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1.  Impact of acetazolamide use in severe exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease requiring invasive mechanical ventilation 
To analyse the impact of acetazolamide (ACET) use in severe acute decompensation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease requiring mechanical ventilation and intensive care unit (ICU) admission.
Patients and Methods:
Retrospective pair-wise, case-control study with 1:1 matching. Patients were defined as cases when they had received acetazolamide (500 mg per day) and as controls when they did not received it. Patients were matched according to age, severity on admission (pH, PaO2/FiO2 ratio) and SAPSII score. Our primary endpoint was the effect of ACET (500 mg per day) on the duration of mechanical ventilation. Our secondary endpoints were the effect of ACET on arterial blood gas parameters, ICU length of stay (LOS) and ICU mortality.
Seventy-two patients were included and equally distributed between the two studied groups. There were 66 males (92%). The mean age (± SD) was 69.7 ± 7.4 years ranging from 53 to 81 years. There were no differences between baseline characteristics of the two groups. Concomitant drugs used were also not significantly different between two groups. Mean duration of mechanical ventilation was not significantly different between ACET(+) and ACET(-) patients (10.6±7.8 days and 9.6±7.6 days, respectively; P = 0.61). Cases had a significantly decreased serum bicarbonate, arterial blood pH, and PaCO2 levels. We did not found any significant difference between the two studied groups in terms of ICU LOS. ICU mortality was also comparable between ACET(+) and ACET(-) groups (38% and 52%, respectively; P = 0.23).
Although our study some limitations, it suggests that the use of insufficient acetazolamide dosage (500 mg/d) ACET (500 mg per day) has no significant effect on the duration of mechanical ventilation in critically ill COPD patients requiring invasive mechanical ventilation. Our results should be confirmed or infirmed by further studies.
PMCID: PMC4366825  PMID: 25810957
Acute decompensation; acetazolamide; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; outcome; weaning
2.  Scorpion Envenomation Among Children: Clinical Manifestations and Outcome (Analysis of 685 Cases) 
Our objective was to characterize both epidemiologically and clinically manifestations after severe scorpion envenomation and to define simple factors indicative of poor prognosis in children. We performed a retrospective study over 13 years (1990–2002) in the medical intensive care unit (ICU) of a university hospital (Sfax-Tunisia). The diagnosis of scorpion envenomation was based on a history of scorpion sting. The medical records of 685 children aged less than 16 years who were admitted for a scorpion sting were analyzed. There were 558 patients (81.5%) in the grade III group (with cardiogenic shock and/or pulmonary edema or severe neurological manifestation [coma and/or convulsion]) and 127 patients (18.5%) in the grade II group (with systemic manifestations). In this study, 434 patients (63.4%) had a pulmonary edema, and 80 patients had a cardiogenic shock; neurological manifestations were observed in 580 patients (84.7%), 555 patients (81%) developed systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), and 552 patients (80.6%) developed multi-organ failure. By the end of the stay in the ICU, evolution was marked by the death in 61 patients (8.9%). A multivariate analysis found the following factors to be correlated with a poor outcome: coma with Glasgow coma score ≤ 8/15 (odds ratio [OR] = 1.3), pulmonary edema (OR = 2.3), and cardiogenic shock (OR = 1.7). In addition, a significant association was found between the development of SIRS and heart failure. Moreover, a temperature > 39°C was associated with the presence of pulmonary edema, with a sensitivity at 20.6%, a specificity at 94.4%, and a positive predictive value at 91.7%. Finally, blood sugar levels above 15 mmol/L were significantly associated with a heart failure. In children admitted for severe scorpion envenomation, coma with Glasgow coma score ≤ 8/15, pulmonary edema, and cardiogenic shock were associated with a poor outcome. The presence of SIRS, a temperature > 39°C, and blood sugar levels above 15 mmol/L were associated with heart failure.
PMCID: PMC2963974  PMID: 21036842

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