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1.  Results of noninvasive ventilation in very old patients 
Noninvasive ventilation (NIV) is frequently used for the management of acute respiratory failure (ARF) in very old patients (≥ 80 years), often in the context of a do-not-intubate order (DNI). We aimed to determine its efficacy and long-term outcome.
Prospective cohort of all patients admitted to the medical ICU of a tertiary hospital during a 2-year period and managed using NIV. Characteristics of patients, context of NIV, and treatment intensity were compared for very old and younger patients. Six-month survival and functional status were assessed in very old patients.
During the study period, 1,019 patients needed ventilatory support and 376 (37%) received NIV. Among them, 163 (16%) very old patients received ventilatory support with 60% of them managed using NIV compared with 32% of younger patients (p < 0.0001). Very old patients received NIV more frequently with DNI than in younger patients (40% vs. 8%). Such cases were associated with high mortality for both very old and younger patients. Hospital mortality was higher in very old than in younger patients but did not differ when NIV was used for cardiogenic pulmonary edema or acute-on-chronic respiratory failure (20% vs. 15%) and in postextubation (15% vs. 17%) out of a context of DNI. Six-month mortality was 51% in very old patients, 67% for DNI patients, and 77% in case of NIV failure and endotracheal intubation. Of the 30 hospital survivors, 22 lived at home and 13 remained independent for activities of daily living.
Very old patients managed using NIV have an overall satisfactory 6-month survival and functional status, except for endotracheal intubation after NIV failure.
PMCID: PMC3306189  PMID: 22353636
2.  Diagnostic performance of fractional excretion of urea in the evaluation of critically ill patients with acute kidney injury: a multicenter cohort study 
Critical Care  2011;15(4):R178.
Several factors, including diuretic use and sepsis, interfere with the fractional excretion of sodium, which is used to distinguish transient from persistent acute kidney injury (AKI). These factors do not affect the fractional excretion of urea (FeUrea). However, there are conflicting data on the diagnostic accuracy of FeUrea.
We conducted an observational, prospective, multicenter study at three ICUs in university hospitals. Unselected patients, except those with obstructive AKI, were admitted to the participating ICUs during a six-month period. Transient AKI was defined as AKI caused by renal hypoperfusion and reversal within three days. The results are reported as medians (interquartile ranges).
A total of 203 patients were included. According to our definitions, 67 had no AKI, 54 had transient AKI and 82 had persistent AKI. FeUrea was 39% (28 to 40) in the no-AKI group, 41% (29 to 54) in the transient AKI group and 32% (22 to 51) in the persistent AKI group (P = 0.12). FeUrea was of little help in distinguishing transient AKI from persistent AKI, with the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve being 0.59 (95% confidence interval, 0.49 to 0.70; P = 0.06). Sensitivity was 63% and specificity was 54% with a cutoff of 35%. In the subgroup of patients receiving diuretics, the results were similar.
FeUrea may be of little help in distinguishing transient AKI from persistent AKI in critically ill patients, including those receiving diuretic therapy. Additional studies are needed to evaluate alternative markers or strategies to differentiate transient from persistent AKI.
PMCID: PMC3387621  PMID: 21794161
acute kidney failure; ICU; fractional excretion of sodium; acute tubular necrosis; diuretics; sensitivity and specificity
4.  Severe Imported Falciparum Malaria: A Cohort Study in 400 Critically Ill Adults 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(10):e13236.
Large studies on severe imported malaria in non-endemic industrialized countries are lacking. We sought to describe the clinical spectrum of severe imported malaria in French adults and to identify risk factors for mortality at admission to the intensive care unit.
Methodology and Principal Findings
Retrospective review of severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria episodes according to the 2000 World Health Organization definition and requiring admission to the intensive care unit. Data were collected from medical charts using standardised case-report forms, in 45 French intensive care units in 2000–2006. Risk factors for in-hospital mortality were identified by univariate and multivariate analyses.
Data from 400 adults admitted to the intensive care unit were analysed, representing the largest series of severe imported malaria to date. Median age was 45 years; 60% of patients were white, 96% acquired the disease in sub-Saharan Africa, and 65% had not taken antimalarial chemoprophylaxis. Curative quinine treatment was used in 97% of patients. Intensive care unit mortality was 10.5% (42 deaths). By multivariate analysis, three variables at intensive care unit admission were independently associated with hospital death: older age (per 10-year increment, odds ratio [OR], 1.72; 95% confidence interval [95%CI], 1.28–2.32; P = 0.0004), Glasgow Coma Scale score (per 1-point decrease, OR, 1.32; 95%CI, 1.20–1.45; P<0.0001), and higher parasitemia (per 5% increment, OR, 1.41; 95%CI, 1.22–1.62; P<0.0001).
Conclusions and Significance
In a large population of adults treated in a non-endemic industrialized country, severe malaria still carried a high mortality rate. Our data, including predictors of death, can probably be generalized to other non-endemic countries where high-quality healthcare is available.
PMCID: PMC2951913  PMID: 20949045

Results 1-4 (4)