Little is known about the outcomes of extremely low birth weight (ELBW) preterm infants with congenital heart defects (CHDs). The aim of this study was to assess the mortality, morbidity, and early childhood outcomes of ELBW infants with isolated CHD compared with infants with no congenital defects. Participants were 401–1,000 g infants cared for at National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network centers between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 2005. Neonatal morbidities and 18–22 months’ corrected age outcomes were assessed. Neurodevelopmental impairment (NDI) was defined as moderate to severe cerebral palsy, Bayley II mental or psychomotor developmental index < 70, bilateral blindness, or hearing impairment requiring aids. Poisson regression models were used to estimate relative risks for outcomes while adjusting for gestational age, small for gestational-age status, and other variables. Of 14,457 ELBW infants, 110 (0.8 %) had isolated CHD, and 13,887 (96 %) had no major birth defect. The most common CHD were septal defects, tetralogy of Fallot, pulmonary valve stenosis, and coarctation of the aorta. Infants with CHD experienced increased mortality (48 % compared with 35 % for infants with no birth defect) and poorer growth. Surprisingly, the adjusted risks of other short-term neonatal morbidities associated with prematurity were not significantly different. Fifty-seven (52 %) infants with CHD survived to 18–22 months’ corrected age, and 49 (86 %) infants completed follow-up. A higher proportion of surviving infants with CHD were impaired compared with those without birth defects (57 vs. 38 %, p = 0.004). Risk of death or NDI was greater for ELBW infants with CHD, although 20% of infants survived without NDI.
heart defects; congenital; follow-up studies
Ocular fundus examination is an important element of the neurological examination. However, direct ophthalmoscopy is difficult to perform without pupillary dilation and requires extensive practice to accurately recognize optic nerve and retinal abnormalities. Recent studies have suggested that digital retinal photography can replace direct ophthalmoscopy in many settings.
Ocular fundus imaging is routinely used to document and monitor disease progression in ophthalmology. Advances in optical technology have made it easier to obtain high-quality retinal imaging, even without pupillary dilation. Retinal photography has a high sensitivity, specificity, and inter-/intra-examination agreement compared to in-person ophthalmologist examination, suggesting that photographs can be used in lieu of ophthalmoscopy in many clinical situations. Non-mydriatic retinal photography has recently gained relevance as a helpful tool for diagnosing neuro-ophthalmologic disorders in the emergency department. Additionally, several population-based studies have used retinal imaging to relate ophthalmic abnormalities to the risk of hypertension, renal dysfunction, cardiovascular mortality, subclinical and clinical stroke, and cognitive impairment. The possibility of telemedical consultation offered by digital retinal photography has already increased access to timely and accurate subspecialty care, particularly for underserved areas.
Retinal photography (even without pupillary dilation) has become increasingly available to medical fields outside of ophthalmology, allowing for faster and more accurate diagnosis of various ocular, neurologic and systemic disorders. The potential for telemedicine may provide the additional benefits of improving access to appropriate urgent consultation in both clinical and research settings.
direct ophthalmoscopy; retinal photography; fundus camera; telemedicine
Choroid; Infarction; Papilledema; Intracranial Hypertension
Nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) is the most common clinical presentation of acute ischemic damage to the optic nerve. Most treatments proposed for NAION are empirical and include a wide range of agents presumed to act on thrombosis, on the blood vessels, or on the disc edema itself. Others are presumed to have a neuroprotective effect. Although there have been multiple therapies attempted, most have not been adequately studied, and animal models of NAION have only recently emerged. The Ischemic Optic Neuropathy Decompression Trial (IONDT), the only class I large multicenter prospective treatment trial for NAION, found no benefit from surgical intervention. One recent large, nonrandomized controlled study suggested that oral steroids might be helpful for acute NAION. Others recently proposed interventions are intravitreal injections of steroids or anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) agents. There are no class I studies showing benefit from either medical or surgical treatments. Most of the literature on the treatment of NAION consists of retrospective or prospective case series and anecdotal case reports. Similarly, therapies aimed at secondary prevention of fellow eye involvement in NAION remain of unproven benefit.
nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy; treatment; pathogenesis; Ischemic Optic Neuropathy Decompression Trial (IONDT)
To assess the feasibility of a randomized placebo controlled trial (RCT) of blood pressure (BP) management for extremely preterm infants.
