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1.  Clarification of cyanide's effect on oxygen transport characteristics in a canine model 
Emergency Medicine Journal : EMJ  2007;24(3):152-156.
Objective
To clarify the cardiovascular mechanisms of cyanide poisoning by evaluating oxygen transport characteristics using a canine model.
Methods
A prospective controlled experiment was performed at a hospital‐based animal laboratory. Five male beagle (17 (2) kg) dogs were anesthetised with α‐chloralose, paralysed with pancuronium bromide and mechanically ventilated. Potassium cyanide was infused at 0.045 mg/kg/min for 110 min. Heart rate, blood pressure, cardiac output, oxygen delivery (DO2), oxygen consumption (VO2) and oxygen extraction ratio (OER) were measured every 10 min for 140 min. DO2 was measured by an indirect calorimeter.
Results
Cyanide and lactate levels peaked at 1.52 (0.25) mg/l and 9.1 (1.5) mmol/l, respectively. Systolic blood pressure remained relatively constant whereas diastolic blood pressure decreased by 19%. Cardiac output, heart rate and DO2 increased to a maximum of 6%, 10% and 10%, respectively, at 40 min, after which they declined to a low of 32%, 28% and 30% below baseline, respectively. Stroke volume remained constant. Oxygen consumption initially increased by 5%, then decreased to 24% below baseline. The OER initially declined to 35% below baseline, then increased throughout the rest of the study.
Conclusion
Cyanide poisoning in the canine model showed two phases of injury. The first (compensated) phase had a mechanism consistent with a traditional global oxygen consumption defect. The second (decompensated) phase had a mechanism consistent with heart failure. This heart failure was due to bradycardia. These data suggest chronotropy as an avenue of further study in the temporary treatment of cyanide poisoning.
doi:10.1136/emj.2006.038927
PMCID: PMC2816935  PMID: 17351216
2.  “I Can’t Walk!” Acute Thrombosis of Descending Aorta Causing Paraplegia 
A 50-year-old man presented to the emergency department (ED) with acute, bilateral lower extremity weakness and loss of sensation, as well as absent pulses bilaterally. Computed tomography angiography showed complete occlusion of the aorta below the inferior mesenteric artery, extending to the iliac bifurcations. Echocardiographic findings showed severe systolic dysfunction (ejection fraction of 15%) and cryptic cardiogenic shock in spite of stable vital signs. Prior to early operative intervention, an early goal-oriented hemodynamic strategy of shock management resulted in the resolution of motor and sensory deficits.After definitive surgical intervention, the patient was discharged neurologically intact. Acute aortic occlusion is frequently accompanied by myocardial dysfunction, which can be from mild to severe. The most severe form can even occur with normal vital signs or occult cardiogenic shock. Early detection and goal-directed preoperative hemodynamic optimization, along with surgical intervention in the ED, is required to optimize outcomes.
doi:10.5811/westjem.2013.2.15836
PMCID: PMC3789898  PMID: 24106532
3.  Multiplex PCR To Diagnose Bloodstream Infections in Patients Admitted from the Emergency Department with Sepsis ▿  
Sepsis is caused by a heterogeneous group of infectious etiologies. Early diagnosis and the provision of appropriate antimicrobial therapy correlate with positive clinical outcomes. Current microbiological techniques are limited in their diagnostic capacities and timeliness. Multiplex PCR has the potential to rapidly identify bloodstream infections and fill this diagnostic gap. We identified patients from two large academic hospital emergency departments with suspected sepsis. The results of a multiplex PCR that could detect 25 bacterial and fungal pathogens were compared to those of blood culture. The results were analyzed with respect to the likelihood of infection, sepsis severity, the site of infection, and the effect of prior antibiotic therapy. We enrolled 306 subjects with suspected sepsis. Of these, 43 were later determined not to have infectious etiologies. Of the remaining 263 subjects, 70% had sepsis, 16% had severe sepsis, and 14% had septic shock. The majority had a definite infection (41.5%) or a probable infection (30.7%). Blood culture and PCR performed similarly with samples from patients with clinically defined infections (areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves, 0.64 and 0.60, respectively). However, blood culture identified more cases of septicemia than PCR among patients with an identified infectious etiology (66 and 46, respectively; P = 0.0004). The two tests performed similarly when the results were stratified by sepsis severity or infection site. Blood culture tended to detect infections more frequently among patients who had previously received antibiotics (P = 0.06). Conversely, PCR identified an additional 24 organisms that blood culture failed to detect. Real-time multiplex PCR has the potential to serve as an adjunct to conventional blood culture, adding diagnostic yield and shortening the time to pathogen identification.
