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1.  Outcomes in Critically Ill Patients with Cancer-Related Complications 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(10):e0164537.
Cancer patients are at risk for severe complications related to the underlying malignancy or its treatment and, therefore, usually require admission to intensive care units (ICU). Here, we evaluated the clinical characteristics and outcomes in this subgroup of patients.
Materials and Methods
Secondary analysis of two prospective cohorts of cancer patients admitted to ICUs. We used multivariable logistic regression to identify variables associated with hospital mortality.
Out of 2,028 patients, 456 (23%) had cancer-related complications. Compared to those without cancer-related complications, they more frequently had worse performance status (PS) (57% vs 36% with PS≥2), active malignancy (95% vs 58%), need for vasopressors (45% vs 34%), mechanical ventilation (70% vs 51%) and dialysis (12% vs 8%) (P<0.001 for all analyses). ICU (47% vs. 27%) and hospital (63% vs. 38%) mortality rates were also higher in patients with cancer-related complications (P<0.001). Chemo/radiation therapy-induced toxicity (6%), venous thromboembolism (5%), respiratory failure (4%), gastrointestinal involvement (3%) and vena cava syndrome (VCS) (2%) were the most frequent cancer-related complications. In multivariable analysis, the presence of cancer-related complications per se was not associated with mortality [odds ratio (OR) = 1.25 (95% confidence interval, 0.94–1.66), P = 0.131]. However, among the individual cancer-related complications, VCS [OR = 3.79 (1.11–12.92), P = 0.033], gastrointestinal involvement [OR = 3.05 (1.57–5.91), P = <0.001] and respiratory failure [OR = 1.96(1.04–3.71), P = 0.038] were independently associated with in-hospital mortality.
The prognostic impact of cancer-related complications was variable. Although some complications were associated with worse outcomes, the presence of an acute cancer-related complication per se should not guide decisions to admit a patient to ICU.
PMCID: PMC5072702  PMID: 27764143
7.  Clinical Outcomes and Microbiological Characteristics of Severe Pneumonia in Cancer Patients: A Prospective Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(3):e0120544.
Pneumonia is the most frequent type of infection in cancer patients and a frequent cause of ICU admission. The primary aims of this study were to describe the clinical and microbiological characteristics and outcomes in critically ill cancer patients with severe pneumonia.
Prospective cohort study in 325 adult cancer patients admitted to three ICUs with severe pneumonia not acquired in the hospital setting. Demographic, clinical and microbiological data were collected.
There were 229 (71%) patients with solid tumors and 96 (29%) patients with hematological malignancies. 75% of all patients were in septic shock and 81% needed invasive mechanical ventilation. ICU and hospital mortality rates were 45.8% and 64.9%. Microbiological confirmation was present in 169 (52%) with a predominance of Gram negative bacteria [99 (58.6%)]. The most frequent pathogens were methicillin-sensitive S. aureus [42 (24.9%)], P. aeruginosa [41(24.3%)] and S. pneumonia [21 (12.4%)]. A relatively low incidence of MR [23 (13.6%)] was observed. Adequate antibiotics were prescribed for most patients [136 (80.5%)]. In multivariate analysis, septic shock at ICU admission [OR 5.52 (1.92–15.84)], the use of invasive MV [OR 12.74 (3.60–45.07)] and poor Performance Status [OR 3.00 (1.07–8.42)] were associated with increased hospital mortality.
Severe pneumonia is associated with high mortality rates in cancer patients. A relatively low rate of MR pathogens is observed and severity of illness and organ dysfunction seems to be the best predictors of outcome in this population.
PMCID: PMC4372450  PMID: 25803690
10.  Early sedation and clinical outcomes of mechanically ventilated patients: a prospective multicenter cohort study 
Critical Care  2014;18(4):R156.
Sedation overuse is frequent and possibly associated with poor outcomes in the intensive care unit (ICU) patients. However, the association of early oversedation with clinical outcomes has not been thoroughly evaluated. The aim of this study was to assess the association of early sedation strategies with outcomes of critically ill adult patients under mechanical ventilation (MV).
