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1.  Etomidate and mortality in cirrhotic patients with septic shock 
Background
Clinical effects and outcomes of a single dose etomidate prior to intubation in the intensive care setting is controversial. The aim of this study is to evaluate the association of a single dose effect of etomidate prior to intubation on the mortality of septic cirrhotic patients and the impact of the subsequent use of low dose hydrocortisone.
Methods
This is a nested-cohort study within a randomized double blind placebo controlled study evaluating the use of low dose hydrocortisone in cirrhotic septic patients. Cirrhotic septic patients ≥ 18 years were included in the study. Patients who received etomidate prior to intubation were compared to those who did not receive etomidate for all cause 28-day mortality as a primary outcome.
Results
Sixty two intubated patients out of the 75 patients randomized in the initial trial were eligible for this study. Twenty three of the 62 intubated patients received etomidate dose prior to intubation. Etomidate use was not associated with all cause 28-day mortality or hospital mortality but was associated with significantly higher ICU mortality (91% vs. 64% for etomidate and controls groups, respectively; p = 0.02). Etomidate patients who received subsequent doses of hydrocortisone required lower doses of vasopressors and had more vasopressor-free days but no improvement in mortality.
Conclusions
In this group of septic cirrhotic patients with very high mortality, etomidate increased ICU mortality. Subsequent use of hydrocortisone appears to have no benefit beyond decreasing vasopressor requirements. The lowest mortality was observed in patients who did not receive etomidate but received hydrocortisone.
doi:10.1186/1472-6904-11-22
PMCID: PMC3295685  PMID: 22208901
2.  Pro/con debate: Octreotide has an important role in the treatment of gastrointestinal bleeding of unknown origin? 
Critical Care  2006;10(4):218.
Whether it is the primary reason for admission or a complication of critical illness, upper gastrointestinal bleeding is commonly encountered in the intensive care unit. In this setting, in the absence of endoscopy, intensivists generally provide supportive care (transfusion of blood products) and acid suppression (such as proton pump inhibitors). More recently, octreotide (a somatostatin analogue) has been used in such patients. However, its precise role in patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeding is not necessarily clear and the drug is associated with significant costs. In this issue of Critical Care, two expert teams debate the merits of using octreotide in non-variceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding.
doi:10.1186/cc4958
PMCID: PMC1750992  PMID: 16834764

Results 1-2 (2)