This was a prospective pilot RCT of infants 230/7 – 266/7 weeks gestation who had protocol-defined low BP in the first 24 postnatal hours. Enrolled infants were administered a study infusion (dopamine or placebo) and a study syringe medication (hydrocortisone or placebo).
Of the 366 infants screened, 119 (33%) had low BP, 58 (16%) met all entry criteria, and 10 (3%) were enrolled. 161 (44%) infants were ineligible because they received early indomethacin. Only 17% of eligible infants were enrolled. Problems with consent included insufficient time, parent unavailability, and physician unwillingness to enroll critically ill infants. Two infants were withdrawn from the study due to the potential risk of intestinal perforation with simultaneous administration of hydrocortisone and indomethacin.
This pilot RCT was not feasible due to low eligibility and consent rates. An RCT of BP management for extremely preterm infants may require a waiver of consent for research in emergency care. The frequent use of early indomethacin and the associated risk of intestinal perforation when used with hydrocortisone may limit future investigations to only inotropic medications.
Extremely preterm infant; hypotension; hydrocortisone; dopamine; informed consent
We compared neurodevelopmental outcomes of extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants with and without bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), using the physiologic definition.
ELBW (birth weights <1000 grams) infants admitted to the Neonatal Research Network centers and hospitalized at 36 weeks postmenstrual age (n=1,189) were classified using the physiologic definition of BPD. Infants underwent Bayley III assessment at 18-22 months corrected age. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine the association between physiologic BPD and cognitive impairment (score < 70).
BPD by the physiologic definition was diagnosed in 603 (52%) infants, 537 of whom were mechanically ventilated or on FiO2 > 30% and 66 who failed the room air challenge. Infants on room air (n=505) and those who passed the room air challenge (n=51) were classified as “no BPD” (n=556). At follow up, infants with BPD had significantly lower mean weight and head circumference. Moderate to severe cerebral palsy (7 vs. 2.1%) and spastic diplegia (7.8 vs. 4.1%) and quadriplegia (3.9 vs. 0.9%) phenotypes as well as cognitive (12.8 vs. 4.6%) and language scores < 70 (24.2 vs. 12.3%) were significantly more frequent in those with BPD compared to those without BPD. BPD was independently associated (adjusted OR 2.4; 95% CI 1.40-4.13) with cognitive impairment.
Rates of adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in early childhood were significantly higher in those with BPD. BPD by the physiologic definition was independently associated with cognitive impairment using Bayley Scales III. These findings have implications for targeted post-discharge surveillance and early intervention.
Outcome; preterm; bronchopulmonary dysplasia; physiologic definition
Expert interpretation of modern noninvasive neuroimaging such as CTA or MRA should detect nearly all aneurysms responsible for an isolated third nerve palsy. Whether a catheter angiogram should still be obtained in cases with negative CTA or MRA remains debated, and mostly relies on whether the noninvasive study was correctly performed and interpreted. The aim of our study was to review the diagnostic strategies used to evaluate patients with isolated aneurysmal third nerve palsy at a large academic center.
Retrospective review of all cases with posterior communicating artery (PCom A) aneurysmal third nerve palsies seen at our institution since 2001.
We identified 417 cases with third nerve palsy, aneurysm, or subarachnoid hemorrhage, among which 17 presented with an acute isolated painful third nerve palsy related to an ipsilateral PCom A aneurysm (mean age 52; range 33–83 years). Patients were classified into 3 groups based on the results of the noninvasive imaging obtained at initial presentation. Group I included 4 cases with subarachnoid hemorrhage on initial non-contrast head CT initially obtained in an emergency department for evaluation of their isolated third nerve palsy. Group II included 5 cases with isolated third nerve palsy and normal non-contrast head CT at presentation, immediately correctly diagnosed with a PCom A aneurysm at the referring institution. Group III included the 8 remaining cases who all had aneurysms that were missed on noninvasive studies at outside institutions. Review of these outside studies at our institution showed a PCom A aneurysm, confirming misinterpretation of these tests by the outside radiologists, rather than inadequate technique. Absence of specific training in neuroradiology and inaccurate clinical information provided to the interpreting radiologist were associated with test misinterpretation at the outside institutions. The average size of PCom A aneurysms causing an isolated third nerve palsy across all 3 groups was 7.3 mm, and was similar in each group.
