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1.  Impact of early enteral versus parenteral nutrition on mortality in patients requiring mechanical ventilation and catecholamines: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial (NUTRIREA-2) 
Trials  2014;15(1):507.
Nutritional support is crucial to the management of patients receiving invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) and the most commonly prescribed treatment in intensive care units (ICUs). International guidelines consistently indicate that enteral nutrition (EN) should be preferred over parenteral nutrition (PN) whenever possible and started as early as possible. However, no adequately designed study has evaluated whether a specific nutritional modality is associated with decreased mortality. The primary goal of this trial is to assess the hypothesis that early first-line EN, as compared to early first-line PN, decreases day 28 all-cause mortality in patients receiving IMV and vasoactive drugs for shock.
The NUTRIREA-2 study is a multicenter, open-label, parallel-group, randomized controlled trial comparing early PN versus early EN in critically ill patients requiring IMV for an expected duration of at least 48 hours, combined with vasoactive drugs, for shock. Patients will be allocated at random to first-line PN for at least 72 hours or to first-line EN. In both groups, nutritional support will be started within 24 hours after IMV initiation. Calorie targets will be 20 to 25 kcal/kg/day during the first week, then 25 to 30 kcal/kg/day thereafter. Patients receiving PN may be switched to EN after at least 72 hours in the event of shock resolution (no vasoactive drugs for 24 consecutive hours and arterial lactic acid level below 2 mmol/L). On day 7, all patients receiving PN and having no contraindications to EN will be switched to EN. In both groups, supplemental PN may be added to EN after day 7 in patients with persistent intolerance to EN and inadequate calorie intake. We plan to recruit 2,854 patients at 44 participating ICUs.
The NUTRIREA-2 study is the first large randomized controlled trial designed to assess the hypothesis that early EN improves survival compared to early PN in ICU patients. Enrollment started on 22 March 2013 and is expected to end in November 2015.
Trial registration Identifier: NCT01802099 (registered 27 February 2013)
PMCID: PMC4307984  PMID: 25539571
Critical illness; Enteral nutrition; Mechanical ventilation; Mortality; Nosocomial infection; Parenteral nutrition; Shock; Vasoactive drugs
2.  The prognostic value of ADAMTS13 (a disintegrin and metalloprotease with thrombospondin type 1 repeats, member 13) deficiency in septic shock patients involves interleukin-6 and is not dependent on disseminated intravascular coagulation 
Critical Care  2013;17(6):R273.
ADAMTS13 (a disintegrin and metalloprotease with thrombospondin type 1 repeats, member 13) deficiency has been reported in patients with sepsis but its clinical relevance and pathophysiology remain unclear. Our objectives were to assess the clinical significance, prognostic value and pathophysiology of ADAMTS13 deficiency in patients with septic shock with and without disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC).
This was a prospective monocenter cohort study of patients with septic shock. Von Willebrand Factor, ADAMTS13-related parameters and plasma IL-6 concentration were measured at inclusion to the study. Patients were categorized into three groups according to the presence of ADAMT13 deficiency (<30%) or DIC.
This study included 72 patients with a median age of 59 years (interquartile range (IQR) 50 to 71). Each of the included patients received vasopressors; 55 (76%) were under mechanical ventilation and 22 (33%) underwent renal replacement therapy. Overall, 19 patients (26%) had DIC, and 36 patients had ADMTS13 deficiency (50%). Patients with DIC, ADAMTS13 deficiency or both were more severe at ICU admission. Mortality was higher in septic shock patients from group one. By multivariate analysis, Simplified Acute Physiology Score 2 (SAPS2) score (odds ratio (OR) 1.11/point; 95% CI 1.01 to 1.24) and ADAMTS13 activity <30% (OR 11.86; 95% CI 1.36 to 103.52) were independently associated with hospital mortality. There was no correlation between ADAMTS13 activity and the International Society for Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) score (rs = -0.97, P = 0.41) suggesting that ADAMTS13 functional deficiency and DIC were independent parameters. IL-6 level was higher in patients with ADAMTS13 activity <30% [895 (IQR 330 to 1843) pg/mL versus 83 (IQR 43 to 118), P = 0.0003).
