11 Sep 12
By K Choong, S Arora S, J Cheng
The objective of this randomized controlled trial was to evaluate the risk of hyponatremia following administration of a isotonic (0.9% saline) compared to a hypotonic (0.45% saline) parenteral maintenance solution (PMS) for 48 hours to postoperative pediatric patients.
Surgical patients 6 months to 16 years of age with an expected postoperative stay of >24 hours were eligible. Patients with an uncorrected baseline plasma sodium level abnormality, hemodynamic instability, chronic diuretic use, previous enrollment, and those for whom either hypotonic PMS or isotonic PMS was considered contraindicated or necessary, were excluded. A fully blinded randomized controlled trial was performed. The primary outcome was acute hyponatremia. Secondary outcomes included severe hyponatremia, hypernatremia, adverse events attributable to acute plasma sodium level changes, and antidiuretic hormone levels.
A total of 258 patients were enrolled and assigned randomly to receive hypotonic PMS (N = 130) or isotonic PMS (N = 128). Baseline characteristics were similar for the 2 groups. Hypotonic PMS significantly increased the risk of hyponatremia, compared with isotonic PMS (40.8% vs 22.7%; relative risk: 1.82 [95% confidence interval: 1.21–2.74]; P = .004). Admission to the pediatric critical care unit was not an independent risk factor for the development of hyponatremia. Isotonic PMS did not increase the risk of hypernatremia (relative risk: 1.30 [95% confidence interval: 0.30–5.59]; P = .722). Antidiuretic hormone levels and adverse events were not significantly different between the groups.
Isotonic PMS is significantly safer than hypotonic PMS in protecting against acute postoperative hyponatremia in children.
05 Sep 12
By A Penaloza, P M Roy, J Kline
Curr Opin Crit Care 2012;18:318-325
Pulmonary embolism remains one of the leading causes of cardiovascular mortality. The wide range of reported mortality rates reflects heterogeneity in comorbidity and severity of pulmonary embolism. Optimizing risk stratification to prognose pulmonary embolism patients appears to be important to improve management, treatment and clinical outcome.
Hemodynamic status is the most important short-term prognostic factor. High-risk pulmonary embolism or massive pulmonary embolism is defined by the patient response more than the clot size: patients with circulatory shock including sustained hypotension should receive thrombolytic therapy in absence of contraindications. Nonmassive or normotensive pulmonary embolism can be further stratified using clinical features, imaging (echocardiography, computed tomography) and biomarkers (troponins, natriuretic peptides): low-risk pulmonary embolism, evaluated by clinical model (Pulmonary Embolism Severity Index; PESI) can potentially be treated as outpatients; and intermediate-risk pulmonary embolism, which can be further stratified into less-severe and more-severe intermediate risk. The last may benefit from intensive clinical surveillance but the risk–benefit ratio for thrombolysis has been inadequately quantified to make any strong recommendation. New anticoagulants may transform traditional pulmonary embolism treatment.
Optimizing risk stratification of patients with normotensive pulmonary embolism before they develop overt hemodynamic instability is the challenge of current pulmonary embolism management. Treatment strategy has to integrate this risk stratification and new anticoagulants arrival.
01 Sep 12
By R L Summers, S Sterling
Curr Opin Crit Care. 2012;18:301-307
Acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) is characterized by a complex spectrum of pathophysiology that emerges as a common clinical disease state, which manifests as a failure of the circulation to provide for the needs of the body systems. Whereas ADHF is often characterized by the findings of pulmonary congestion and dyspnea, a variety of clinical presentations are possible, with each requiring differing management strategies. This review examines the approach of the four-quadrant clinical profile for differentiation of the ADHF patient during the emergent resuscitative phase of the decompensation.
Clinical and diagnostic information can be used to determine the relative degree of pulmonary congestion and peripheral tissue perfusion in patients suspected of ADHF. This information can be used in a four-quadrant approach to differentiate patients into pathophysiologic categories. These profiles can then be translated into management strategies from a physiology based perspective in which the specific mechanisms of the failure are targeted.
ADHF can present in a variety of clinical forms in the emergent setting. Categorization of the ADHF patient according to their individual hemodynamic profile can assist in management decisions during the emergent resuscitative phase of the decompensation based upon an approach that targets causative pathophysiologic mechanisms.
27 Aug 12
By J Chenoweth, D Diercks
Curr Op Crit Care 2012;18: 333–340
The review aims to describe the scope of the problem and potential therapeutic intervention for the management and risk stratification of patients with atrial fibrillation in the emergency department and acute care setting.
Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia prompting admission to the hospital. Management strategies include determining the trigger of the arrhythmia, rate control, and potential cardioversion. In the acute care setting the treatment is often dependent on the timing of the onset of arrhythmia. In those patients presenting with symptoms of less than 48 h of duration management may consist of rate control, pharmacologic, or electrical cardioversion. Recent studies suggest no difference in long-term outcomes with rate and rhythm control. In patients with symptoms greater that 48 h rate control is the initial option with potential for cardioversion as an outpatient. There are recent advances in ablation that provide additional options to patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. An essential component of the treatment strategy for these patients is risk stratification for stroke and the initiation of long-term anticoagulation in appropriate patients.
Management of atrial fibrillation is guided by underlying causes of the atrial fibrillation and duration of symptoms.