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1.  Does point-of-care ultrasonography cause discomfort in patients admitted with respiratory symptoms? 
This study aimed to assess the patient-rated level of discomfort during point-of-care ultrasonography (POCUS) of the heart, lungs and deep veins in a population of patients admitted to an ED with respiratory symptoms and to what extent the patients would accept being assessed by the use of POCUS if they had to be examined for possible disease.
A questionnaire-based observational study was conducted in an ED. Inclusion criteria were one or more of the following: respiratory rate > 20/min, oxygen saturation < 95 %, oxygen therapy initiated, dyspnoea, cough or chest pain. Patients were examined by the use of POCUS of the heart, lungs and deep veins. Patient-rated level of discomfort and acceptance were assessed using a standardised questionnaire.
The median duration of the sonographic examinations was 12 min (IQR 11–13, range 9–23). The median patient-rated level of discomfort for all three types of POCUS was 1 (IQR 1–1, range 1–8) on a scale from 1 to 10. All but one patient (99.6 % (95 % CI: 98.9-100 %)), would accept being examined by the use of POCUS as a part of routine ED diagnostics.
The patient-rated level of discomfort during POCUS of the heart, lungs and deep veins is very low and the vast majority of patients would accept being assessed by the use of POCUS if the patients once again had to be examined for possible disease.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13049-015-0127-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4465167  PMID: 26071404
2.  Diagnostic delay in malignant pleural mesothelioma due to physicians fixation on history with non-exposure to asbestos 
BMJ Case Reports  2013;2013:bcr2012007491.
To establish the diagnosis of virtually any disease, the clinician must combine a variety of information. Often emphasised in this context is thorough medical history-taking including information on exposure to factors leading to or being associated with the disease in question. Continuous assessment of all available information is of utmost importance, as fixation on single details can be misguiding with inappropriate consequences in both the diagnostic and therapeutic approach. This case report presents how an atypical medical history led to a delay in the diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma due to a low a priori likelihood of the disease because of non-exposure to asbestos. We highlight the fact that postrationalisation and attempts to renew a diagnostic approach must be carried out each time diagnostic dilemmas emerge, and when some or all diagnostic clues disagree.
PMCID: PMC3645896  PMID: 23576643
3.  Utility of lung ultrasound in near-drowning victims 
BMJ Case Reports  2012;2012:bcr0120125687.
Drowning and near-drowning are common causes of accidental death worldwide and respiratory complications such as non-cardiogenic pulmonary oedema, acute respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia are often seen. In other settings lung ultrasound can accurately diagnose these conditions; hence lung ultrasound may have a potential role in the evaluation of drowning or near-drowning victims. In this case report the authors describe a 71-year-old man who was brought to hospital with acute respiratory failure after a near-drowning accident. Lung ultrasound showed multiple B-lines on the anterior and lateral surfaces of both lungs, consistent with pulmonary oedema. Focus assessed transthoracic echocardiography showed no pericardial effusion and a normal global left ventricular function. Based on these findings the patient was diagnosed as having non-cardiogenic pulmonary oedema. Subsequent chest x-ray showed bilateral infiltrates consistent with pulmonary oedema. The case report emphasises the clinical value of lung ultrasound in the evaluation of a near-drowning victim.
PMCID: PMC3387434  PMID: 22729330
5.  Focused sonographic examination of the heart, lungs and deep veins in an unselected population of acute admitted patients with respiratory symptoms: a protocol for a prospective, blinded, randomised controlled trial 
BMJ Open  2012;2(3):e001369.
Patients admitted to hospital with acute respiratory symptoms remain a diagnostic challenge for the emergency physician. The use of focused sonography may improve the initial diagnostics, as most of the diseases, commonly seen and misdiagnosed in patients with acute respiratory symptoms, can be diagnosed with sonography. The protocol describes a prospective, blinded, randomised controlled trial that aims to assess the diagnostic impact of a pragmatic implementation of focused sonography of the heart, lungs and deep veins as a diagnostic modality in acute admitted patients with respiratory symptoms.
Methods and analysis
The primary outcome of the study is the number of patients with a correct presumptive diagnosis within 4 h of admission to the emergency department. The patient is randomised to either an intervention or a control group. In the intervention group, the usual initial diagnostic work up is supplemented by focused sonographic examination of the heart, lungs and deep veins of the legs. In the control group, usual diagnostic work up is performed. The χ2 test, alternatively the Fischer exact test will be used, to establish whether there is a difference in the distribution of the total number of patients with a correct/incorrect ‘4 h’ presumptive diagnosis in the control group and in the intervention group.
Ethics and dissemination
This clinical trial is performed according to the Declaration of Helsinki and has been approved by the Regional Scientific Ethical Committee for Southern Denmark and the Danish Data Protection Agency. The results of the trial will be published according to the CONSORT statement with the extension for pragmatic trials. The results of the trial will be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal regardless of the outcome.
Trial registration number
This study is registered at, registration number NCT01486394.
Article summary
Article focus
Focused sonography of the heart, lungs and deep veins.
Initial diagnostics of acute admitted patients with respiratory symptoms.
Key messages
The results of the study may help to determine whether sonography should be included as a fully integrated part of the primary evaluation in these patients.
Strengths and limitations of this study
First randomised trial to compare the overall diagnostic performance between the conventional approach and an approach including focused sonography to evaluate and diagnose acute admitted patients with respiratory symptoms, admitted to an emergency department.
Pragmatic design with inclusion of most patients with respiratory symptoms.
Single-centre study that could affect external validity.
Study not powered to investigate morbidity or mortality.
PMCID: PMC3367153  PMID: 22649177
6.  High recovery of cell-free methylated DNA based on a rapid bisulfite-treatment protocol 
BMC Molecular Biology  2012;13:12.
Detection of cell-free methylated DNA in plasma is a promising tool for tumour diagnosis and monitoring. Due to the very low amounts of cell-free DNA in plasma, analytical sensitivity is of utmost importance. The vast majority of currently available methods for analysing DNA methylation are based on bisulfite-mediated deamination of cytosine. Cytosine is rapidly converted to uracil during bisulfite treatment, whereas 5-methylcytosine is only slowly converted. Hence, bisulfite treatment converts an epigenetic modification into a difference in sequence, amenable to analysis either by sequencing or PCR based methods. However, the recovery of bisulfite-converted DNA is very poor.
Here we introduce an alternative method for the crucial steps of bisulfite treatment with high recovery. The method is based on an accelerated deamination step and alkaline desulfonation in combination with magnetic silica purification of DNA, allowing preparation of deaminated DNA from patient samples in less than 2 hours.
The method presented here allows low levels of DNA to be easily and reliably analysed, a prerequisite for the clinical usefulness of cell-free methylated DNA detection in plasma.
PMCID: PMC3324385  PMID: 22448717

Results 1-6 (6)