The morbidity and mortality of acute respiratory distress syndrome remain to be high. Over the last 50 years, the clinical management of these patients has undergone vast changes. Significant improvement in the care of these patients involves the development of mechanical ventilation strategies, but the benefits of these strategies remain controversial. With a growing trend of extracorporeal support for critically ill patients, we provide a historical review of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) including its failures and successes as well as discussing extracorporeal devices now available or nearly accessible while examining current clinical indications and trends of ECMO in respiratory failure.
Acute respiratory distress syndrome; extracorporeal life support; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
There are reports of greater survival rates in nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients of female gender. The objective of this study was to evaluate the role of gender in survival of NSCLC patients treated surgically with curative intent (stage I/II).
In a retrospective cohort design, we screened 498 NSCLC patients submitted to thoracotomies at the hospital Sγo Lucas, in Porto Alegre, Brazil from 1990 to 2009. After exclusion of patients that did not fit to all the inclusion criteria, we analyzed survival rates of 385 subjects. Survival was analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method. The Cox regression model was used to evaluate potential confounding factors.
Survival rates at 5 and 10 years were 65.3% and 49.5% for women and 46.5% and 33.2% for men, respectively (P = 0.006). Considering only stage I patients, the survival rates at 5 and 10 years were 76.2% and 55.1% for women and 50.7% and 35.4% for men, respectively (P = 0.011). No significant differences in survival rates were found among stage II patients.
Our results show female gender as a possible protective factor for better survival of stage I NSCLC patients, but not among stage II patients. This study adds data to the knowledge that combined both genders survival rates for NSCLC is not an adequate prognosis.
Gender; lung cancer mortality; nonsmall cell lung cancer surgery; nonsmall cell lung cancer survival
To evaluate tuberculosis (TB) incidence rates and trends over a period of 20 years (1991-2010) and assess the impact of the National TB Control Program (NTP) on incidence trends.
This is a retrospective study of TB surveillance data reported by the Ministry of Health. We evaluated TB incidence data by nationality, age, and region of the country and assessed incidence trends over 20 years of study. Chi-squared test was used to assess trend change and its significance.
There were a total of 64,345 reported TB cases over the study period. Of these 48% were Non-Saudis. TB annual incidence rate ranged between 14 and 17/100,000. For Saudis, the rate ranged between 8.6 and 12.2/100,000. Non-Saudis had 2-3 times higher incidence. Disease trend was rising over the first 10 years of the study period then it started to fall slightly. The incidence increased with age, but only people older than 45 years showed a declining trend. Regional variations were observed. Makkah and Jazan regions had the highest incidence rates. Disease trends were rising over the last 10 years in Makkah and Central regions.
TB control seems to be facing some challenges in several regions of the Kingdom. NTP needs to evaluate and improve TB control strategies in order to reduce disease incidence to elimination levels.
Epidemiology; incidence trend; Saudi Arabia; tuberculosis
Fiber-optic bronchoscopy (FOB) with bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) is a common procedure performed in immunocompromised patients with undiagnosed pulmonary pathology. Identifying patients with the highest potential diagnostic yield may help to avoid morbidity in patients unlikely to benefit from the procedure. We sought to determine which patient factors, specifically chest computed tomography (CT) findings, affected diagnostic yield of BAL.
Retrospective chart review of immunocompromised patients who underwent FOB with BAL from 01/01/2010 to 12/31/2011 at an academic medical center was performed. The lung lobe lavaged, characteristics of pulmonary infiltrate on radiograph, patient symptoms, and diagnostic yield were collected. A positive diagnostic yield was defined as a positive microbiological culture, finding on cytopathologic staining, diffuse alveolar hemorrhage, alveolar eosinophilia or a positive immunologic or nucleic acid assay.
The overall diagnostic yield was 52.6%. Infiltrates that were predominantly reticular or nodular by CT had a lower diagnostic yield than predominantly consolidated, ground-glass, or tree-in-bud infiltrates (36.5% vs. 61.2%, P = 0.0058). The diagnostic yield was significantly improved in patients with both fever and chest symptoms compared to patients without symptoms (61.3% vs. 29.6%, P = 0.0066).
CT findings of reticular and nodular infiltrates portend a worse diagnostic yield from BAL than those that are alveolar in nature. Symptomatic patients are more likely to have diagnostic FOB with BAL than asymptomatic patients.
