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2.  Bench-to-bedside review: Nitric oxide in critical illness – update 2008 
Critical Care  2009;13(4):218.
Nitric oxide (NO) is a unique and nearly ubiquitous molecule that is widely utilized as a signaling molecule in cells throughout the body. NO is highly diffusible, labile, and multiply reactive, suiting it well for its role as an important regulator of a number of diverse biologic processes, including vascular tone and permeability, platelet adhesion, neurotransmission, and mitochondrial respiration. NO can protect cells against antioxidant injury, can inhibit leukocyte adhesion, and can participate in antimicrobial defense, but can also have deleterious effects, including inhibition of enzyme function, promotion of DNA damage, and activation of inflammatory processes. This molecule's chemistry dictates its biologic activity, which can be both direct and indirect. In addition, NO has bimodal effects in a number of cells, maintaining homeostasis at low doses, and participating in pathophysiology in others. Perturbation of NO regulation is involved in the most important and prevalent disease processes in critical care units, including sepsis, acute lung injury, and multiple organ failure. Given that NO is ubiquitous, highly diffusible, and promiscuously reactive, its regulation is complex. The NO concentration, kinetics, and localization, both inside and outside the cell, are clearly crucial factors. In the present update we review a selection of studies that have yielded important information on these complex but important issues. Interpretation of these and other studies aimed at elucidating physiologic and pathophysiologic roles of NO must take this complexity into account. A full review of the role of NO in these diseases is beyond the scope of the current manuscript; the present article will focus on recent advances in understanding the complex role of NO in health and disease.
PMCID: PMC2750127  PMID: 19664175
5.  Regional distribution of acoustic-based lung vibration as a function of mechanical ventilation mode 
Critical Care  2007;11(1):R26.
There are several ventilator modes that are used for maintenance mechanical ventilation but no conclusive evidence that one mode of ventilation is better than another. Vibration response imaging is a novel bedside imaging technique that displays vibration energy of lung sounds generated during the respiratory cycle as a real-time structural and functional image of the respiration process. In this study, we objectively evaluated the differences in regional lung vibration during different modes of mechanical ventilation by means of this new technology.
Vibration response imaging was performed on 38 patients on assist volume control, assist pressure control, and pressure support modes of mechanical ventilation with constant tidal volumes. Images and vibration intensities of three lung regions at maximal inspiration were analyzed.
There was a significant increase in overall geographical area (p < 0.001) and vibration intensity (p < 0.02) in pressure control and pressure support (greatest in pressure support), compared to volume control, when each patient served as his or her own control while targeting the same tidal volume in each mode. This increase in geographical area and vibration intensity occurred primarily in the lower lung regions. The relative percentage increases were 28.5% from volume control to pressure support and 18.8% from volume control to pressure control (p < 0.05). Concomitantly, the areas of the image in the middle lung regions decreased by 3.6% from volume control to pressure support and by 3.7% from volume control to pressure control (p < 0.05). In addition, analysis of regional vibration intensity showed a 35.5% relative percentage increase in the lower region with pressure support versus volume control (p < 0.05).
Pressure support and (to a lesser extent) pressure control modes cause a shift of vibration toward lower lung regions compared to volume control when tidal volumes are held constant. Better patient synchronization with the ventilator, greater downward movement of the diaphragm, and decelerating flow waveform are potential physiologic explanations for the redistribution of vibration energy to lower lung regions in pressure-targeted modes of mechanical ventilation.
PMCID: PMC2151859  PMID: 17316449
6.  Predisposing factors for delirium in the surgical intensive care unit 
Critical Care  2001;5(5):265-270.
Delirium is a sign of deterioration in the homeostasis and physical status of the patient. The objective of our study was to investigate the predisposing factors for delirium in a surgical intensive care unit (ICU) setting.
Between January 1996 and 1997, we screened prospectively 818 patients who were consecutive applicants to the general surgery service of Dicle-University Hospital and had been kept in the ICU for delirium. All patients were hospitalized either for elective or emergency services and were treated either with medication and/or surgery. Suspected cases of delirium were identified during daily interviews. The patients who had changes in the status of consciousness (n = 150) were consulted with an experienced consultation-liaison psychiatrist. The diagnosis of delirium was based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (revised third edition) criteria and established through psychiatric interviews. Patients were divided into two groups: the 'delirious group' (DG) (n = 90) and the 'non-delirious group' (NDG) (n = 728). During delirium, all abnormal findings related to physical conditions, laboratory features, and additional diseases were evaluated as probable risk factors of delirium.
