The diagnosis of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) may be challenging due to the inaccuracy of clinical assessment and diversity of diagnostic tests. On one hand, missed diagnosis may result in life-threatening conditions. On the other hand, unnecessary treatment may lead to serious complications. As a result of an initiative of the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), an expert panel led by the Saudi Association for Venous Thrombo-Embolism (SAVTE; a subsidiary of the Saudi Thoracic Society) with the methodological support of the McMaster University Working Group, produced this clinical practice guideline to assist healthcare providers in evidence-based clinical decision-making for the diagnosis of a suspected first DVT of the lower extremity. Twenty-four questions were identified and corresponding recommendations were made following the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. These recommendations included assessing the clinical probability of DVT using Wells criteria before requesting any test and undergoing a sequential diagnostic evaluation, mainly using highly sensitive D-dimer by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and compression ultrasound. Although venography is the reference standard test for the diagnosis of DVT, its use was not recommended.
Clinical practice guideline; deep venous thrombosis; diagnosis; Saudi Arabia; venous thromboembolism
This paper summarizes the roundtable discussion in September 25, 2013, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as part of the World Sepsis Day held in King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh. The objectives of the roundtable discussion were to (1) review the chasm between the current management of sepsis and best practice, (2) discuss system redesign and role of the microsystem in sepsis management, (3) emphasize the multidisciplinary nature of the care of sepsis and that improvement of the care of sepsis is the responsibility of all, (4) discuss the bundle concept in sepsis management, and (5) reflect on the individual responsibility of the health care team toward sepsis with a focus on accountability and the moral agent.
Accountability; moral responsibility; sepsis bundle; World Sepsis Day
Schistosomiasis is caused by infection with the parasite Schistosoma, which is a flat-worm or fluke. The dominant species are Schistosoma mansoni, Schistosoma japonicum, and Schistosoma haematobium. Schistosomiasis is the third most common parasitic disease in the world after malaria and amoebiasis. It is endemic in more than 70 countries affecting about 200 million people worldwide, of whom 80% are in sub-Saharan Africa. There are pockets of infection in north-eastern Brazil, near the Yangtze River in China, and some pockets in south East Asia. In the East Mediterranean regions, the Schistosoma have been reported in Iraq and Egypt as well as in Sudan. The latter has the highest infection rate nowadays, particularly in the Al Jazeera area, due to the poor Schistosoma control program. In the Arabian peninsula, schistosomiasis has been reported in southwest part of Saudi Arabia, mainly in the Asir province and Jizan province, which lay in the southwest corner of Saudi Arabia and directly north of the border with Yemen. The efforts to control schistosomiasis have been very successful in Saudi Arabia due to the irrigation system control. However, the infection is prone in Yemen, where the schistosomiasis control is much less strict. Thus as a result, the problem still exists due to transmigration of the populations from both countries.
As a cause of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), schistosomiasis is still under diagnosed and undertreated. This article with give a highlight about the pathophysiology of the disease and both diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.
Schistosomiasis; pulmonary arterial hypertension; praziquantel; Saudi association for pulmonary hypertension
The explosive growth of medical literature on pulmonary hypertension (PH) has led to a steady increase in awareness of this disease within the medical community during the past decade. The recent revision of the classification of PH is presented in in the main guidelines.
Group 1 PH or pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a heterogeneous group and includes PH due to inheritable, drug-induced, and toxin-induced causes and to such underlying systemic causes as connective tissue diseases, human immunodeficiency viral infection, portal hypertension, congenital heart disease, and schistosomiasis.
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune multisystem disorder, which affects over 240 persons per million in the United States. Its manifestations are not confined to the skin but may also involve the lungs, kidneys, peripheral circulation, musculoskeletal system, gastrointestinal tract, and heart.
The outcome of PAH associated with SSc is worse when compared to other subtypes of PAH.
In this review, we summarize available information about the pulmonary vascular and cardiac manifestations of SSc with special emphasis on their prognostic implications as well as the peculiarity of their detection.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension; connective tissue disease; systemic sclerosis; right ventricular failure; Saudi association for pulmonary hypertension guidelines
Hereditary hemoglobin disorders affecting the globin chain synthesis namely thalassemia syndromes and sickle cell disease (SCD) are the most common genetic disorders in human. Around 7% of the world population carries genes for these disorders, mainly the Mediterranean Basin, Middle and Far East, and Sub-Saharan Africa. An estimated 30 million people worldwide are living with sickle cell disease, while 60-80 million carry beta thalassemia trait. About 400,000 children are born with severe hemoglobinopathies each year.
Cardiovascular complications of hemoglobinopathies include left and right ventricular (RV) dysfunction, arrhythmias, pericarditis, myocarditis, valvular heart disease, myocardial ischemia, and notably pulmonary hypertension (PH).