Our study suggests that aside from an accurate history, the training and experience of the interpreting radiologist is probably the most important factor in determining the reliability of a noninvasive scan in patients with isolated third nerve palsies.
Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is a condition of unknown etiology often encountered in neurologic practice. It produces non-localizing symptoms and signs of raised intracranial pressure and, when left untreated, can result in severe irreversible visual loss. It most commonly occurs in obese women of childbearing age, but it can also occur in children, men, non-obese adults, and older adults. While it is frequently associated with obesity, it can be associated with other conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnea and transverse cerebral venous sinus stenoses. Recent identification of subgroups at high risk for irreversible visual loss, including black patients, men, and patients with fulminant forms of IIH, help guide the optimal management and follow-up. Ongoing studies of venous anatomy and physiology in IIH patients, as well as a recently begun randomized clinical treatment trial, should provide more insights into this common yet poorly understood syndrome of isolated intracranial hypertension.
Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension; Venous Sinus Stenosis; Ventriculoperitoneal Shunting; Lumboperitoneal Shunting; Optic Nerve Sheath Fenestration; Venous Sinus Stenting
We present a unique case of a patient with deafness and blindness secondary to carcinomatous meningitis from colorectal adenocarcinoma with accompanying radiologic and pathologic images and a brief review of the relevant literature.
meningeal carcinomatosis; severe visual loss; severe hearing loss
Piperacillin is often used in preterm infants for intra-abdominal infections; however, dosing has been derived from small single-center studies excluding extremely preterm infants at highest risk for these infections. We evaluated the population pharmacokinetics (PK) of piperacillin using targeted sparse sampling and scavenged samples obtained from preterm infants ≤32 weeks gestational age at birth and <120 postnatal days.
Materials and Methods
A 5-center study was performed. A population PK model using nonlinear mixed effect modeling was developed. Covariate effects were evaluated based on estimated precision and clinical significance.
Fifty-six preterm infants were evaluated and had a median (range) gestational age at birth of 25 (22–32) weeks, a postnatal age of 17 (1–77) days, a postmenstrual age of 29 (23–40) weeks, and a weight of 867 (400–2580) grams. The final PK data set contained 211 samples; 202/211 (96%) were scavenged from discarded clinical specimens. Piperacillin population PK was best described by a 1-compartment model. The population mean clearance (CL) was derived by the equation CL (liter/h)=0.479 x (weight)0.75 x 0.5/serum creatinine and using a volume of distribution (V) (liter) of 2.91 x (weight). The relative standard errors around parameter estimates ranged from 13.7–32.2%. A trend towards increased CL was observed with increasing gestational age at birth; infants with serum creatinine ≥1.2 mg/dL had a 60% reduction in piperacillin CL. The majority (>70%) of infants did not meet pre-defined pharmacodynamic efficacy targets.
Scavenged PK sampling is a minimal-risk approach that can provide meaningful information related to development of PK models but not dosing recommendations for piperacillin. The utility of scavenged sampling in providing definitive dosing recommendations may be drug-dependent and needs to be further explored.
neonate; drug; pharmacokinetics; piperacillin
Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH) is a disease of unknown etiology typically affecting young, obese women, producing a syndrome of increased intracranial pressure without identifiable cause. Despite a large number of hypotheses and publications over the past decade, the etiology is still unknown. Vitamin A metabolism, adipose tissue as an actively secreting endocrine tissue, and cerebral venous abnormalities are areas of active study regarding IIH’s pathophysiology. There continues to be no evidence-based consensus or formal guidelines regarding management and treatment of the disease. Treatment studies show that the diagnostic lumbar puncture is a valuable intervention beyond its diagnostic importance, and that weight management is critical. However, open questions remain regarding the efficacy of acetazolamide, cerebrospinal fluid shunting procedures, and cerebral transverse venous sinus stenting.