Septic shock was associated with a functional deficiency of ADAMTS13, independently of DIC. ADAMTS13 functional deficiency is then a prognostic factor for mortality in septic shock patients, independently of DIC.
PMCID: PMC4056532  PMID: 24238574
3.  Initial use of one or two antibiotics for critically ill patients with community-acquired pneumonia: impact on survival and bacterial resistance 
Critical Care  2013;17(6):R265.
Several guidelines recommend initial empirical treatment with two antibiotics instead of one to decrease mortality in community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) requiring intensive-care-unit (ICU) admission. We compared the impact on 60-day mortality of using one or two antibiotics. We also compared the rates of nosocomial pneumonia and multidrug-resistant bacteria.
This is an observational cohort study of 956 immunocompetent patients with CAP admitted to ICUs in France and entered into a prospective database between 1997 and 2010.
Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were excluded. Multivariate analysis adjusted for disease severity, gender, and co-morbidities was used to compare the impact on 60-day mortality of receiving adequate initial antibiotics and of receiving one versus two initial antibiotics.
Initial adequate antibiotic therapy was significantly associated with better survival (subdistribution hazard ratio (sHR), 0.63; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.42 to 0.94; P = 0.02); this effect was strongest in patients with Streptococcus pneumonia CAP (sHR, 0.05; 95% CI, 0.005 to 0.46; p = 0.001) or septic shock (sHR: 0.62; 95% CI 0.38 to 1.00; p = 0.05). Dual therapy was associated with a higher frequency of initial adequate antibiotic therapy. However, no difference in 60-day mortality was found between monotherapy (β-lactam) and either of the two dual-therapy groups (β-lactam plus macrolide or fluoroquinolone). The rates of nosocomial pneumonia and multidrug-resistant bacteria were not significantly different across these three groups.
Initial adequate antibiotic therapy markedly decreased 60-day mortality. Dual therapy improved the likelihood of initial adequate therapy but did not predict decreased 60-day mortality. Dual therapy did not increase the risk of nosocomial pneumonia or multidrug-resistant bacteria.
PMCID: PMC4056004  PMID: 24200097
4.  Diagnostic accuracy of early urinary index changes in differentiating transient from persistent acute kidney injury in critically ill patients: multicenter cohort study 
Critical Care  2013;17(2):R56.
Urinary indices have limited effectiveness in separating transient acute kidney injury (AKI) from persistent AKI in ICU patients. Their time-course may vary with the mechanism of AKI. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic value of changes over time of the usual urinary indices in separating transient AKI from persistent AKI.
An observational prospective multicenter study was performed in six ICUs involving 244 consecutive patients, including 97 without AKI, 54 with transient AKI, and 93 with persistent AKI. Urinary sodium, urea and creatinine were measured at ICU admission (H0) and on 6-hour urine samples during the first 24 ICU hours (H6, H12, H18, and H24). Transient AKI was defined as AKI with a cause for renal hypoperfusion and reversal within 3 days.
Significant increases from H0 to H24 were noted in fractional excretion of urea (median, 31% (22 to 41%) and 39% (29 to 48%) at H24, P < 0.0001), urinary urea/plasma urea ratio (15 (7 to 28) and 20 (9 to 40), P < 0.0001), and urinary creatinine/plasma creatinine ratio (50 (24 to 101) and 57 (29 to 104), P = 0.01). Fractional excretion of sodium did not change significantly during the first 24 hours in the ICU (P = 0.13). Neither urinary index values at ICU admission nor changes in urinary indices between H0 and H24 performed sufficiently well to recommend their use in clinical setting (area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve ≤0.65).
Although urinary indices at H24 performed slightly better than those at H0 in differentiating transient AKI from persistent AKI, they remain insufficiently reliable to be clinically relevant.
PMCID: PMC3733426  PMID: 23531299
5.  Acute Kidney Injury in Patients with Newly Diagnosed High-Grade Hematological Malignancies: Impact on Remission and Survival 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e55870.
Optimal chemotherapy with minimal toxicity is the main determinant of complete remission in patients with newly diagnosed hematological malignancies. Acute organ dysfunctions may impair the patient’s ability to receive optimal chemotherapy.
