Case of the week COW #11

CC: Can’t see for 2 months

HPI: 10 year old male with no significant past medical history presents to the Emergency Dept. complaining of painless vision loss in the right eye for 2-3 months. Patient states he has been having difficulty seeing out of his right eye for 2 months despite changing positions in class, taking on and off his glasses and using eye drops. Vision loss has become progressively worse and now he can only distinguish whether lights are on or off. Mother states she did not do anything about this problem because she thought he was kidding and she didn’t’ have money or health insurance to seek medical attention. Patient has been wearing Bifocals for myopia since the age of 6, with corrective vision lenses at age 5. Denies associated trauma. Patient moved to the U.S from Nigeria 5 years ago. He lives with his mother and sister. Vaccines are up to date.

PMH/Birth History: NSVD at 39 weeks, 1 day. Birth took place in Nigeria and mother denies any infection during or after pregnancy. Following birth, patient did not have any complications such as pneumonia, eye infections or rashes.

Social History: Denies drug abuse. Denies exposure to chemicals. Denies contact with dirt, dogs or pigs. Patient did not live on a farm. As per mother, there was no domestic abuse in the family

PHYSICAL EXAM 

Vitals within normal Limits

General: In no acute distress, appears stated age.

Head: Atraumatic, normocephalic. No deformities.

Eye: Right (OD): pupil non-reactive and remains white in color and approximately 2mm. Afferent reflex is present CN II; efferent reflex is absent. There is a complete visual field defect on the right side. Visual Acuity: Can only distinguish between light and dark. Unable to count fingers at any distance or visual objects even in motion. On Fundoscopic exam, the fundus is gray/dull, with no retina visualized. ALL CONSISTENT WITH LEUKOCORIA

Respiratory: Lungs CTA bilaterally.

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

Abdomen: soft NT ND

Neuro exam: CN III –XII intact. No motor, sensory, vibratory, temperature or pain deficits. Gait is steady and normal, without any difficulty. Cerebellar function intact, no dysmetria bilaterally.

Extremities: Full ROM in all extremities. 5/5 strength in all extremities

Skin: No edema, rashes, lacerations, or abrasions. Skin is warm, pink, moist and intact.

LABS

CBC: Unremarkable with        WBC: 7.1     Hemoglobin: 13.5       Platelets 211.

CMP: WNL       CRP and ESR = WNL

Tonometry: IOP approx. 17-18 x 3 times

Wood lamp: No corneal abrasion, dendritic ulcers, lesions or depositions OU

Bedside U/S: Completed within 10 minutes of arrival ( Only Right eye is shown)

Working Differential Diagnosis:

  • Retinoblastoma
  • Intraocular Mass
  • Cataract
  • Syphilis
  • Parasitic infiltrate
  • Posterior Infarct

CT Max/Facial w/o Contrast to rule out intracranial pathologies: Negative for masses; positive for homologous material in the right lobe. MRI was recommended for further evaluation

ED/Hospital course:  Ophthalmologist on call was consulted, and said there was nothing more to do. Unfortunately because his vision loss was > 2 months, no life saving surgery was imminent as the retina was already detached causing ischemia to the rods and cones within it.  Patient was to follow up in ophthalmology clinic the following day. Patient’s Pediatrician was also contacted and he referred the patient to a Pediatric Ophthalmic specialist in University Hospital, with a scheduled appointment within the same week. Approximately one week ago, patient underwent surgery and the leading diagnosis was Toxocariasis as per MRI. Biopsy results to follow. As per mother, the patient is still without vision in his right eye.

LEUKOCORIA, UNILATERAL, 10 YO MALE DIFFERENTIALS

Coats disease is an exudative retinal vascular disorder characterized by retinal telangiectasias and subretinal exudation leading to serous retinal detachment. Presenting complaints include decreased visual acuity, strabismus, or leukocoria. The leukocoria in Coats disease is generally more yellow than white due to the presence of subretinal lipid. Coats disease is almost always unilateral and the vast majority of cases occur in boys. The majority of cases presenting with leukocoria are diagnosed between five and nine years of age, which is older than the majority of retinoblastoma patients.

Clinical examination: subretinal lipid and abnormal telangiectatic vessels US: demonstrates complete retinal detachment with massive subretinal lipid. Intraocular calcification is almost never present in Coats disease, another feature that helps to distinguish it from retinoblastoma.