Because of a unique pathophysiology, pulmonary hypertension associated with hemolytic disorders was moved from WHO group I to group V PH diseases. Treatment strategies are also unique and include blood transfusion, iron chelation, hydroxyurea, and oxygen therapy. The role of PH-specific agents has not been established.
Hemolysis; pulmonary hypertension; sickle cell anemia; thalassemia; Saudi association for pulmonary hypertension guidelines
Treatment of pulmonary hypertension (PH) patients is challenging and should only be initiated after a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation. Such treatment should ideally be done in specialized centers with full capability for hemodynamic measurements, having access to a broad range of PAH therapies, and adequate experience in the management of critically ill patients.
The following discussion is intended to review the general measures and the non-specific (supportive) therapy used in managing PH patients, while the specific therapy will be discussed in a subsequent different article.
Pulmonary hypertension; general measures; supportive therapy; Saudi association for pulmonary hypertension guidelines
Patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH) are being encountered more commonly in the perioperative period and this trend is likely to increase as improvements in the recognition, management, and treatment of the disease continue to occur. Management of these patients is challenging due to their tenuous hemodynamic status. Recent advances in the understanding of the patho-physiology, risk factors, monitoring, and treatment of the disease provide an opportunity to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with PH in the peri-operative period. Management of these patients requires a multi-disciplinary approach and meticulous care that is best provided in centers with vast experience in PH.
In this review, we provide a detailed discussion about oerioperative strategies in PH patients, and give evidence-based recommendations, when applicable.
Heart failure; perioperative management; pulmonary hypertension; surgery; Saudi association for pulmonary hypertension guidelines
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) may be due to preexisting pulmonary vascular lung disease, liver disease, or cardiac diseases. PH also may be caused by critical illnesses, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), acute left ventricular dysfunction and pulmonary embolism, or may occur after cardiac or thoracic surgery.
Regardless of the underlying cause of PH, the final common pathway for hemodynamic deterioration and death is RV failure, which is the most challenging aspect of patient management. Therapy is thus aimed at acutely relieving RV overload by decreasing PVR and reversing RV failure with pulmonary vasodilators and inotropes.
Hemodynamics; intensive care unit; pulmonary hypertension; Saudi association for pulmonary hypertension guidelines
Pregnancy in pulmonary hypertension (PH) is known to be associated with high morbidity and mortality.
The physiological changes occur during normal pregnancy, such as increase blood volume and cardiac output (CO) may be detrimental in PH patients.
Several practice guidelines advise against pregnancy and even recommend termination of pregnancy. Occasionally PH may be diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy, as stress of pregnancy can unmask previously undiagnosed PH in an asymptomatic individual.
This narrative review provides a detailed discussion about the physiologic parameters associated in pregnancy and their negative effect on the right ventricle. It also gives practical evidence-based recommendations about different management issues in PH pregnant patients.
Pregnancy; pulmonary hypertension; right ventricular failure; Saudi association for pulmonary hypertension guidelines
Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is categorized as group IV in the WHO classification for pulmonary hypertension. The disease requires a very low index of suspicion for identification and needs a special diagnostic approach utilizing clinical, radiological, and hemodynamic tools. As CTEPH is potentially curable, all efforts should be consumed to reach the accurate diagnosis and subsequently evaluated for operability.
Although pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA) is the only curative tool so far, recent updates concerning medical and interventional therapy have made significant advances in inoperable patients.
In this review, we provide a detailed discussion on diagnostic algorithm, surgical operability criteria, PEA, and the medical therapy.
Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension; endarterectomy; riociguat; Saudi association for pulmonary hypertension guidelines
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a phenotype characterized by functional and structural changes in the pulmonary vasculature, leading to increased vascular resistance. The World Health Organization has classified PH into five different types: arterial, venous, hypoxic, thromboembolic or miscellaneous; details are available in the main guidelines. Group I of this classification, designated as pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), will remain the main focus here. The pathophysiology involves signaling, endothelial dysfunction, activation of fibroblasts and smooth muscle cells, interaction between cells within the vascular wall, and the circulating cells; as a consequence plexiform lesions are formed, which is common to both idiopathic and heritable PAH but are also seen in other forms of PAH. As the pathology of PAH in the lung is well known, this article focuses on the genetic aspects associated with the disease and is a gist of several available articles in literature.
Bone morphogenetic protein receptor type II; transforming gtowth factors; activin receptor-like kinase 1; endoglin; genetics; pulmonary hypertension
The biomarker is an indicaror of a biological or pathological process.