Design and Methods
To compare 6-month complete remission rates in patients with and without acute kidney injury (AKI), we collected prospective data on 200 patients with newly diagnosed high-grade malignancies (non-Hodgkin lymphoma, 53.5%; acute myeloid leukemia, 29%; acute lymphoblastic leukemia, 11.5%; and Hodgkin disease, 6%).
According to RIFLE criteria, 137 (68.5%) patients had AKI. Five causes of AKI accounted for 91.4% of cases: hypoperfusion, tumor lysis syndrome, tubular necrosis, nephrotoxic agents, and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. Half of the AKI patients received renal replacement therapy and 14.6% received suboptimal chemotherapy. AKI was associated with a lower 6-month complete remission rate (39.4% vs. 68.3%, P<0.01) and a higher mortality rate (47.4% vs. 30.2%, P<0.01) than patients without AKI. By multivariate analysis, independent determinants of 6-month complete remission were older age, poor performance status, number of organ dysfunctions, and AKI.
AKI is common in patients with newly diagnosed high-grade malignancies and is associated with lower complete remission rates and higher mortality.
PMCID: PMC3573047  PMID: 23457485
6.  Prognostic consequences of borderline dysnatremia: pay attention to minimal serum sodium change 
Critical Care  2013;17(1):R12.
To assess the prevalence of dysnatremia, including borderline changes in serum sodium concentration, and to estimate the impact of these dysnatremia on mortality after adjustment for confounders.
Observational study on a prospective database fed by 13 intensive care units (ICUs). Unselected patients with ICU stay longer than 48 h were enrolled over a 14-year period were included in this study. Mild to severe hyponatremia were defined as serum sodium concentration < 135, < 130, and < 125 mmol/L respectively. Mild to severe hypernatremia were defined as serum sodium concentration > 145, > 150, and > 155 mmol/L respectively. Borderline hyponatremia and hypernatremia were defined as serum sodium concentration between 135 and 137 mmol/L or 143 and 145 respectively.
A total of 11,125 patients were included in this study. Among these patients, 3,047 (27.4%) had mild to severe hyponatremia at ICU admission, 2,258 (20.3%) had borderline hyponatremia at ICU admission, 1,078 (9.7%) had borderline hypernatremia and 877 (7.9%) had mild to severe hypernatremia. After adjustment for confounder, both moderate and severe hyponatremia (subdistribution hazard ratio (sHR) 1.82, 95% CI 1.002 to 1.395 and 1.27, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.60 respectively) were associated with day-30 mortality. Similarly, mild, moderate and severe hypernatremia (sHR 1.34, 95% CI 1.14 to 1.57; 1.51, 95% CI 1.15 to 1.99; and 2.64, 95% CI 2.00 to 3.81 respectively) were independently associated with day-30 mortality.
One-third of critically ill patients had a mild to moderate dysnatremia at ICU admission. Dysnatremia, including mild changes in serum sodium concentration, is an independent risk factor for hospital mortality and should not be neglected.
PMCID: PMC4056804  PMID: 23336363
7.  Mortality associated with timing of admission to and discharge from ICU: a retrospective cohort study 
Although the association between mortality and admission to intensive care units (ICU) in the "after hours" (weekends and nights) has been the topic of extensive investigation, the timing of discharge from ICU and outcome has been less well investigated. The objective of this study was to assess effect of timing of admission to and discharge from ICUs and subsequent risk for death.
Adults (≥18 years) admitted to French ICUs participating in Outcomerea between January 2006 and November 2010 were included.
Among the 7,380 patients included, 61% (4,481) were male, the median age was 62 (IQR, 49-75) years, and the median SAPS II score was 40 (IQR, 28-56). Admissions to ICU occurred during weekends (Saturday and Sunday) in 1,708 (23%) cases, during the night (18:00-07:59) in 3,855 (52%), and on nights and/or weekends in 4,659 (63%) cases. Among 5,992 survivors to ICU discharge, 903 (15%) were discharged on weekends, 659 (11%) at night, and 1,434 (24%) on nights and/or weekends. After controlling for a number of co-variates using logistic regression analysis, admission during the after hours was not associated with an increased risk for death. However, patients discharged from ICU on nights were at higher adjusted risk (odds ratio, 1.54; 95% confidence interval, 1.12-2.11) for death.