doi:10.1128/JCM.01447-09
PMCID: PMC2812289  PMID: 19846634
4.  Early and innovative interventions for severe sepsis and septic shock: taking advantage of a window of opportunity 
The pathogenic, diagnostic and therapeutic landscape of sepsis is no longer confined to the intensive care unit: many patients from other portals of entry to care, both outside and within the hospital, progress to severe disease. Approaches that have led to improved outcomes with other diseases (e.g., acute myocardial infarction, stroke and trauma) can now be similarly applied to sepsis. Improved understanding of the pathogenesis of severe sepsis and septic shock has led to the development of new therapies that place importance on early identification and aggressive management. This review emphasizes approaches to the early recognition, diagnosis and therapeutic management of sepsis, giving the clinician the most contemporary and practical approaches with which to treat these patients.
doi:10.1503/cmaj.050632
PMCID: PMC1266331  PMID: 16247103
5.  Clinical manifestations of disordered microcirculatory perfusion in severe sepsis 
Critical Care  2005;9(Suppl 4):S20-S26.
Microcirculatory dysfunction plays a pivotal role in the development of the clinical manifestations of severe sepsis. Prior to the advent of new imaging technologies, clinicians had been limited in their ability to assess the microcirculation at the bedside. Clinical evidence of microcirculatory perfusion has historically been limited to physical examination findings or surrogates that could be derived from global parameters of oxygen transport. This review explores: (1) the clinical manifestations of severe sepsis that can be linked to microcirculatory dysfunction; (2) the relationship between conventional hemodynamic parameters and microcirculatory blood flow indices; (3) the incorporation of microcirculatory function into the definition of 'shock' in the sepsis syndrome; (4) the role of the microcirculation in oxygen transport; and (5) the potential impact of novel sepsis therapies on microcirculatory flow. Although the study of the microcirculation has long been the domain of basic science, newly developed imaging technologies, such as orthogonal polarization spectral imaging, have now given us the ability to directly visualize and analyze microcirculatory blood flow at the bedside, and see the microcirculatory response to therapeutic interventions. Disordered microcirculatory flow can now be associated with systemic inflammation, acute organ dysfunction, and increased mortality. Using new technologies to directly image microcirculatory blood flow will help define the role of microcirculatory dysfunction in oxygen transport and circulatory support in severe sepsis.
doi:10.1186/cc3744
PMCID: PMC3226160  PMID: 16168070
6.  An integrated clinico-metabolomic model improves prediction of death in sepsis 
Science translational medicine  2013;5(195):195ra95.
Sepsis is a common cause of death, but outcomes in individual patients are difficult to predict. Elucidating the molecular processes that differ between sepsis patients who survive and those who die may permit more appropriate treatments to be deployed. We examined the clinical features, and the plasma metabolome and proteome of patients with and without community-acquired sepsis, upon their arrival at hospital emergency departments and 24 hours later. The metabolomes and proteomes of patients at hospital admittance who would die differed markedly from those who would survive. The different profiles of proteins and metabolites clustered into fatty acid transport and β-oxidation, gluconeogenesis and the citric acid cycle. They differed consistently among several sets of patients, and diverged more as death approached. In contrast, the metabolomes and proteomes of surviving patients with mild sepsis did not differ from survivors with severe sepsis or septic shock. An algorithm derived from clinical features together with measurements of seven metabolites predicted patient survival. This algorithm may help to guide the treatment of individual patients with sepsis.
doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.3005893
PMCID: PMC3924586  PMID: 23884467
7.  Metabolomic Derangements Are Associated with Mortality in Critically Ill Adult Patients 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e87538.
Objective
To identify metabolomic biomarkers predictive of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) mortality in adults.
Rationale
Comprehensive metabolomic profiling of plasma at ICU admission to identify biomarkers associated with mortality has recently become feasible.
Methods
We performed metabolomic profiling of plasma from 90 ICU subjects enrolled in the BWH Registry of Critical Illness (RoCI). We tested individual metabolites and a Bayesian Network of metabolites for association with 28-day mortality, using logistic regression in R, and the CGBayesNets Package in MATLAB. Both individual metabolites and the network were tested for replication in an independent cohort of 149 adults enrolled in the Community Acquired Pneumonia and Sepsis Outcome Diagnostics (CAPSOD) study.