Of 818 patients, 386 (47.2%) were male and 432 (52.8%) were female. Delirium developed in 90 of 818 patients (11%). The cases of delirium in the DG were more frequent among male patients (63.3%) than female patients (36.7%) (χ2 = 10.5, P = 0.001). The mean age was 48.9 ± 18.1 and 38.5 ± 13.8 years in the DG and NDG, respectively (t = 6.4, P = 0.000). Frequency of delirium is higher in the patients admitted to the Emergency Department (χ2 = 43.6, P = 0.000). The rate of postoperative delirium was 10.9%, but there was no statistical difference related to operations between the DG and NDG (χ2 = 0.13, P = 0.71). The length of stay in the ICU was 10.7 ± 13.9 and 5.6 ± 2.9 days in the DG and NDG, respectively (t = 0.11, P = 0.000). The length of stay in hospital was 15.6 ± 16.5 and 8.1 ± 2.7 days in the DG and NDG, respectively (t = 11.08, P = 0.000). Logistic regression was used to explore the associations between probable risk factors and delirium. Delirium was not correlated with conditions such as hypertension, hypo/hyperpotassemia, hypernatremia, hypoalbuminemia, hypo/hyperglycemia, cardiac disease, emergency admission, age, length of stay in the ICU, length of stay in hospital, and gender. It was determined that conditions such as respiratory diseases (odds ratio [OR] = 30.6, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 9.5–98.4), infections (OR = 18.0, 95% CI = 3.5–90.8), fever (OR = 14.3, 95% CI = 4.1–49.3), anemia (OR = 5.4, 95% CI = 1.6–17.8), hypotension (OR = 19.8, 95% CI = 5.3–74.3), hypocalcemia (OR = 30.9, 95% CI = 5.8–163.2), hyponatremia (OR = 8.2, 95% CI = 2.5–26.4), azotemia (OR = 4.6, 95% CI = 1.4–15.6), elevated liver enzymes (OR = 6.3, 95% CI = 1.2–32.2), hyperamylasemia (OR = 43.4, 95% CI = 4.2–442.7), hyperbilirubinemia (OR = 8.7, 95% CI = 2.0–37.7) and metabolic acidosis (OR = 4.5, 95% CI = 1.1–17.7) were predicting factors for delirium.
We determined that conditions such as respiratory diseases, infections, fever, anemia, hypotension, hypocalcemia, hyponatremia, azotemia, elevated liver enzymes, hyperamylasemia, hyperbilirubinemia and metabolic acidosis were predicting factors for delirium.
PMCID: PMC83853  PMID: 11737901
delirium; intensive care unit; predisposing factors
7.  Spontaneous rupture of malarial spleen: two case reports and review of literature 
Critical Care  2000;4(5):309-313.
Malaria has long been among the most common diseases in the southeast Anatolia region of Turkey. In 1992, 18676 cases were diagnosed in Turkey, and Diyarbakir city had the highest incidence (4168 cases), followed by SanliUrfa city (3578 cases). Malaria was especially common during 1994 and 1995, with 84 345 and 82 094 cases being diagnosed in these years, respectively. Spontaneous rupture of malarial spleen is rare. We saw two cases during 1998, which are reported herein. Both patients were male, and were receiving chloroquine treatment for an acute attack of malaria. One of the patients had developed abdominal pain and palpitations, followed by fainting. The other patient had abdominal pain and fever. Explorative laparotomy revealed an enlarged spleen in both patients. Splenectomy was performed in both patients. We have identified 15 episodes of spontaneous rupture of the spleen in the English language literature published since 1961. Because of increased travel to endemic areas and resistance to antimalarial drugs, malaria is a major medical problem that is becoming increasingly important to surgeons worldwide. Malaria is a particularly important problem in the southeast Anatolia region of Turkey. Prophylactic precautions should be taken by tourists who travel to this region, especially during the summer.
PMCID: PMC29048  PMID: 11056757
malaria; prophylactic precautions; ruptured spleen

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