why??
  • Arterial line in codes – helpful in distinguishing PEA from pseudo-PEA.  Compressions may be harmful in the latter
  • What is a pulse?  Finger is not very accurate
  • Chain of Survival is key to appropriate care of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests
  • PulsePoint App for phone: allows those trained in BLS to know when they are close to an active cardiac arrest.
  • EMS Dispatcher guided CPR for bystanders
  • Prolonged prehospital care has increased patient mortality
  • Appropriate Cath lab activation for ROSC patients: refer to Mattu’s ECG weekly lecture.

Panel Discussion: 

  • Cool to 36 if mild sx moving around etc. Cool to 33 if in deep coma /sicker subset (Personal preference)
  • ECMO is reimbursed very well as long as your pt is insured
  • Fingers to palpate a pulse are not very good.  Ultrasound, arterial line, and end tidal may be better resources. One study done in prehospital setting with ultrasound in the field shows those with no pulse but ultrasound showing cardiac motion did better with Meds (pressors) verses starting compressions. These patients have “pseudo pea” bc they actually have a pulse you just can’t feel it.

Case of the Week #1

CC Chest pain and palpitations

HPI Pt is a 23 y/o male with no PMHx presenting with c/o palpitations, chest pain since last night. Pt states the pain is localized to the mid sternal chest wall with radiation to b/l upper extremities at times. Pt states the pain came on suddenly last night and he didn’t think anything of it so he went to bed. He woke up this morning with same pain and now with associated nausea and dizziness prompting the visit to the ED. Pt has never had pain like this in the past. Denies vomiting, F/C, recent illness, sudden cardiac death in the family other than a 70 y/o uncle who was obese. Pt denies drug use and states he was drinking over the weekend 2 days ago.

PMHx: none

Meds: none

Allergies: none

PSHx: none

Social: occasional ETOH, (-) drugs

Pertinent PE and Vitals: BP 90/62 P 186 RR 22 O2 sat 100% RA

General: Awake, alert, mild distress Cardiac: (+) tachycardic; no murmurs Lungs: CTAB, no rales, no rhonchi, no wheezing Abd: soft, nontender, nondistended Skin: diaphoretic; mild pallor

Pertinent Labs (if any) Troponin: 0.439

DDX: SVT with aberrancy vs VTach

ED Course: Pt placed on cardiac monitor immediately and IVF bolus initiated. Adenosine 12 mg IVP given while rhythm strip running with no change. A second dose of Adenosine 12 mg IVP given again with no change. 150 mg Amiodarone given with improvement of HR from 190’s to 170’s still wide complex. Second dose of 150 mg Amiodarone given with improvement of HR from 170‘s to 150’s and eventually converted to a NSR rate 85. Pt remained in stable condition and BP responsive to IVF. Pt admitted to telemetry and Cardiology consulted. While still in the ED, pt reverted back to wide complex tachycardia. 3rd dose of 150 mg Amiodarone given and recommendation from Cardiology was to try a 20 mg IVP of Cardizem. Cardizem given and pt immediately converted to NSR. Pt started on Cardizem drip and upgraded to the CCU. Pt underwent EPS and AV dissociation was noted. Determination was Verapamil Sensitive Ventricular Tachycardia. Pt remained stable throughout hospital course and started on Verapamil. Discharged on hospital day #3 with follow up with cardiology clinic.

Final Dx:  Idiopathic Fascicular Left Ventricular Tachycardia AKA • Fascicular Tachycardia • Verapamil-sensitive VT • Belhassen-type VT

Discussion:  MC type of idiopathic tachycardia of LEFT ventricle ! It is a reentrant tachycardia typically seen in young patients without structural heart disease ! Verapamil is first line treatment • Dose: 10 mg IVP over 1 minute ! EKG features: • Monomorphic V tach • QRS 100-140 ms (narrower than other forms of Tach) • Short RS interval 60-80 ms • RBBB pattern • Axis deviation depends on anatomical site of re-entry circuit ! Often misdiagnosed as SVT with RBBB ! Keys to dx: • Observe features of VT such as caption/fusion beats, AV dissociation • Usually unresponsive to adenosine, vagal maneuvers, or beta blockers

Post by: Kristen Pena, DO