Bronchoscopy; computed tomography; immunodeficiency; respiratory infection; respiratory symptoms
To investigate the surgical approach and outcomes, as well as prognostic factors for pulmonary metastasectomy.
Clinical data of 201 patients treated by pulmonary metastasectomy between January 1990 and December 2009 were retrospectively reviewed. One hundred thirty three patients were received an approach of thoracotomy while 68 with video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). There were 54 lobectomies, 139 wedge resections and 8 pneumonectomies. Hilar or mediastinal lymph nodes dissection or sampling was carried out in 38 patients with lobectomy. The Kaplan-Meier method was used for the survival analysis. Cox proportional hazards model was used for multivariate analysis.
The 5 years survival rate of patients after metastasectomy was 50.5%, and the median survival time was 65.9 months. The median survival time of patients with hilar or mediastinal lymph nodes metastasis was 23 months. By univariate analysis, significant prognostic factors included disease-free interval (DFI), number of metastases, number of affected lobe, surgical approach (open vs. VATS) and pathology types. DFI, number of metastases, and pathology types were revealed by Cox multivariate analysis as independent prognostic factors.
Surgical resection of pulmonary metastases is safe and effective. Palpation of the lung is still seen as necessary to detect the occult nodule. More accurate and sensitive pre-operative mediastinal staging are required.
Prognosis; pulmonary metastasis; surgery
Didactic lectures are frequently used to improve compliance with practice guidelines. This study assessed the knowledge of health-care providers (HCPs) at a tertiary-care hospital of its evidence-based thromboprophylaxis guidelines and the impact of didactic lectures on their knowledge.
The hospital launched a multifaceted approach to improve thromboprophylaxis practices, which included posters, a pocket-size guidelines summary and didactic lectures during the annual thromboprophylaxis awareness days. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to HCPs before and after lectures on thromboprophylaxis guidelines (June 2010). The questionnaire, formulated and validated by two physicians, two nurses and a clinical pharmacist, covered various subjects such as risk stratification, anticoagulant dosing and the choice of anticoagulants in specific clinical situations.
Seventy-two and 63 HCPs submitted the pre- and post-test, respectively (62% physicians, 28% nurses, from different clinical disciplines). The mean scores were 7.8 ± 2.1 (median = 8.0, range = 2-12, maximum possible score = 15) for the pre-test and 8.4 ± 1.8 for the post-test, P = 0.053. There was no significant difference in the pre-test scores of nurses and physicians (7.9 ± 1.7 and 8.2 ± 2.4, respectively, P = 0.67). For the 35 HCPs who completed the pre- and post-tests, their scores were 7.7 ± 1.7 and 8.8 ± 1.6, respectively, P = 0.003. Knowledge of appropriate anticoagulant administration in specific clinical situations was frequently inadequate, with approximately two-thirds of participants failing to adjust low-molecular-weight heparin doses in patients with renal failure.
Education via didactic lectures resulted in a modest improvement of HCPs′ knowledge of thromboprophylaxis guidelines. This supports the need for a multifaceted approach to improve the awareness and implementation of thromboprophylaxis guidelines.
Clinical practice guidelines; continuing medical education; health knowledge; practice guidelines; questionnaires; venous thromboembolism
This study compares early and late outcomes for treatment by video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) versus treatment by thoracotomy for clinical N0, but post-operatively unexpected, pathologic N2 disease (cN0-pN2).
Clinical records of patients with unexpected N2 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who underwent VATS were retrospectively reviewed, and their early and late outcomes were compared to those of patients undergoing conventional thoracotomy during the same period.
VATS lobectomy took a longer time than thoracotomy (P < 0.001), but removal of thoracic drainage and patient discharge were earlier for patients in the VATS group (P < 0.001). There was no difference in lymph node dissection, mortality and morbidity between the two groups (P > 0.05). The median follow-up time for 287 patients (89.7%) was 37.0 months (range: 7.0-69.0). The VATS group had a longer survival time than for the thoracotomy group (median 49.0 months vs. 31.7 months, P < 0.001). The increased survival time of the VATS group was due to patients with a single station of N2 metastasis (P = 0.001), rather than to patients with multiple stations of N2 metastasis (P = 0.225).