The retinal photograph depicts bullous retinal detachment in the Left eye of a 1-year-old child with Coat’s disease simulating retinoblastoma. The magnetic resonance images confirm the diagnosis of retinal detachment and exclude retinoblastoma because of the absence of intraocular mass.

 

Toxocariasis — Toxocariasis, or visceral larva migrans, is an infection caused by the dog ascarid Toxocara canis or, less commonly, the cat ascarid Toxocara catis. There may be a history of living in an underdeveloped country, and exposure to dirt or undomesticated dogs. It occurs most commonly in children one to five years of age. Common presenting signs of toxocariasis are strabismus and poor vision. The ocular lesion is caused by the inflammatory response to the second-stage larva, which may localize in the one eye or both eyes

Chorioretinitis characteristic of toxoplasmosis. A pigmented scar is seen with an adjacent area of active chorioretinitis. The diagnosis of toxoplasmosis is based primarily on the appearance of the chorioretinal lesion rather than serologic studies. Courtesy of James T Rosenbaum, MD.

 Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) — developmental vascular proliferative disorder that occurs in the incompletely vascularized retina of preterm infants and can lead to retinal detachment and permanent blindness. The most important risk factor for developing ROP is prematurity. There needs to be a history of prematurity, and/or mother mentions patient was on O2 for awhile.

Vitreous hemorrhage — Vitreous hemorrhage causes leukocoria when there is extensive organization of the blood into a clot before degradation. With time, the reddish hue of the blood is lost and the hemorrhage transforms into “whitish debris.” Etiology includes advanced ROP,  trauma (MOST common), leukemia or hemorrhagic disease of newborn

Retinablastoma– Retinoblastoma is the most common primary intraocular malignancy of childhood and accounts for 10 to 15 percent of cancers that occur within the first year of life. Retinoblastoma typically presents as leukocoria in a child under the age of two years. Untreated retinoblastoma is a deadly disease; however, with advances in treatment, survival in the contemporary era is >95 percent. Most common age group is birth- 2 years. Very uncommon in children over the age of 5, although 1-2 case reports have occurred in 18 year old males

 Pearls & Takeaways:

  • Leukocoria Requires further investigation – On exam, History and Diagnostic
  • The use of tonometry, fundoscopy and ocular ultrasound are an easy, noninvasive way to add to your ophthalmic exam. Slit-lamp exam could have been considered here
  • Ocular ultrasound is really cool and fun!
  • Advocate for your patients!  Make sure they have proper follow up with a specialist
  • If any abuse or neglect is suspected, be sure to turn on “Sherlock Holmes” senses and investigate.

 

Case presented by Dr. Sarah Bolan

 

Case of the Week COW #9

CC: “Post Surgical Pain” ; Abdominal pain

HPI: 8 year old Male with PMH of Sickle Cell Disease (HbSC), Post-opt Day 10 for laparoscopic splenectomy for recurrent sequestration crises presents to the Emergency Department (ED) complaining of abdominal pain x 2 days. The pain is described as diffuse and worse in the RUQ. Denies exacerbating or relieving factors. Pain is associated with constipation; last Bowel movement was 7 days prior. Mother states he did have one small BM shortly after surgery. He is tolerating PO without difficulty and does report flatus. She has been giving him Oxycodone 2mg every 6 hours for pain with minimal relief. Upon review of systems, patient reports feeling hot for the past 2 days but without a recorded temperature at home. Additionally, patient complained of a non-productive cough for 2 days and has been “breathing fast” for the same duration of time.

Physical Exam:

BP 112/74    HR 129     RR 24   SpO2 93% on RA   Temp 99.9F      26.3 kg

Constitutional: Well developed, well-nourished child who is awake, alert and in moderate distress due to pain and feeling hot; making tears

HEENT: NCAT, pupils PERRLA, neck supple

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

Chest/Axilla: Normal symmetrical motion, no tenderness

Cardiac: +S1/S2, RRR, no MRG,

Abdomen: Scars noted over splenectomy site which are clean dry and intact, healing well without discharge; Diminished Bowel Sounds in all quadrants; soft, non-distended with mild tenderness in all 4 quadrants. No rebound or guarding.