Results
We tested variable metabolites for association with 28-day mortality. In RoCI, nearly one third of metabolites differed among ICU survivors versus those who died by day 28 (N = 57 metabolites, p<.05). Associations with 28-day mortality replicated for 31 of these metabolites (with p<.05) in the CAPSOD population. Replicating metabolites included lipids (N = 14), amino acids or amino acid breakdown products (N = 12), carbohydrates (N = 1), nucleotides (N = 3), and 1 peptide. Among 31 replicated metabolites, 25 were higher in subjects who progressed to die; all 6 metabolites that are lower in those who die are lipids. We used Bayesian modeling to form a metabolomic network of 7 metabolites associated with death (gamma-glutamylphenylalanine, gamma-glutamyltyrosine, 1-arachidonoylGPC(20:4), taurochenodeoxycholate, 3-(4-hydroxyphenyl) lactate, sucrose, kynurenine). This network achieved a 91% AUC predicting 28-day mortality in RoCI, and 74% of the AUC in CAPSOD (p<.001 in both populations).
Conclusion
Both individual metabolites and a metabolomic network were associated with 28-day mortality in two independent cohorts. Metabolomic profiling represents a valuable new approach for identifying novel biomarkers in critically ill patients.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0087538
PMCID: PMC3907548  PMID: 24498130
8.  Gene Expression-Based Classifiers Identify Staphylococcus aureus Infection in Mice and Humans 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e48979.
Staphylococcus aureus causes a spectrum of human infection. Diagnostic delays and uncertainty lead to treatment delays and inappropriate antibiotic use. A growing literature suggests the host’s inflammatory response to the pathogen represents a potential tool to improve upon current diagnostics. The hypothesis of this study is that the host responds differently to S. aureus than to E. coli infection in a quantifiable way, providing a new diagnostic avenue. This study uses Bayesian sparse factor modeling and penalized binary regression to define peripheral blood gene-expression classifiers of murine and human S. aureus infection. The murine-derived classifier distinguished S. aureus infection from healthy controls and Escherichia coli-infected mice across a range of conditions (mouse and bacterial strain, time post infection) and was validated in outbred mice (AUC>0.97). A S. aureus classifier derived from a cohort of 94 human subjects distinguished S. aureus blood stream infection (BSI) from healthy subjects (AUC 0.99) and E. coli BSI (AUC 0.84). Murine and human responses to S. aureus infection share common biological pathways, allowing the murine model to classify S. aureus BSI in humans (AUC 0.84). Both murine and human S. aureus classifiers were validated in an independent human cohort (AUC 0.95 and 0.92, respectively). The approach described here lends insight into the conserved and disparate pathways utilized by mice and humans in response to these infections. Furthermore, this study advances our understanding of S. aureus infection; the host response to it; and identifies new diagnostic and therapeutic avenues.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048979
PMCID: PMC3541361  PMID: 23326304
9.  Early lactate clearance is associated with biomarkers of inflammation, coagulation, apoptosis, organ dysfunction and mortality in severe sepsis and septic shock 
Background
Lactate clearance, a surrogate for the magnitude and duration of global tissue hypoxia, is used diagnostically, therapeutically and prognostically. This study examined the association of early lactate clearance with selected inflammatory, coagulation, apoptosis response biomarkers and organ dysfunction scores in severe sepsis and septic shock.
Methods
Measurements of serum arterial lactate, biomarkers (interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, interleukin-6, interleukin-8, interleukin-10, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, high mobility group box-1, D-Dimer and caspase-3), and organ dysfunction scores (Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II, Simplified Acute Physiology Score II, Multiple Organ Dysfunction Score, and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment) were obtained in conjunction with a prospective, randomized study examining early goal-directed therapy in severe sepsis and septic shock patients presenting to the emergency department (ED). Lactate clearance was defined as the percent change in lactate levels after six hours from a baseline measurement in the ED.
Results
Two-hundred and twenty patients, age 65.0 +/- 17.1 years, were examined, with an overall lactate clearance of 35.5 +/- 43.1% and in-hospital mortality rate of 35.0%. Patients were divided into four quartiles of lactate clearance, -24.3 +/- 42.3, 30.1 +/- 7.5, 53.4 +/- 6.6, and 75.1 +/- 7.1%, respectively (p < 0.01). The mean levels of all biomarkers and organ dysfunction scores over 72 hours were significantly lower with higher lactate clearance quartiles (p < 0.01). There was a significant decreased in-hospital, 28-day, and 60-day mortality in the higher lactate clearance quartiles (p < 0.01).
Conclusions
Early lactate clearance as a surrogate for the resolution of global tissue hypoxia is significantly associated with decreased levels of biomarkers, improvement in organ dysfunction and outcome in severe sepsis and septic shock.
doi:10.1186/1476-9255-7-6
PMCID: PMC2837000  PMID: 20181046

Results 1-9 (9)