It is both feasible and safe to perform VATS lobectomy on patients with unexpected N2 NSCLC. VATS provides better survival rates for those patients with just one station of metastatic mediastinal lymph nodes.
Non-small cell lung cancer; outcomes; staging; surgery
We describe two cases of spontaneous pneumothorax in young healthy adults with no underlying structural lung disease. The onset of pneumothorax was following physical activity including playing musical instruments and blowing of balloons. There is sparse data evaluating the pathophysiology of primary spontaneous pneumothorax in relation to increased mouth pressures. These cases highlight the possible physical effect of valsalva manoeuvre on transpulmonary pressures, and the potential risk of developing pneumothorax in otherwise healthy individuals. This aspect of pneumothorax development is worthy of further exploration, to better elucidate the mechanism and enhance our understanding of this common respiratory presentation.
Musical/wind instruments; spontaneous pneumothorax; valsalva
Gastrobronchial fistula is a rare but serious complication of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy with significant morbidity and mortality. We present the case of a 30-year-old man who underwent laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy for morbid obesity and presented later with a history of chronic productive cough. Upper gastrointestinal series showed the presence of a communicating fistula between the stomach and the left lung bronchial tree.
Gastric leak; gastrobronchial fistula; laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy; subphrenic collection
The direct involvement of clinical pharmacists in patient care is an ever-evolving role in the pharmacy profession. Studies have demonstrated that discharge counseling performed by a clinical pharmacist improves patients’ knowledge of their medications. The aim of this article is to evaluate the effect of patients’ educational level and previous counseling on medication knowledge among patients visiting King Abdulaziz Medical City, a tertiary care center.
The effect of the education level and previous counseling on medication knowledge was assessed in 90 patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings at King Abdul Aziz Medical City during a 5-week period using a questionnaire that contains items to assess patients’ medication knowledge and the pharmacists’ performance during counseling.
The average age of the participants was 52.9 ± 17.6 years. The participants’ education level was not significantly associated with gender; however, it was significantly associated with age, P < 0.05. A higher educational level was found to positively affect the aspects of medication knowledge that were assessed in this study (P < 0.05): 35.8-56.9% of the non-educated patients showed good to excellent recognition of medications, knowledge of their indications, and knowledge of dosage schedule compared to 76.2-90.5% for the more educated participants. Furthermore, 13.6%, 38.1%, and 70.0% of the non-educated group, the below high school group and high school education or above group, respectively, demonstrated good to excellent knowledge of their medications’ side effects. Previous counseling was also positively linked to medication knowledge (P < 0.05). Here, 87.8-97.6% of the patients who received previous counseling showed good to excellent recognition of medications, knowledge of their indications, and better knowledge of dosage schedule compared to 37.2-43.2% for those who did not. Finally, 52.9% of the patients who received previous counseling showed good to excellent knowledge of medication side effects compared to only 12.5% for those who did not.
The education level of the patient and previous counseling are positively linked to medication knowledge. Knowledge of the medications’ side effects proved to be the most difficult task for the participants in this study, requiring the highest level of education, and was improved by previous counseling.
Discharge counseling; educational level; medication knowledge; patient counseling
To evaluate treatment results and toxicities in patients who received concomitant chemoradiotherapy (CRT) followed by consolidation with docetaxel and cisplatin in locally advanced unresectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Ninety three patients were included in this retrospective study. The patients received 66 Gy radiotherapy and weekly 20 mg/m2 docetaxel and 20 mg/m2 cisplatin chemotherapy concomitantly. One month later than the end of CRT, consolidation chemotherapy with four cycles of docetaxel 75 mg/m2 and cisplatin 75 mg/m2 were administered at each 21 days.
Median age of the patients was 57 (range, 30-74). Following concomitant CRT, 14 patients (15%) showed complete and 50 patients (54%) showed partial response (total response rate was 69%). The median follow-up was 13 months (range: 2-51 months). The median overall survival was 18 months (95% confidential interval [CI]: 13.8-22.1 months); local control was 15 months (95% CI: 9.3-20.6 months); progression-free survival was 9 months (95% CI: 6.5-11.4 months). Esophagitis in eight (9%) patients, neutropenia in seven (8%) patients and pneumonitis in eight (9%) patients developed as grade III-IV toxicity due to concomitant CRT.