Neuro exam: AAO x 3. No deficits

Extremities: no edema, no tenderness or swelling

Pertinent Labs:

CBC: 42.1

HBG: 12.5

HCT: 36.9

Platelets: 721

Seg: 79

Lymphs: 9

Mono: 12

Reticulocyte count: reported as normal

Pertinent Imaging and other tests:

Working Diagnosis:

Generalized abdominal pains

Elevated WBC

Abscess of spleen

ED/Hospital course:

Surgery was consulted in the ED and they believed the pain was not related to the surgery. Abdominal U/S performed at their request showed “s/p splenectomy with gallbladder sludge.” Patient had moderate improvement in his pain after Toradol 15mg IV and Morphine 2mg IV were given in the ED. Patient also received Rocephin 75mg/kg and NS 500mL IV Fluid bolus for presumed infection with the leukocytosis of 42.1.

The patient was admitted to Pediatric Step down for further evaluation and management. Overnight, he remained comfortable with stable vital signs, afebrile and saturating 94-96% on 2L NC. On Hospital day #1, patient became febrile to 103F and continued to deny chest pain, SOB or difficulty breathing. The cough remained unchanged since admission. A repeat Chest X-Ray was obtained and the patient was diagnosed with Acute Chest Syndrome and received exchange transfusion the same day (Refer to Image below) Additionally, he received Ceftriaxone, Azithromycin, Nitric oxide and IVF at ¾ maintenance ate throughout hospitalization. On Hospital Day #4 he was discharged home.

Pearls:

Acute Chest Syndrome

  • It is the leading cause of death in patients with SCD in the United States
  • Most often occurs as a single episode, but patients may have multiple attacks resulting in chronic lung disease
  • Multiple Etiologies
    • Pulmonary infections
    • Iatrogenic cause including aggressive hydration for sickle cell painful crisis ——à causing Pulmonary Edema
    • Opioid use —–à Decreased inspiratory effort——à Atelectasis
  • New infiltrate identified on Chest X-Ray with at least one of the following: Fever, cough, wheezing, tachypnea, chest pain, hypoxemia.
  • Radiographic changes often lag behind clinical features so initially the Chest X-Ray may actually be normal (as in our case)
  • Treatment
    • Supportive: Early Supplemental Oxygen, analgesics and IV Hydration up to 1.5x maintenance rate
    • Antibiotic irrespective of cultures
    • Transfusion is believed to be lifesaving; recommendations based on empirical observations and not on firm evidence
    • Exchange transfusion seems to be more advantageous, especially in patients with a hemoglobin of > 9.0
      • It decreases the concentration of sickled hemoglobin with little iron gain
    • Inhaled Nitrous Oxide is beneficial
      • Due to its vasodilatory effects –à improved ventilation/perfusion in damaged lung tissue
      • Reduced RBC and leukocyte adhesion to endothelial cells, therefore affecting disease progression
    • Hydroxyurea reduces occurrence of acute chest syndrome

Case Presented by Greg Cassidy, MD

 

References:

  1. Stapczynski, J. S., & Tintinalli, J. E. (2016). Tintinalli’s emergency medicine: A comprehensive study guide (8th ed.). New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education LLC..

 

Case of the Week COW #8

CC: Altered Mental Status

HPI: 50 -year-old Male with PMH of HIV, CVA and Meningitis presents to the Emergency Department (ED) for altered mental status. As per the patient’s girlfriend at bedside, the patient woke up confused and was not making any sense when he spoke. He even urinated on the floor but does not remember doing so. Patient had been complaining of back pain, testicular pain and leg pain for the past couple of weeks and had been evaluated for it in the ED. Patient also states he is currently taking “something for his HIV” but is unclear what his last CD4+ count was. Denies sick contacts. The rest of the review of systems was limited by confusion, but denied vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or any other complaints.

Physical Exam:

BP 128/78   HR 129     RR 14   SpO2 96% on RA   Temp 102.4F

Constitutional: Diaphoretic, confused and intermittently following commands.

HEENT: NCAT, pupils PERRLA, neck supple

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

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

Abdomen: soft, mildly distended with mild tenderness in RUQ and LUQ.  Was not able to appreciate any focal masses . No rebound or guarding

Neuro exam: Not oriented to time or situation, No focal deficits, moving all four extremities. Unable to complete a more detailed exam as patient remained confused.