Idiopathic intracranial hypertension; pseudotumor cerebri; papilledema; cerebral venous stenosis; cerebral venous stenting; obesity
Data are limited on the impact of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) on morbidity and mortality among very low birth weight (VLBW) infants with S aureus (SA) bacteremia and/or meningitis (B/M).
Neonatal data for VLBW infants (birth weight 401–1500 g) born January 1, 2006, to December 31, 2008, who received care at centers of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network were collected prospectively. Early-onset (≤72 hours after birth) and late-onset (>72 hours) infections were defined by blood or cerebrospinal fluid cultures and antibiotic treatment of ≥5 days (or death <5 days with intent to treat). Outcomes were compared for infants with MRSA versus methicillin-susceptible S aureus (MSSA) B/M.
Of 8444 infants who survived >3 days, 316 (3.7%) had SA B/M. Eighty-eight had MRSA (1% of all infants, 28% of infants with SA); 228 had MSSA (2.7% of all infants, 72% of infants with SA). No infant had both MRSA and MSSA B/M. Ninety-nine percent of MRSA infections were late-onset. The percent of infants with MRSA varied by center (P < .001) with 9 of 20 centers reporting no cases. Need for mechanical ventilation, diagnosis of respiratory distress syndrome, necrotizing enterocolitis, and other morbidities did not differ between infants with MRSA and MSSA. Mortality was high with both MRSA (23 of 88, 26%) and MSSA (55 of 228, 24%).
Few VLBW infants had SA B/M. The 1% with MRSA had morbidity and mortality rates similar to infants with MSSA. Practices should provide equal focus on prevention and management of both MRSA and MSSA infections among VLBW infants.
Staphylococcus aureus; methicillin resistant; infant; newborn
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:
The Surfactant Positive Airway Pressure and Pulse Oximetry Randomized Trial (SUPPORT) antenatal consent study demonstrated that mothers of infants enrolled in the SUPPORT trial had significantly different demographics and exposure to antenatal steroids compared with mothers of eligible, but not enrolled infants. The objective of this analysis was to compare the outcomes of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, severe retinopathy of prematurity, severe intraventricular hemorrhage or periventricular leukomalacia (IVH/PVL), death, and death/severe IVH/PVL for infants enrolled in SUPPORT in comparison with eligible, but not enrolled infants.
Perinatal characteristics and neonatal outcomes were compared for enrolled and eligible but not enrolled infants in bivariate analyses. Models were created to test the effect of enrollment in SUPPORT on outcomes, controlling for perinatal characteristics.
There were 1316 infants enrolled in SUPPORT; 3053 infants were eligible, but not enrolled. In unadjusted analyses, enrolled infants had significantly lower rates of death before discharge, severe IVH/PVL, death/severe IVH/PVL (all < 0.001), and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (P = .003) in comparison with eligible, but not enrolled infants. The rate of severe retinopathy of prematurity was not significantly different. After adjustment for perinatal factors, enrollment in the trial was not a significant predictor of any of the tested clinical outcomes.
The results of this analysis demonstrate significant outcome differences between enrolled and eligible but not enrolled infants in a trial using antenatal consent, which were likely due to enrollment bias resulting from the antenatal consent process. Additional research and regulatory review need to be conducted to ensure that large moderate-risk trials that require antenatal consent can be conducted in such a way as to ensure the generalizability of results.
antenatal steroids; clinical research/trials; informed consent; neonatal
Non-mydriatic fundus photography by non-ophthalmic trained personnel has recently been shown to be a potential alternative to direct ophthalmoscopy in the emergency department (ED). We evaluated the reliability of a novel quality rating scale and applied this scale to non-mydriatic fundus photographs taken during routine ED patient encounters to determine factors associated with diminished photograph quality.
350 patients enrolled in the Fundus photography vs. Ophthalmoscopy Trials Outcomes in the Emergency Department (FOTO-ED) study were photographed by nurse practitioners after <30 minutes of training followed by supervision.
Photographs of both eyes were graded for quality on two occasions by two neuro-ophthalmologists. Four regions were independently evaluated for quality: optic disc, macula, superior and inferior vascular arcades. Quality as a function of the number of photographs taken was evaluated by Kaplan-Meier analysis. Mixed effects ordinal logistic regression was used to evaluate for predictors of image quality while accounting for the repeated measures design.