Concomitant CRT with docetaxel and cisplatin followed by docetaxel and cisplatin consolidation chemotherapy might be considered as a feasible, and well tolerated treatment modality with high response rates despite the fact that it has not a survival advantage in patients with locally advanced unresectable NSCLC.
Cisplatin; concomitant chemoradiotherapy; docetaxel; non-small cell lung cancer
To highlight a potentially fatal complication of broncho-vascular fistula arising from the self expanding metallic stent (SEMS) placement. We retrospectively analyzed five patients with benign and malignant airway diseases, who developed tracheo/broncho-vascular fistulas following SEMS placement in our tertiary care setting. All patients received either Wallstent or Ultraflex® stent (Boston Scientific, Natick, MA) between 1999 and 2007. All patients had received adjunct therapy such as balloon bronchoplasty, laser therapy or electrocautery. Most patients presented with massive hemoptysis. A total of 483 SEMS were placed during this period. SEMS placement can be complicated by Broncho-vascular fistula formation. True incidence and precise time interval between the insertion of stent and onset of this complication is unknown. Additional therapeutic modalities to maintain stent patency may enhance the risk of fistula formation. SEMS should only be used in a select sub-group of patients, after exhaustive evaluation of other treatment options. These cases provide evidence that broncho-vascular fistulas can develop at any time following SEMS placement, suggesting the need for a more cautious approach, especially while using them for a long term management. In benign airway disease, the stent should be removed as soon as healing has taken place.
Benign airways disease; bronchial stents; complications; endobronchial growth; ultraflex; wall stent
Ewing's sarcomas and peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumors (ES/PNETs) are high grade malignant neoplasms. These malignancies are characterized by a chromosome 22 rearrangement, arise from bone or soft tissue, predominantly affect children and young adults, and are grouped in the Ewing family of tumors. Multimodality treatment programs are the treatment of choice. Primary localization of ES/PNET in the mediastinum is extremely rare. We describe a case of ES/PNET presenting as a mediastinal mass with tracheal compression and initial signs of superior vena cava in a 66-year-old woman.
Ewing's sarcoma; extraosseous; extraskeletal; peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumor
A 22-year-old obese asthmatic woman with Influenza A (H1N1)-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome died from cerebral artery gas emboli with massive cerebral infarction while being treated with High-Frequency Oscillatory Ventilation in the absence of a right to left intracardiac shunt. We review and briefly discuss other causes of systemic gas emboli (SGE). We review proposed mechanisms of SGE, their relation to our case, and how improved understanding of the risk factors may help prevent SGE in positive pressure ventilated patients.
ARDS; cerebral gas embolism; high frequency oscillatory ventilation; influenza a H1N1; positive pressure ventilation; systemic gas embolism
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic interstitial pneumonia with a median survival of 3 years after diagnosis. Acute exacerbation of IPF (AE-IPF) is now identified as a life-threatening complication. It presents as worsening dyspnea with new ground glass opacities superimposed upon a radiographic usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) pattern. It is a diagnosis of exclusion. The prognosis of AE-IPF is poor and treatment strategies lack standardization. In order to rule out any reversible etiology for an acute decompensation of a previously stable IPF patient diagnostic modalities include computerized tomographic angiogram (CTA) coupled with high-resolution computerized tomography (HRCT) imaging of the chest, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and echocardiogram with bubble study. Avoiding risk factors, identifying underlying causes and supportive care are the mainstays of treatment. Anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant medications have not shown to improve survival in AE-IPF. Most of the patients are managed in a critical care setting with mechanical ventilation. Lung transplantation is a promising option but most institutions are not equipped and not every patient is a candidate.
Acute exacerbation of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; bronchoalveolar lavage; chest roentgenogram; computerized tomographic angiogram; high resolution computer tomography; idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; usual interstitial pneumonia
Several international studies have described the epidemiology of pulmonary hypertension (PH). However, information about the incidence and prevalence of PH in Saudi Arabia is unknown.
To report cases of PH and compare the demographic and clinical characteristics of PH due to various causes in a Saudi population.
Newly diagnosed cases of PH [defined as mean pulmonary artery pressure >25 mmHg at right heart cauterization (RHC)] were prospectively collected at a single tertiary care hospital from January 2009 and June 2012. Detailed demographic and clinical data were collected at the time of diagnosis, along with hemodynamic parameters.