Extremities: no edema, no tenderness or swelling

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

Pertinent Labs:

(Per Sorian Inpatient) CD4 = 120 on June 2017

Sepsis workup summary (normal if not reported):

  • Trop 0.045ng/ml
  • Sodium 126
  • WBC 5.8       Chloride 93
  • RBC 3.72      CO2 19
  • HBG 10.3      Glucose 116
  • HCT 30.3       BUN 89
  • Platelets 108
  • Cr 2.90 (↑ from baseline)
  • Bands 27        Total Bili 4.5
  • Lymphs 3       Total Protein 5.7
  • Monos 2         Albumin 2.6
  • Lymphocytes 0.2
  • Alk Phos 346   Monocytes 0.1
  • AST 143
  • ALT 58
  • Lactic acid 3.4
  • U/A negative
  • CSF negative

Pertinent Imaging and other tests:

EKG remarkable for sinus tachycardia, left axis deviation, and an old RBBB

CT head w/o contrast remarkable for only mild frontal volume loss

Chest XR – unremarkable

RUQ Bedside US and then official US completed and showed:

Working Diagnosis:

Hepatic hydatid cysts from Echinococcus tape worm

Hepatic abscesses

Metastatic cancer

Multiple biliary hamartomas

Polycystic liver disease

Caroli Disease

ED/Hospital course:

In the ED, the patient received IV Fluid boluses of NS 30mg/kg and one 1000mL of NS along with Tylenol, Vancomycin and Zosyn. The patient was admitted to Infectious Disease service. Throughout the hospital stay, CT Scan of abdomen and pelvis w/o contrast (due to AKI) was remarkable for infiltrated liver, splenic lesions, and destructive lesions of the bilateral iliac wings and L5 with pathologic fracture of the posterior right rib, which may be due to metastatic disease. The underlying etiology is uncertain. Without contrast, it was not certain if there was underlying macronodular cirrhosis. There was also associated ascites. Initial blood cultures from the ED grew Salmonella species. The patient was initially admitted the medical floor but was transferred to the Medical ICU on day 7 of hospitalization for increased lethargy and worsening lactic acidosis, transaminitis, and AKI. He later went into multisystem organ failure and was intubated thereafter. His code status was also changed to DNR/DNI. The patient unfortunately expired before endoscopy, colonoscopy, and biopsy could be performed.

Official Ultrasound read – Findings consistent with metastatic disease to the liver.

Pearls:

Hepatic Hydatid infection

  • Caused by Echinococcus granulosus or Echinococcus multilocularis
  • granulosus – Endemic in North America & Australia with dogs & wolves main as main host
  • multilocularis – Found in Northern Hemisphere with red fox, dogs, & cats as main host
  • Ultrasound would show a multiseptate cyst with daughter cysts
  • X-ray would show calcified rings
  • CT Abd/Pelvis may show the water-lily sign, which occurs when the endocystic membrane becomes detached, resulting in floating membranes within the pericyst, which mimics the appearance of a water lily ( Refer to Figure 1).

Figure 1. A detached membrane within the contents of the cyst, known as the water-lily sign

Pearls

Hepatic Hydatid infection

  • Infection may be asymptomatic for many years, with a long latent period (up to 50 years of age!)
  • Albendazole for confirmed infection
  • Reserve antibiotics for those in which diagnosis is uncertain due to risk of anaphylaxis
  • Most cases in U.S. occur in immigrants from endemic countries (South America, Middle East, eastern Mediterranean, sub Saharan, African, West China, former Soviet Union)
  • Confirmed cases in U.S. are rare

Patients with HIV

  • Always ask for CD4+ count and if they are on medications for their HIV/AIDs
  • Have a low threshold for doing an aggressive workup for these individuals, especially if poor follow up
  • HIV is a risk factor for Salmonella bacteremia
    • Other risk factors include any immunosuppressed state, liver disease, hemoglobinopathies (decreased splenic function)
    • Most salmonella bacteremia can have a preceding diarrheal illness
    • Major complication is endovascular infection
    • Treatment is IV fluoroquinolones or 3rd generation cephalosporin

Case presented by Jessica Williams, MD, PGY1

Case of the Week (COW) #4

 

 

CC: Generalized Weakness

HPI: 55 y/o male presents complaining of 4 days of gradually worsening weakness in bilateral arms and legs. The patient also reports lower extremity pain one week ago, which resolved. Patient also complains of intermittent left sided back pain for the past couple of months that is exacerbated by walking. ROS: Positive for non-bloody diarrhea 2 weeks prior to presentation. Denies fever and vomiting at any time. No recent travels or sick contacts. Denies HA, dizziness, CP, SOB, or abdominal pain

Pertinent PE and Vitals: BP 172 / 82; Pulse 89; Resp 16; Temp 97.1; Pulse Ox 100% on R/A

GEN: Awake NAD.