Main Outcome Measure
Overall photographic quality (1–5 scale, 5 best).
We evaluated 1734 photographs. Inter- and intra-observer agreements between neuro-ophthalmologists were very good (weighted kappa:0.84–0.87). Quality of the optic disc area was better than those of other retinal areas (p<0.002). Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that if a high-quality photograph of an eye was not obtained by the third attempt it was unlikely that one would be obtained at all. A 10 second increase in the inter-photograph interval before a total of forty seconds increased the odds of a one unit higher quality rating by 1.81 times (95%CI: 1.68–1.98), and a ten year increase in age decreased the odds by 0.76 times (95%CI: 0.69–0.85). Black patients had 0.42 times (95%CI: 0.28–0.63) the odds of a one unit higher quality rating compared to whites.
Our 5-point scale is a reliable measure of non-mydriatic photograph quality. The region of interest, interphotograph interval, age, and race are significant predictors of image quality for non-mydriatic photographs taken by nurse practitioners in the ED. Addressing these factors may have a direct impact on the successful implementation of non-mydriatic fundus photography into the ED.
Several studies have suggested racial differences in the prevalence of optic nerve head drusen (ONHD). We aimed to determine the percentage of patients with ONHD who are black, and to describe the clinical, ophthalmoscopic, and perimetry findings in these patients.
We conducted a retrospective chart review of all patients with ONHD seen at our institution between 1989 and 2010. Only black patients with ONHD confirmed on either funduscopy or B-scan ultrasonography were included. Demographic and clinical findings in these patients were recorded and analyzed.
Of 196 patients with confirmed ONHD, 10 (5.1%) were black (7 women; ages 8–61 years). Six of the 10 patients had bilateral ONHD. The ONHD were buried in 11 of 16 eyes with ONHD, and exposed in 5 of 16 eyes. Fifteen of 16 eyes with ONHD had small cupless optic nerve heads. Visual fields were normal in 4 of 16 eyes with ONHD. In the other eyes, visual field defects included an enlarged blind spot (5 eyes), constricted field (5 eyes), nasal defect (2 eyes), central defect (1 eye), and generalized depression (1 eye). Visual field defects were present in 4 of 5 eyes (80%) with exposed ONHD and 8 of 11 eyes (72.7%) with buried ONHD. None of the patients were related and none of their examined family members had exposed ONHD on funduscopic examination.
ONHD are rare in blacks, possibly due to the presence of a larger cup-to-disc ratio or a lack of predisposing genetic factors. Visual field defects are common in black patients with both exposed and buried ONHD.
Optic Nerve; Drusen; Ethnicity
Current guidelines, initially published in 1995, recommend antenatal corticosteroids for mothers with preterm labor from 24–34 weeks gestational age, but not before 24 weeks because of lack of data. However, many infants born before 24 weeks are provided intensive care now.
To determine if antenatal corticosteroids are associated with improvement in major outcomes in infants born at 22 and 23 weeks.
Design, Setting, Participants
Data for this cohort study were collected prospectively on 401–1000 gram inborn infants (N=10,541) of 22–25 weeks gestation born between 1993–2009 at 23 academic perinatal centers in the United States. Certified examiners unaware of exposure to antenatal corticosteroids performed follow-up examinations on 4,924 (86.5%) of the infants born in 1993–2008 who survived to 18–22 months. Logistic regression models generated adjusted odds ratios, controlling for maternal and neonatal variables.
Main Outcome Measures
Mortality and neurodevelopmental impairment at 18–22 months corrected age
Death or neurodevelopmental impairment at 18–22 months was lower for infants whose mothers received antenatal corticosteroids born at 23 weeks (antenatal corticosteroids, 83.4% vs no antenatal corticosteroids, 90.5%; adjusted odds ratio 0.58; 95% CI, 0.42–0.80), at 24 weeks (antenatal corticosteroids, 68.4% vs no antenatal corticosteroids, 80.3%; adjusted odds ratio 0.62; 95% CI, 0.49–0.78), and at 25 weeks (antenatal corticosteroids, 52.7% vs no antenatal corticosteroids, 67.9%; adjusted odds ratio 0.61; 95% CI, 0.50–0.74) but not at 22 weeks (antenatal corticosteroids, 90.2% vs no antenatal corticosteroids, 93.1%; adjusted odds ratio 0.80; 95% CI, 0.29–12.21). Death by 18–22 months, hospital death, death/intraventricular hemorrhage/periventricular leukomalacia, and death/necrotizing enterocolitis were significantly lower for infants born at 23, 24, and 25 weeks gestational age if the mothers had received antenatal corticosteroids but the only outcome significantly lower at 22 weeks was death/necrotizing enterocolitis (antenatal corticosteroids, 73.5% vs no antenatal corticosteroids, 84.5%; adjusted odds ratio 0.54; 95% CI, 0.30–0.97).