In this study, ICU discharge at night but not admission was associated with a significant increased risk for death. Further studies are needed to examine whether minimizing night time discharges from ICU may improve outcome.
PMCID: PMC3269385  PMID: 22115194
8.  Diagnostic accuracy of procalcitonin in critically ill immunocompromised patients 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2011;11:224.
Recognizing infection is crucial in immunocompromised patients with organ dysfunction. Our objective was to assess the diagnostic accuracy of procalcitonin (PCT) in critically ill immunocompromised patients.
This prospective, observational study included patients with suspected sepsis. Patients were classified into one of three diagnostic groups: no infection, bacterial sepsis, and nonbacterial sepsis.
We included 119 patients with a median age of 54 years (interquartile range [IQR], 42-68 years). The general severity (SAPSII) and organ dysfunction (LOD) scores on day 1 were 45 (35-62.7) and 4 (2-6), respectively, and overall hospital mortality was 32.8%. Causes of immunodepression were hematological disorders (64 patients, 53.8%), HIV infection (31 patients, 26%), and solid cancers (26 patients, 21.8%). Bacterial sepsis was diagnosed in 58 patients and nonbacterial infections in nine patients (7.6%); 52 patients (43.7%) had no infection. PCT concentrations on the first ICU day were higher in the group with bacterial sepsis (4.42 [1.60-22.14] vs. 0.26 [0.09-1.26] ng/ml in patients without bacterial infection, P < 0.0001). PCT concentrations on day 1 that were > 0.5 ng/ml had 100% sensitivity but only 63% specificity for diagnosing bacterial sepsis. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was 0.851 (0.78-0.92). In multivariate analyses, PCT concentrations > 0.5 ng/ml on day 1 independently predicted bacterial sepsis (odds ratio, 8.6; 95% confidence interval, 2.53-29.3; P = 0.0006). PCT concentrations were not significantly correlated with hospital mortality.
Despite limited specificity in critically ill immunocompromised patients, PCT concentrations may help to rule out bacterial infection.
PMCID: PMC3170614  PMID: 21864380
bacterial infection; neutropenia; HIV infection; immune deficiency; bone marrow transplantation; Sensitivity and Specificity.
9.  Diagnostic performance of fractional excretion of urea in the evaluation of critically ill patients with acute kidney injury: a multicenter cohort study 
Critical Care  2011;15(4):R178.
Several factors, including diuretic use and sepsis, interfere with the fractional excretion of sodium, which is used to distinguish transient from persistent acute kidney injury (AKI). These factors do not affect the fractional excretion of urea (FeUrea). However, there are conflicting data on the diagnostic accuracy of FeUrea.
We conducted an observational, prospective, multicenter study at three ICUs in university hospitals. Unselected patients, except those with obstructive AKI, were admitted to the participating ICUs during a six-month period. Transient AKI was defined as AKI caused by renal hypoperfusion and reversal within three days. The results are reported as medians (interquartile ranges).
A total of 203 patients were included. According to our definitions, 67 had no AKI, 54 had transient AKI and 82 had persistent AKI. FeUrea was 39% (28 to 40) in the no-AKI group, 41% (29 to 54) in the transient AKI group and 32% (22 to 51) in the persistent AKI group (P = 0.12). FeUrea was of little help in distinguishing transient AKI from persistent AKI, with the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve being 0.59 (95% confidence interval, 0.49 to 0.70; P = 0.06). Sensitivity was 63% and specificity was 54% with a cutoff of 35%. In the subgroup of patients receiving diuretics, the results were similar.
FeUrea may be of little help in distinguishing transient AKI from persistent AKI in critically ill patients, including those receiving diuretic therapy. Additional studies are needed to evaluate alternative markers or strategies to differentiate transient from persistent AKI.
PMCID: PMC3387621  PMID: 21794161
acute kidney failure; ICU; fractional excretion of sodium; acute tubular necrosis; diuretics; sensitivity and specificity
10.  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
11.  Acute respiratory distress syndrome during neutropenia recovery 
Critical Care  2010;14(1):114.