EYES: PERRL, EOMI

NECK: supple, FROM, no meningismus

PULM: CTA in all fields, no tachypnea CARD: S1/S2 Normal. Normal rate.

NEURO: AAOX3. Lucid. Follows commands. CN 2-12 intact. No dysmetria bilaterally. No focal neurological deficits appreciated. Sensory intact. No drifts present in upper extremities. No dysarthria. Back: Mild painful ROM of lumbar region. No midline vertebral tenderness. No deformities. Deep tendon reflexes intact. 5/5 strength in all extremities.

Pertinent Labs (if any):

WBC 15.8 without any shift.

ED & Hospital Course: Patient was walked to evaluate gait in the setting of generalized weakness. She was able to ambulate with no ataxia. However, she was moving very slow and appeared globally weak. Patient stated this was not how she usually walks. A CT Head w/o Contrast followed by a lumbar puncture was then performed.

Lumbar Puncture (CSF Labs): RBC : 17,515   WBC: 21    Glucose: 103    Total Protein : 109

*LP was a traumatic 2nd attempt PLUS the samples were accidentally sent in a tube to the lab and dropped by the receiving lab tech. This contributed to the high RBC. Bonus Pearl – CSF tubes should always be hand delivered.

Working Diagnosis at time of Disposition : Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS)

Neurology was consulted. Negative Inspiratory Force was performed with normal results. Patient was admitted to Neurology Floor with diagnosis of GBS. The patient improved after multiple doses of IVIG and was discharged from the hospital 1 week later with outpatient Neurology follow up

Pearls & Takeaways

Get a thorough history. Diarrhea is usually never important but in this case it was helpful in making the diagnosis. Ø Always walk your patients prior to discharge. Ø GBS is typically followed by a viral illness. Signs and symptoms include symmetric motor weakness that is usually ascending with little to no sensory involvement. Ø Progression of disease is over days to weeks. Ø Paralysis can ascend to the diaphragm. A Negative Inspiratory Force (NIF) test should be performed to evaluate the respiratory muscles. Intubate if FVC <15 mL/kg or negative inspiratory pressure < -25 cm H2O. Ø Albumin-cytological dissociation of CSF (high protein (>45) and low WBC count

 

Steroids for SJS and TEN?

Here’s a quick hit summary of the evidence regarding the use of systemic corticosteroids in the treatment of SJS/TEN

  • Small amount of evidence, NO RCT to date
  • Small retrospective study (n=30, groups comparable) in 1984 from a burn center found survival benefit (66% versus 33% survival) in NOT giving steroids. Also found decreased complications such as Candida sepsis & esophageal ulcer in patients who did NOT receive steroids.
  • Cohort of ~500 patients from RegiSCAR (International Registry of Severe Cutaneous Adverse Reactions to Drugs)
    • No statistical diff in Hazard Ratio among treatment groups (supportive care vs. corticosteroids vs. IVIG).
  • Systematic Review of literature from 2001-2009 (only used Pubmed, not great)
    • Pooled analysis demonstrated no statistically significant difference in Mortality Ratio among groups (supportive care vs. corticosteroids vs. IVIG).
    • B.: i2 statistic not reported but authors mention no problematic heterogeneity.
  • Very small study (n=12 over 10 years) demonstrated potential benefit to early pulse-dose IV steroids (1.5 mg/kg/day dexamethasone for 3 days) in the form of (1) disease halt at 3 days (2) 1 actual death versus 4 predicted deaths.
  • Interestingly, a case-control study (case n=92; control n=381) demonstrated that pre-existing chronic steroid use delayed onset of SJS/TEN in patients using high-risk drugs by 7 days but also prolonged disease course by 2 days.

Bottom line

  • Systemic corticosteroids have not been shown to consistently correlate or provide a survival benefit in patients with SJS/TEN.
  • Paucity of evidence may show benefit to pulse-dose IV steroids such as are used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as pemphigus vulgaris.
  • Supportive care is the standard of care.