Among infants born at 23–25 weeks gestation, use of antenatal corticosteroids compared to non-use was associated with a lower rate of death or neurodevelopmental impairment at 18–22 months.
prematurity; infant mortality; neonatal intensive care; neurodevelopmental impairment; lung maturation; limits of viability
To examine pathogens and other characteristics associated with late-onset bloodstream infections (BSI) in infants with intestinal failure (IF) as a consequence of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).
Infants 401–1500 grams at birth who survived >72 hours and received care at NICHD Neonatal Research Network centers were studied. Frequency of culture positive BSI and pathogens were compared for infants with medical NEC, NEC managed surgically without IF, and surgical IF. Among infants with IF, duration of parenteral nutrition (PN) and other outcomes were evaluated.
932 infants were studied (IF, n=78; surgical NEC without IF, n=452; medical NEC, n=402). The proportion with BSI after NEC diagnosis was higher in infants with IF than with surgical NEC (p=0.007) or medical NEC (p<0.001). Gram positive pathogens were most frequent. Among infants with IF, increased number of infections was associated with longer hospitalization and duration on PN (0, 1, ≥2 infections; median stay (days): 172, 188, 260, p=0.06; median days on PN: 90, 112, 115, p=0.003), and the proportion who achieved full feeds during hospitalization decreased (87%, 67%, 50%, p=0.03).
Recurrent BSIs are common in VLBW infants with IF. Gram positive bacteria were most commonly identified in these infants.
Short bowel syndrome; Bloodstream infections; Late onset sepsis; Very low birth weight; Nutrition; Intestinal failure
Ocular funduscopic examination is difficult in young children and is rarely attempted by nonophthalmologists. Our objective was to determine the feasibility of reliably obtaining high-quality nonmydriatic fundus photographs in children.
Nonmydriatic fundus photographs were obtained in both eyes of children seen in a pediatric ophthalmology clinic. Ease of fundus photography was recorded on a 10-point Likert scale (10 = very easy). Quality was graded from 1 to 5 (1, inadequate for any diagnostic purpose; 2, unable to exclude all emergent findings; 3, only able to exclude emergent findings; 4, not ideal, but still able to exclude subtle findings; and 5, ideal quality). The primary outcome measure was image quality by age.
A total of 878 photographs of 212 children (median age, 6 years; range,1-18 years) were included. Photographs of at least one eye were obtained in 190 children (89.6%) and in both eyes in 181 (85.3%). Median rating for ease of photography was 7. Photographs of some clinical value (grade ≥2) were obtained in 33% of children <3 years and 95% >3 years. High-quality photographs (grade 4 or 5) were obtained in both eyes in 7% of children <3 years, 57% of children ≥3 to <7 years, 85% of children ≥7 to <9 years, and 65% of children ≥9 years. The youngest patient with high-quality photographs in both eyes was 22 months.
Nonmydriatic fundus photographs of adequate quality can be obtained in children over age 3 and in some children as young as 22 months.
Hypertensive retinopathy describes a spectrum of retinal changes in patients with elevated blood pressure (BP). It is unknown why some patients are more likely to develop acute ocular end-organ damage than others with similar BP. We examined risk factors for grade III/IV hypertensive retinopathy among patients with hypertensive urgency in the emergency department (ED) and compared healthcare utilization and mortality between patients with and without grade III/IV hypertensive retinopathy.