Of the total 264 patients who underwent RHC, 112 were identified as having PH. The mean age at diagnosis was 55.8 ± 15.8 years, and there was a female preponderance of 72.3%. About 88 (78.6%) of the PH patients were native Saudis and 24 (21.4%) had other origins. Twelve PH patients (10.7%) were classified in group 1 (pulmonary arterial hypertension), 7 (6.2%) in group 2 (PH due to left heart disease), 73 (65.2%) in group 3 (PH due to lung disease), 4 (3.6%) in group 4 (chronic thromboembolic PH), and 16 (14.3%) in group 5 (PH due to multifactorial mechanisms). PH associated with diastolic dysfunction was noted in 28.6% of group 2 patients, 31.5% of group 3 patients, and 25% of group 5 patients.
These results offer the first report of incident cases of PH across five groups in Saudi Arabia.
Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension; interstitial lung disease; left heart disease; pulmonary arterial hypertension; sarcoidosis
Bronchoscopic intervention can provide immediate relief from suffocation and an opportunity for additional treatment in patients with malignant airway obstruction. However, few studies have specifically identified prognostic factors affecting the survival of advanced lung or esophageal cancer patients receiving bronchoscopic intervention.
We aimed to investigate prognostic factors influencing survival in these patients.
We conducted retrospective study.
The clinical parameters were retrospectively reviewed in 51 patients (lung cancer: n = 35; esophageal cancer: n = 16) who underwent palliative bronchoscopic interventions due to malignant airway.
Bronchoscopic interventions, such as mechanical removal (n = 26), stenting (n = 31), laser cauterization (n = 19), and ballooning (n = 16), were performed on intraluminal (n = 21, 41%), extrinsic (n = 8, 16%), and combined lesions (n = 22, 43%). Tracheal invasion was found in 24 patients (47%). Successful palliation was achieved in 49 patients (96%). After the intervention, additional anti-cancer treatment was followed in 24 patients (47%). The median survival time and overall survival rate were 3.4 months and 4%. Survival was increased with selected conditions, including a treatment-naïve status (hazard ratio [HR], 0.359; confidence interval [CI], 0.158-0.815; P = 0.01), an intact proximal airway (HR, 0.265; CI, 0.095-0.738; P = 0.01), and post-procedural additional treatment (HR, 0.330; CI, 0.166-0.657; P < 0.01).
Brochoscopic intervention could provide immediate relief and survival improvement in advanced lung or esophageal cancer patients with selected conditions such as a treatment-naïve status, an intact proximal airway, and available post-procedural additional treatment.
Airway obstruction; bronchoscopy; esophageal cancer; lung cancer; survival
The search for the most efficient bronchoscopic imaging tool in detection of early lung cancer is still active. The major aim of this study was to determine sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) of each bronchoscopic technique and their combination in detection of premalignant bronchial lesions.
This was a prospective trial that enrolled 96 patients with indication for bronchoscopy. Lesions were classified as visually positive if pathological fluorescence was observed under autofluorescence imaging (AFI) videobronchoscopy or dotted, tortuous, and abrupt-ending blood vessels were identified under narrow band imaging (NBI) videobronchoscopy. Squamous metaplasia, mild, moderate, or severe dysplasia, and carcinoma in situ (CIS) were regarded as histologically positive lesions.
Sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV of white light videobronchoscopy (WLB) in detection of premalignant lesions were 26.5%, 63.9%, 34.4%, and 54.9%, respectively; the corresponding values for AFI were 52%, 79.6%, 64.6%, and 69.9% respectively, for NBI were 66%, 84.6%, 75.4%, 77.7%, respectively, while the values for combination of NBI and AFI were 86.1%, 86.6%, 84.6%, and 88%, respectively. Combination of NBI and AFI significantly improves sensitivity when compared to each individual technique (P < 0.001). When specificity is of concern, combination of techniques improves specificity of WLB (P < 0.001) and specificity of AFI (P = 0.03), but it does not have significant influence on specificity of NBI (P = 0.53).
Combination of NBI and AFI in detection of premalignant bronchial lesions increases both sensitivity and specificity of each technique. However, it seems that NBI is most sufficient and effective in detection of these lesions.
Autofluorescence bronchoscopy; bronchoscopy; interventional pulmonology; lung cancer; narrow band imaging; premalignant lesions