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1.  Prognostic consequences of borderline dysnatremia: pay attention to minimal serum sodium change 
Critical Care  2013;17(1):R12.
To assess the prevalence of dysnatremia, including borderline changes in serum sodium concentration, and to estimate the impact of these dysnatremia on mortality after adjustment for confounders.
Observational study on a prospective database fed by 13 intensive care units (ICUs). Unselected patients with ICU stay longer than 48 h were enrolled over a 14-year period were included in this study. Mild to severe hyponatremia were defined as serum sodium concentration < 135, < 130, and < 125 mmol/L respectively. Mild to severe hypernatremia were defined as serum sodium concentration > 145, > 150, and > 155 mmol/L respectively. Borderline hyponatremia and hypernatremia were defined as serum sodium concentration between 135 and 137 mmol/L or 143 and 145 respectively.
A total of 11,125 patients were included in this study. Among these patients, 3,047 (27.4%) had mild to severe hyponatremia at ICU admission, 2,258 (20.3%) had borderline hyponatremia at ICU admission, 1,078 (9.7%) had borderline hypernatremia and 877 (7.9%) had mild to severe hypernatremia. After adjustment for confounder, both moderate and severe hyponatremia (subdistribution hazard ratio (sHR) 1.82, 95% CI 1.002 to 1.395 and 1.27, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.60 respectively) were associated with day-30 mortality. Similarly, mild, moderate and severe hypernatremia (sHR 1.34, 95% CI 1.14 to 1.57; 1.51, 95% CI 1.15 to 1.99; and 2.64, 95% CI 2.00 to 3.81 respectively) were independently associated with day-30 mortality.
One-third of critically ill patients had a mild to moderate dysnatremia at ICU admission. Dysnatremia, including mild changes in serum sodium concentration, is an independent risk factor for hospital mortality and should not be neglected.
PMCID: PMC4056804  PMID: 23336363
2.  Efficacy of renal replacement therapy in critically ill patients: a propensity analysis 
Critical Care  2012;16(6):R236.
Although renal replacement therapy (RRT) is a common procedure in critically ill patients with acute kidney injury (AKI), its efficacy remains uncertain. Patients who receive RRT usually have higher mortality rates than those who do not. However, many differences exist in severity patterns between patients with and those without RRT and available results are further confounded by treatment selection bias since no consensus on indications for RRT has been reached so far. Our aim was to account for these biases to accurately assess RRT efficacy, with special attention to RRT timing.
We performed a propensity analysis using data of the French longitudinal prospective multicenter Outcomerea database. Two propensity scores for RRT were built to match patients who received RRT to controls who did not despite having a close probability of receiving the procedure. AKI was defined according to RIFLE criteria. The association between RRT and hospital mortality was examined through multivariate conditional logistic regression analyses to control for residual confounding. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to examine the impact of RRT timing.
Among the 2846 study patients, 545 (19%) received RRT. Crude mortality rates were higher in patients with than in those without RRT (38% vs 17.5%, P < 0.001). After matching and adjustment, RRT was not associated with a reduced hospital mortality. The two propensity models yielded concordant results.
In our study population, RRT failed to reduce hospital mortality. This result emphasizes the need for randomized studies comparing RRT to conservative management in selected ICU patients, with special focus on RRT timing.
PMCID: PMC3672625  PMID: 23254304
3.  Mortality associated with timing of admission to and discharge from ICU: a retrospective cohort study 
Although the association between mortality and admission to intensive care units (ICU) in the "after hours" (weekends and nights) has been the topic of extensive investigation, the timing of discharge from ICU and outcome has been less well investigated. The objective of this study was to assess effect of timing of admission to and discharge from ICUs and subsequent risk for death.
Adults (≥18 years) admitted to French ICUs participating in Outcomerea between January 2006 and November 2010 were included.
Among the 7,380 patients included, 61% (4,481) were male, the median age was 62 (IQR, 49-75) years, and the median SAPS II score was 40 (IQR, 28-56). Admissions to ICU occurred during weekends (Saturday and Sunday) in 1,708 (23%) cases, during the night (18:00-07:59) in 3,855 (52%), and on nights and/or weekends in 4,659 (63%) cases. Among 5,992 survivors to ICU discharge, 903 (15%) were discharged on weekends, 659 (11%) at night, and 1,434 (24%) on nights and/or weekends. After controlling for a number of co-variates using logistic regression analysis, admission during the after hours was not associated with an increased risk for death. However, patients discharged from ICU on nights were at higher adjusted risk (odds ratio, 1.54; 95% confidence interval, 1.12-2.11) for death.
In this study, ICU discharge at night but not admission was associated with a significant increased risk for death. Further studies are needed to examine whether minimizing night time discharges from ICU may improve outcome.
PMCID: PMC3269385  PMID: 22115194
4.  Impact of ureido/carboxypenicillin resistance on the prognosis of ventilator-associated pneumonia due to Pseudomonas aeruginosa 
Critical Care  2011;15(2):R112.
Although Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a leading pathogen responsible for ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), the excess in mortality associated with multi-resistance in patients with P. aeruginosa VAP (PA-VAP), taking into account confounders such as treatment adequacy and prior length of stay in the ICU, has not yet been adequately estimated.
A total of 223 episodes of PA-VAP recorded into the Outcomerea database were evaluated. Patients with ureido/carboxy-resistant P. aeruginosa (PRPA) were compared with those with ureido/carboxy-sensitive P. aeruginosa (PSPA) after matching on duration of ICU stay at VAP onset and adjustment for confounders.
Factors associated with onset of PRPA-VAP were as follows: admission to the ICU with septic shock, broad-spectrum antimicrobials at admission, prior use of ureido/carboxypenicillin, and colonization with PRPA before infection. Adequate antimicrobial therapy was more often delayed in the PRPA group. The crude ICU mortality rate and the hospital mortality rate were not different between the PRPA and the PSPA groups. In multivariate analysis, after controlling for time in the ICU before VAP diagnosis, neither ICU death (odds ratio (OR) = 0.73; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.32 to 1.69; P = 0.46) nor hospital death (OR = 0.87; 95% CI: 0.38 to 1.99; P = 0.74) were increased in the presence of PRPA infection. This result remained unchanged in the subgroup of 87 patients who received adequate antimicrobial treatment on the day of VAP diagnosis.
After adjustment, and despite the more frequent delay in the initiation of an adequate antimicrobial therapy in these patients, resistance to ureido/carboxypenicillin was not associated with ICU or hospital death in patients with PA-VAP.
PMCID: PMC3219393  PMID: 21481266

Results 1-4 (4)