A preplanned subanalysis of patients who presented to a university hospital ED with diastolic BP ≥ 120 mmHg and who enrolled in the Fundus Photography versus Ophthalmoscopy Trial Outcomes in the ED study was performed. Bilateral nonmydriatic ocular fundus photographs, vital signs, and demographics were obtained at presentation. Past medical history, laboratory values, healthcare utilization, and mortality were ascertained from medical record review at least 8 months after initial ED visit.
Twenty-one patients with diastolic BP ≥ 120 mmHg, 7 of whom (33%) had grade III/IV hypertensive retinopathy, were included. Patients with retinopathy were significantly younger than those without (median 33 vs 50 years, P= 0.02). Mean arterial pressure (165 vs 163 mmHg) was essentially equal in the 2 groups. Patients with retinopathy had substantially increased but nonsignificant rates of ED revisit (57% vs 29%, P = 0.35) and hospital admission after ED discharge (43% vs 14%, P = 0.28). One of the patients with retinopathy died, but none without.
Younger patients may be at higher risk for grade III/IV hypertensive retinopathy among patients with hypertensive urgency. Chronic compensatory mechanisms may have not yet developed in these younger patients. Alternatively, older patients with retinopathy may be underrepresented secondary to increased mortality among these patients at a younger age (survivorship bias). Further research is needed to validate these preliminary findings.
stroke; ischemia; carotid artery; vertebra-basilar circulation; retinopathy
Pharmacokinetic (PK) studies in preterm infants are rarely conducted due to the research challenges posed by this population. To overcome these challenges, minimal-risk methods such as scavenged sampling can be used to evaluate the PK of commonly used drugs in this population. We evaluated the population PK of metronidazole using targeted sparse sampling and scavenged samples from infants that were ≤32 weeks of gestational age at birth and <120 postnatal days. A 5-center study was performed. A population PK model using nonlinear mixed-effect modeling (NONMEM) was developed. Covariate effects were evaluated based on estimated precision and clinical significance. Using the individual Bayesian PK estimates from the final population PK model and the dosing regimen used for each subject, the proportion of subjects achieving the therapeutic target of trough concentrations >8 mg/liter was calculated. Monte Carlo simulations were performed to evaluate the adequacy of different dosing recommendations per gestational age group. Thirty-two preterm infants were enrolled: the median (range) gestational age at birth was 27 (22 to 32) weeks, postnatal age was 41 (0 to 97) days, postmenstrual age (PMA) was 32 (24 to 43) weeks, and weight was 1,495 (678 to 3,850) g. The final PK data set contained 116 samples; 104/116 (90%) were scavenged from discarded clinical specimens. Metronidazole population PK was best described by a 1-compartment model. The population mean clearance (CL; liter/h) was determined as 0.0397 × (weight/1.5) × (PMA/32)2.49 using a volume of distribution (V) (liter) of 1.07 × (weight/1.5). The relative standard errors around parameter estimates ranged between 11% and 30%. On average, metronidazole concentrations in scavenged samples were 30% lower than those measured in scheduled blood draws. The majority of infants (>70%) met predefined pharmacodynamic efficacy targets. A new, simplified, postmenstrual-age-based dosing regimen is recommended for this population. Minimal-risk methods such as scavenged PK sampling provided meaningful information related to development of metronidazole PK models and dosing recommendations.
Many studies have shown that hypertensive ocular funduscopic abnormalities are clearly related to stroke, even after controlling for level of blood pressure and other vascular risk factors. Retinal abnormalities indicative of a breakdown of the blood-retina barrier confer a greater increase in risk for stroke than sclerotic retinal changes. Similar retinal changes also have a positive relationship with stroke mortality. Hypertensive ocular fundus abnormalities are also reported to be associated with an increased risk for cognitive impairment, cerebral atrophy, progression of MRI-defined white matter lesions, and subclinical infarction. Recent advances in fundus photography allow for improved accuracy and consistency in interpretation of funduscopic lesions, and improve the feasibility of screening for these abnormalities in at-risk patient populations. Evaluating the ocular fundus for signs of hypertensive retinopathy, in combination with an assessment of the presence or absence of other known vascular risk factors, may allow clinicians to further individualize a risk profile for stroke to each individual patient, thus permitting more accurate risk stratification and, potentially, guiding treatment strategies.