A secondary analysis of a multicenter prospective cohort conducted in 45 Brazilian ICUs, including adult patients requiring ventilatory support and sedation in the first 48 hours of ICU admissions, was performed. Sedation depth was evaluated after 48 hours of MV. Multivariate analysis was used to identify variables associated with hospital mortality.
A total of 322 patients were evaluated. Overall, ICU and hospital mortality rates were 30.4% and 38.8%, respectively. Deep sedation was observed in 113 patients (35.1%). Longer duration of ventilatory support was observed (7 (4 to 10) versus 5 (3 to 9) days, P = 0.041) and more tracheostomies were performed in the deep sedation group (38.9% versus 22%, P = 0.001) despite similar PaO2/FiO2 ratios and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) severity. In a multivariate analysis, age (Odds Ratio (OR) 1.02; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00 to 1.03), Charlson Comorbidity Index >2 (OR 2.06; 95% CI, 1.44 to 2.94), Simplified Acute Physiology Score 3 (SAPS 3) score (OR 1.02; CI 95%, 1.00 to 1.04), severe ARDS (OR 1.44; CI 95%, 1.09 to 1.91) and deep sedation (OR 2.36; CI 95%, 1.31 to 4.25) were independently associated with increased hospital mortality.
Early deep sedation is associated with adverse outcomes and constitutes an independent predictor of hospital mortality in mechanically ventilated patients.
PMCID: PMC4223597  PMID: 25047960
12.  Clinical outcomes of patients requiring ventilatory support in Brazilian intensive care units: a multicenter, prospective, cohort study 
Critical Care  2013;17(2):R63.
Contemporary information on mechanical ventilation (MV) use in emerging countries is limited. Moreover, most epidemiological studies on ventilatory support were carried out before significant developments, such as lung protective ventilation or broader application of non-invasive ventilation (NIV). We aimed to evaluate the clinical characteristics, outcomes and risk factors for hospital mortality and failure of NIV in patients requiring ventilatory support in Brazilian intensive care units (ICU).
In a multicenter, prospective, cohort study, a total of 773 adult patients admitted to 45 ICUs over a two-month period requiring invasive ventilation or NIV for more than 24 hours were evaluated. Causes of ventilatory support, prior chronic health status and physiological data were assessed. Multivariate analysis was used to identifiy variables associated with hospital mortality and NIV failure.
Invasive MV and NIV were used as initial ventilatory support in 622 (80%) and 151 (20%) patients. Failure with subsequent intubation occurred in 54% of NIV patients. The main reasons for ventilatory support were pneumonia (27%), neurologic disorders (19%) and non-pulmonary sepsis (12%). ICU and hospital mortality rates were 34% and 42%. Using the Berlin definition, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) was diagnosed in 31% of the patients with a hospital mortality of 52%. In the multivariate analysis, age (odds ratio (OR), 1.03; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.01 to 1.03), comorbidities (OR, 2.30; 95% CI, 1.28 to 3.17), associated organ failures (OR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.05 to 1.20), moderate (OR, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.10 to 3.35) to severe ARDS (OR, 2.12; 95% CI, 1.01 to 4.41), cumulative fluid balance over the first 72 h of ICU (OR, 2.44; 95% CI, 1.39 to 4.28), higher lactate (OR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.27 to 2.50), invasive MV (OR, 2.67; 95% CI, 1.32 to 5.39) and NIV failure (OR, 3.95; 95% CI, 1.74 to 8.99) were independently associated with hospital mortality. The predictors of NIV failure were the severity of associated organ dysfunctions (OR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.05 to 1.34), ARDS (OR, 2.31; 95% CI, 1.10 to 4.82) and positive fluid balance (OR, 2.09; 95% CI, 1.02 to 4.30).
Current mortality of ventilated patients in Brazil is elevated. Implementation of judicious fluid therapy and a watchful use and monitoring of NIV patients are potential targets to improve outcomes in this setting.
Trial registration NCT01268410.