Post by: Dr. Katrina D’Amore DO, MPH

Antibiotics for chest tubes

Things to keep in mind:

Prophylactic antibiotics for surgical patients in tube thoracostomy is usually limited to 24hrs duration and is 1st generation cephalosporin. It is meant to cover s. aureus the most common organism found in post traumatic empyema

increasing antibiotic use is leading to increase incidence of drug resistance

Potential infectious complications of penetrating or blunt chest trauma:

  • Post Traumatic Empyema
  • Pneumonia

Literature is mixed on whether antibiotics should be given for chest tubes placed for trauma.

In 1998 EAST guidelines gave a level 3* recommendation to give antibiotics prophylacticly to reduce incidence of pneumonia based off of Class I and Class II** data. AND there was insufficient data to give prophylactic antibiotics for post traumatic empyema

This recommendation remains controversial because 

  •    In order for antibiotics to be prophylactic they have to be given prior to a procedure and must reach a steady state concentration in the tissue before an incision is made.
  •    In the case of antibiotics given after a trauma has already occurred, the pleura has already been violated regardless of whether it is penetrating or blunt trauma. Therefore antibiotics do not reach needed concentration before contamination has concerned so these antibiotics are considered presumptive antibiotics.
  •    Non standard definitions of pneumonia and empyema were used, as well as various antibiotics were used in the different studies

In 2012 EAST guidelines reviewed the use of presumptive antibiotics for chest tubes (Tube thoracostomy):

They decided that they cannot make a recommendation for or against the routine use of presumptive antibiotics for chest tubes placed for traumatic hemopneumothorax.

Nor are they able to recommend an optimal duration of antibiotic prophylaxis when antibiotics are administered for traumatic hemopneumothorax because there are insufficient published data to support the routine use of antibiotics.

They concluded:

No single published study has been powered to adequately address the practice of administering presumptive antibiotics in TT for traumatic hemopneumothorax to decrease the incidence of empyema or pneumonia. Until a large and likely multicenter, randomized, controlled trial can be performed, the routine practice of presumptive antibiotics in TT for chest trauma will remain controversial.

If you want to read the article it isn’t a long read:
Post by: Dr. Ashley Guthrie, DO

Brain pus

Having pus in your brain is a problem no matter how you cut it, but finding it in there can be a challenge.  While the classic triad is usually fever, headache and a focal neuro deficit, this isn’t always present.  Dave Traficante (@davetraf) just published a pretty cool case of bifrontal brain abscesses in the International Journal of Emergency Medicine of a gentlemen with this very problem.  Interestingly, he didn’t have any focal neuro deficits, but he did have a very flat affect and could care less of the pus accumulating in his brain which coincided with the frontal lobe location of his abscesses. Check it out here.

Time for Terlipressin?

Correct, we don’t have terlipressin in the US, yet… Hopefully, sometime in the not so far off future we’ll have the chance to play around with it. Essentially it’s a synthetic analog of vasopressin which we are more familiar with. There’s some written about its use in variceal bleeds and here is a cool little study from Egypt using it for refractory septic shock.

They enrolled 80 ICU patients that were in refractory septic shock; meaning that they had to meet sepsis criteria and have the following three criteria:

  1. SBP < 90mm Hg or MAP < 70
  2. Received at least 1000ml of IVF or CVP 8-12cmH2O
  3. Necessitated more than 0.5 mcg/kg/min of norepinephrine

The 80 adult patients were split into two, pretty well matched groups, of 40. One group received adrenaline (0.2ug/kg/min) as their second-line vasopressor and the other group received a continuous infusion of terlipressin (1.3ug/kg/hr). This study was interesting because it only lasted for the next 6 hours after the second vasopressor was started. Unfortunately, they really didn’t look at patient related outcomes, but instead their primary endpoints were:

  1. MAP > 65 mmHg
  2. Systemic vascular resistance index > 1300 dynes s/cm5/m2
  3. Cardiac index > 4 L/min/m2
  4. Oxygen delivery index (DO2I) > 550 ml/min/m2

From an Emergency Medicine point-of-view the MAP is probably what we are most familiar with and is an easy enough measure to monitor in the ED.  After initially starting with a statistically equivalent MAP before the start of the second vasopressor, to having a statistically significant difference (p<0.001) after the 6 hours is hard to ignore despite the lack of reported clinical outcomes. This was in addition to showing improved hemodynamic measures and decreased doses of norepinephrine needed in the terlipressin group. This by no means is the do-all and end-all for terlipressin, and doesn’t mean we start throwing it at everything with hypotension when it gets approved in the US. Might as well get familiar with it now though, so when it does show up there are no surprises.