Acute respiratory failure is a life-threatening complication in cancer patients. During neutropenia, patients are at high risk for bacterial pneumonia or invasive fungal infections, when neutropenia is prolonged. A high proportion of patients in whom neutropenia had been complicated by pneumonia will present with substantial respiratory deterioration during neutropenia recovery. Patients with fungal pneumonia and those receiving granulocyte colony-stimulating factor to shorten neutropenia duration may be at higher risk for this acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome during neutropenia recovery. Routine screening of patient's risk factors is crucial since first symptoms of acute respiratory distress syndrome may occur before biological leukocyte recovery.
PMCID: PMC2875486  PMID: 20236481
12.  Intravascular lymphoma presenting as a specific pulmonary embolism and acute respiratory failure: a case report 
The occurrence of an intravascular lymphoma with severe pulmonary involvement mimicking pulmonary embolism is described.
Case presentation
A 38-year-old man was referred to our intensive care unit with acute respiratory failure and long lasting fever. Appropriate investigations failed to demonstrate any bacterial, viral, parasitic or mycobacterial infection. A chest computed tomography scan ruled out any proximal or sub-segmental pulmonary embolism but the ventilation/perfusion lung scan concluded that there was a high probability of pulmonary embolism. The cutaneous biopsy pathology diagnosed intravascular lymphoma.
Intravascular lymphoma is a rare disease characterized by exclusive or predominant growth of neoplastic cells within the lumina of small blood vessels. Lung involvement seems to be common, but predominant lung presentation of this disease is rare. In our patient, urgent chemotherapy, along with adequate supportive care allowed complete recovery.
PMCID: PMC2726505  PMID: 19830149
13.  Performance of N-terminal-pro-B-type natriuretic peptide in critically ill patients: a prospective observational cohort study 
Critical Care  2008;12(6):R137.
The purpose of this study was to assess the accuracy of N-terminal-pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) as a diagnostic tool to recognize acute respiratory failure of cardiac origin in an unselected cohort of critically ill patients.
We conducted a prospective observational study of medical ICU patients. NT-proBNP was measured at ICU admission, and diagnosis of cardiac dysfunction relied on the patient's clinical presentation and echocardiography.
Of the 198 patients included in this study, 102 (51.5%) had evidence of cardiac dysfunction. Median NT-proBNP concentrations were 5,720 ng/L (1,430 to 15,698) and 854 ng/L (190 to 3,560) in patients with and without cardiac dysfunction, respectively (P < 0.0001). In addition, NT-proBNP concentrations were correlated with age (ρ = 0.43, P < 0.0001) and inversely correlated with creatinine clearance (ρ = -0.58, P < 0.0001). When evaluating the performance of NT-proBNP concentrations to detect cardiac dysfunction, the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was 0.76 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.69 to 0.83). In addition, a stepwise logistic regression model revealed that NT-proBNP (odds ratio (OR) = 1.01 per 100 ng/L, 95% CI 1.002 to 1.02), electrocardiogram modifications (OR = 11.03, 95% CI 5.19 to 23.41), and severity assessed by organ system failure score (OR = 1.63 per point, 95% CI 1.17 to 2.41) adequately predicted cardiac dysfunction. The area under the ROC curve of this model was 0.83 (95% CI 0.77 to 0.90).
NT-proBNP measured at ICU admission might represent a useful marker to exclude cardiac dysfunction in critically ill patients.
PMCID: PMC2646347  PMID: 18990203
14.  Clinical review: Specific aspects of acute renal failure in cancer patients 
Critical Care  2006;10(2):211.
Acute renal failure (ARF) in cancer patients is a dreadful complication that causes substantial morbidity and mortality. Moreover, ARF may preclude optimal cancer treatment by requiring a decrease in chemotherapy dosage or by contraindicating potentially curative treatment. The pathways leading to ARF in cancer patients are common to the development of ARF in other conditions. However, ARF may also develop due to etiologies arising from cancer treatment, such as nephrotoxic chemotherapy agents or the disease itself, including post-renal obstruction, compression or infiltration, and metabolic or immunological mechanisms. This article reviews specific renal disease in cancer patients, providing a comprehensive overview of the causes of ARF in this setting, such as treatment toxicity, acute renal failure in the setting of myeloma or bone marrow transplantation.
PMCID: PMC1550893  PMID: 16677413

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