PMCID: PMC3672504  PMID: 23557378
13.  Intensive care of the cancer patient: recent achievements and remaining challenges 
A few decades have passed since intensive care unit (ICU) beds have been available for critically ill patients with cancer. Although the initial reports showed dismal prognosis, recent data suggest that an increased number of patients with solid and hematological malignancies benefit from intensive care support, with dramatically decreased mortality rates. Advances in the management of the underlying malignancies and support of organ dysfunctions have led to survival gains in patients with life-threatening complications from the malignancy itself, as well as infectious and toxic adverse effects related to the oncological treatments. In this review, we will appraise the prognostic factors and discuss the overall perspective related to the management of critically ill patients with cancer. The prognostic significance of certain factors has changed over time. For example, neutropenia or autologous bone marrow transplantation (BMT) have less adverse prognostic implications than two decades ago. Similarly, because hematologists and oncologists select patients for ICU admission based on the characteristics of the malignancy, the underlying malignancy rarely influences short-term survival after ICU admission. Since the recent data do not clearly support the benefit of ICU support to unselected critically ill allogeneic BMT recipients, more outcome research is needed in this subgroup. Because of the overall increased survival that has been reported in critically ill patients with cancer, we outline an easy-to-use and evidence-based ICU admission triage criteria that may help avoid depriving life support to patients with cancer who can benefit. Lastly, we propose a research agenda to address unanswered questions.
PMCID: PMC3159899  PMID: 21906331
14.  Severe acute tumor lysis syndrome in patients with germ-cell tumors 
Germ-cell tumors are a high-proliferative type of cancer that may evolve to significant bulky disease. Tumor lysis syndrome is rarely reported in this setting. The reports of three patients with germ-cell tumors who developed severe acute tumor lysis syndrome following the start of their anticancer therapy are presented. All patients developed renal dysfunction and multiorgan failure. Patients with extensive germ-cell tumors should be kept on close clinical and laboratory monitoring. Physicians should be aware of this uncommon but severe complication and consider early admission to the intensive care unit for the institution of measures to prevent acute renal failure.
PMCID: PMC2684391  PMID: 19468517
Acute renal failure; germ-cell tumors; tumor lysis syndrome
15.  Cytokine profiles as markers of disease severity in sepsis: a multiplex analysis 
Critical Care  2007;11(2):R49.
The current shortage of accurate and readily available, validated biomarkers of disease severity in sepsis is an important limitation when attempting to stratify patients into homogeneous groups, in order to study pathogenesis or develop therapeutic interventions. The aim of the present study was to determine the cytokine profile in plasma of patients with severe sepsis by using a multiplex system for simultaneous detection of 17 cytokines.
This was a prospective cohort study conducted in four tertiary hospitals. A total of 60 patients with a recent diagnosis of severe sepsis were included. Plasma samples were collected for measurement of cytokine concentrations. A multiplex analysis was performed to evaluate levels of 17 cytokines (IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-7, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12, IL-13, IL-17, interferon-γ, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor [G-CSF], granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, monocyte chemoattractant protein [MCP]-1, macrophage inflammatory protein-1 and tumour necrosis factor-α). Cytokine concentrations were related to the presence of severe sepsis or septic shock, the severity and evolution of organ failure, and early and late mortality.
Concentrations of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-7, IL-8, IL-10, IL-13, interferon-γ, MCP-1 and tumour necrosis factor-α were significantly higher in septic shock patients than in those with severe sepsis. Cytokine concentrations were associated with severity and evolution of organ dysfunction. With regard to the severity of organ dysfunction on day 1, IL-8 and MCP-1 exhibited the best correlation with Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score. In addition, IL-6, IL-8 and G-CSF concentrations during the first 24 hours were predictive of worsening organ dysfunction or failure of organ dysfunction to improve on day three. In terms of predicting mortality, the cytokines IL-1β, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1 and G-CSF had good accuracy for predicting early mortality (< 48 hours), and IL-8 and MCP-1 had the best accuracy for predicting mortality at 28 days. In multivariate analysis, only MCP-1 was independently associated with prognosis.
In this exploratory analysis we demonstrated that use of a multiple cytokine assay platform allowed identification of distinct cytokine profiles associated with sepsis severity, evolution of organ failure and death.
PMCID: PMC2206478  PMID: 17448250

Results 1-15 (15)