Post by: Terrance McGovern DO, MPH (@drtmcg13)

Top 10 Infectious Disease Updates

I recently gave an “ID Updates” lecture at AAEM’s Scientific Assembly in Las Vegas, February 2016. Here are the top 10 pearls from my lecture. Some may be review, some more cutting edge. Enjoy!

  1. Use ultrasound to help guide diagnosis and management of suspected skin and soft tissue abscesses

The literature is mixed on this one but it makes sense to use ultrasound. Ultrasound seems to increase your diagnostic sensitivity and may affect management, especially in those “gray zone cases”. If you are feeling ambitious, use ultrasound after I & D to assess the success of your I & D. Plus, it’s pretty easy to do!

Alsaawi, A et al. European Journal of EM. 2016.

 

  1. Although guidelines still recommend solely I & D as the treatment of choice for simple skin and soft tissue abscesses, maybe antibiotics are not so bad!

A recent trial from Talan et al. from NEJM supports the use of antibiotics in skin and soft tissue abscesses. Antibiotics increased clinical cure and decreased complications. The knock on this trial is the included patients would have received antibiotics anyway based on disease severity; nonetheless, antibiotics benefitted patients with little harm.

Talan D et al. New England Journal of Medicine. 2016.

 

  1. First line treatment for suspected sexually transmitted infections (cervicitis, urethritis) is dual therapy Ceftriaxone 250 mg IM and Azithromycin 1 gram po.

Cefixime used to be a first line alternative (instead of Ceftriaxone), however, it is no longer with increasing resistance patterns. Bottom line—give dual therapy! Consider challenging patients who have a PCN allergy with Ceftriaxone. If you’re not going to give dual therapy with Ceftriaxone/Azithromycin, the reason better be good!

www.cdc.gov

 

  1. Newest GI recommendations state that antibiotics probably do not reduce symptom duration for uncomplicated CT proven diverticulitis.

Yes, I said it—no antibiotics for acute uncomplicated diverticulitis! Certainly, we would like to see more literature in this area, but the literature we do have show antibiotics do not improve symptoms. Antibiotics may however decrease complications, as per the guidelines. I’d like to see more here, but check out the references and see for yourself.

Strate L et al. Gastroenterology. 2015.

 

  1. Non-operative management of appendicitis is an option.

We’re not here yet in the U.S. but they are in Europe. In the newest Lancet study, 73% of patients who received non-operative management did not require an appendectomy out to one year. Those that failed non-operative management did not have complications of sepsis, abscess, or rupture compared to the operative group. The theory for non-operative management is not all appendicitis is an obstructive process that requires removal; some may respond to medical therapy.

Salminen P et al. JAMA. 2015.

 

  1. Timing of antibiotics does not reduce mortality from severe sepsis/septic shock.

CMS dictates we administer antibiotics within 3 hours of diagnosing severe sepsis/septic shock in the ED. It’s a core measure we need to meet. But it does not reduce mortality per a recent systematic review from Critical Care. Timing of antibiotics may be important, but antibiotic selection is probably more important.

Sterling S et al. Critical Care Medicine. 2015.

 

  1. Irrigation pressures do not matter in the management of open fractures.

In the OR, whether patients with open fractures get very low pressure, low pressure, or high pressure irrigation, re-op rates are the same!

The Flow Investigators. New England Journal of Medicine. 2015.

 

  1. Consider use of corticosteroids in inpatients with pneumonia.

Adjunctive prednisone in pneumonia reduced inpatient stay.

Angela Blum C et al. Lancet. 2015.

 

  1. It is thought that Strep sp. are the predominant organisms in cellulitis. But maybe not!

If Bactrim works as well as Clinda, Strep may not be the king organism in undifferentiated skin and soft tissue infections. Check out the reference.

Miller L et al. New England Journal of Medicine. 2015.

 

  1. Respect lactate!

We know lactate is not specific. But in the setting of infection or suspected sepsis, respect it if it is positive, even if in the intermediate range. Intermediate level lactates had a 30 day mortality of 15%.

Singh M et al. Annals of EM. In Press.

Post by: Nilesh Patel, DO (@nnpatel1291