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1.  Plasma Levels of sRAGE, Loss of Aeration and Weaning Failure in ICU Patients: A Prospective Observational Multicenter Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64083.
Postextubation distress after a successful spontaneous breathing trial (SBT) is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Lung ultrasound determination of changes in lung aeration predicts weaning failure. It remains unknown whether this derecruitment is related to alveolar epithelial dysfunction or not.
To verify whether lung alveolar type I epithelial cell injury marker sRAGE (soluble form of the receptor for advanced glycation end-products) is predictive of postextubation distress and weaning failure or not, and to verify whether plasma sRAGE levels can be related to lung derecruitment during the process of weaning from mechanical ventilation or not.
Interventions, Measurements
88 patients from 2 intensive care units were included in this observational prospective study. Plasma sRAGE levels were measured in duplicate by ELISA before, at the end of a 60-minute SBT, and 4 hours after extubation. To quantify lung aeration, a lung ultrasound score was calculated.
Main Results
34% of extubated patients experienced postextubation distress. Patients with or without postextubation distress had comparable sRAGE levels before SBT, after SBT, and 4 hours after extubation. In patients with postextubation distress, sRAGE levels were not predictive of the need for mechanical ventilation. sRAGE levels were not associated with lung aeration as assessed by echography. Patients who succeeded SBT (86%) and those who failed (14%) had no differences in sRAGE levels, before (median 1111 vs 1021 pg/mL, p = 0,87) and at the end of SBT (1165 vs 1038 pg/mL, p = 0.74).
Plasma levels of sRAGE do not predict postextubation distress or SBT failure/success in patients weaning from mechanical ventilation. Lung aeration loss during a successful weaning trial predicts postextubation distress, but may not be evaluable by plasma levels of sRAGE, a marker of alveolar type I epithelial cell injury.
Trial Registration NCT01098773
PMCID: PMC3664630  PMID: 23724022
2.  Increased survival of cirrhotic patients with septic shock 
Critical Care  2013;17(2):R78.
The overall outcome of septic shock has been recently improved. We sought to determine whether this survival gain extends to the high-risk subgroup of patients with cirrhosis.
Cirrhotic patients with septic shock admitted to a medical intensive care unit (ICU) during two consecutive periods (1997-2004 and 2005-2010) were retrospectively studied.
Forty-seven and 42 cirrhotic patients presented with septic shock in 1997-2004 and 2005-2010, respectively. The recent period differed from the previous one by implementation of adjuvant treatments of septic shock including albumin infusion as fluid volume therapy, low-dose glucocorticoids, and intensive insulin therapy. ICU and hospital survival markedly improved over time (40% in 2005-2010 vs. 17% in 1997-2004, P = 0.02 and 29% in 2005-2010 vs. 6% in 1997-2004, P = 0.009, respectively). Furthermore, this survival gain in the latter period was sustained for 6 months (survival rate 24% in 2005-2010 vs. 6% in 1997-2004, P = 0.06). After adjustment with age, the liver disease stage (Child-Pugh score), and the critical illness severity score (SOFA score), ICU admission between 2005 and 2010 remained an independent favorable prognostic factor (odds ratio (OR) 0.09, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.02-0.4, P = 0.004). The stage of the underlying liver disease was also independently associated with hospital mortality (Child-Pugh score: OR 1.42 per point, 95% CI 1.06-1.9, P = 0.018).
In the light of advances in management of both cirrhosis and septic shock, survival of such patients substantially increased over recent years. The stage of the underlying liver disease and the related therapeutic options should be included in the decision-making process for ICU admission.
PMCID: PMC4057386  PMID: 23601847

Results 1-3 (3)