Clinical observations, measures or environmental events, or measured laboratory values can all be biomarkers in the appropriate setting. An ideal biomarker reflects the underlying biological process, predicts clinical events, is easily obtainable, is reproducible and is not prohibitively expensive. This typically requires validation in longitudinal cohort studies. Biomarkers may help understand the pathological mechanisms responsible for the disease, help as screening tools, predict disease worsening or decline, and determine adequacy of response to therapeutic interventions.
Biomarkers; brain natriuretic peptide; heart failure; pulmonary arterial hypertension; Saudi association for pulmonary hypertension guidelines
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) due to left heart disease is the most common cause of pulmonary hypertension in the western world. It is classified as WHO PH group II. Different pathophysiologic abnormalities may take place in this condition, including pulmonary venous congestion and vascular remodeling. Despite the high prevalence of WHO group 2 PH, the major focus of research on PH over the past decade has been on WHO group 1 pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Few investigators have focused on WHO group 2 PH; consequently, the pathophysiology of this condition remains poorly understood, and no specific therapy is available. Clinical and translational studies in this area are much needed and have the potential to positively affect large numbers of patients.
In this review, we provide a detailed discussion upon the pathophysiology of the disease, the recent updates in classification, and the diagnostic and therapeutic algorithms.
Pulmonary hypertension; left heart disease; pulmonary artery wedge pressure; left ventricular end diastolic pressure; Saudi association for pulmonary hypertension guidelines
Chronic lung diseases are common causes of pulmonary hypertension. It ranks second after the left heart disease. Both obstructive and restrictive lung diseases are know to cause pulmonary hypertension.
The pathophysiology of the disease is complex, and includes factors affecting the blood vessels, airways, and lung parenchyma. Hypoxia and the inhalation of toxic materials are another contributing factors. Recent guidelines have further clarified the association between pulmonary hypertension and chronic lung disease and made general guidelines concerning the diagnosis and management.
In this article, we will provide a detailed revision about the new classification and give general recommendations about the management of pulmonary hypertension in chronic lung diseases.
Hypoxia; lung diseases; pulmonary hypertension; chronic obstructive airways disease; pulmonary fibrosis; Saudi association for pulmonary hypertension guidelines
Portopulmonary hypertension (POPH) is defined as pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) complicated by portal hypertension, with or without advanced hepatic disease. Significant percentage of patients with cirrhotic liver disease has high cardiac output and subsequently elevated pulmonary arterial pressures (PAP). However, patients with POPH develop a progressive increase in pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR), which is generally lower than that observed in other forms of PAH.
The prognosis of untreated patients with POPH is very poor and the outcome of liver transplant (LT) in those patients is determined by the degree of severity of the associated pulmonary hemodynamics.
In this narrative review, we describe the clinical presentation of POPH, the pathobiology, and the clinical implication of pulmonary hemodynamics. We also provide evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosic and management approaches of POPH.
Liver transplant; portal hypertension; portopulmonary hypertension; pulmonary arterial hypertension; vasodilator therapy; Saudi Association for Pulmonary Hypertension Guidelines
Congenital heart disease (CHD) with intracardiac/extracardiac shunts is an important etiology of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). The majority of children with congenital cardiac shunts do not develop advanced pulmonary vasculopathy, as surgical repair of the anomalies is now performed early in life. However, if not repaired early, some defects will inevitably lead to pulmonary vascular disease (truncus arteriosus, transposition of the great arteries associated with a ventricular septal defect (VSD), atrioventricular septal defects remarkably in Down syndrome, large, nonrestrictive VSDs, patent ductus arteriosus and related anomalies). The majority of patients are now assigned to surgery based on noninvasive evaluation only. PAH becomes a concern (requiring advanced diagnostic procedures) in about 2-10% of them. In adults with CHD, the prevalence of advanced pulmonary vasculopathy (Eisenmenger syndrome) is around 4-12%.
This article will discuss the diagnostic and management approach for PAH associated with CHD (PAH-CHD).
Pulmonary arterial hypertension; congenital heart disease; saudi association for pulmonary hypertension guidelines
There is scant published data about pulmonary hypertension (PH) from the developing countries. True prevalence of the disease, its biology, etiology and response to treatment are not well known, and they are likely to be somewhat different from that of the developed countries.
In this review, we will discuss the main challenges for managing PH in developing countries and propose real-life recommendations to deal with such difficulties.
Developing world; pulmonary hypertension; Saudi association for pulmonary hypertension guidelines
Prior to the availability of the pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)-specific therapy, PAH was a dreadful disease with a very poor prognosis. Better understanding of the complex pathobiology of PAH has led to a major therapeutic evolution. International regulatory agencies have approved many specific drugs with different pharmacologic pathways and routes of administration. In the year 2013, two new drugs with great potentials in managing PAH have been added to the treatment options, macitentan and riociguat. Additional drugs are expected to come in the near future.
A substantial body of evidence has confirmed the effectiveness of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)-specific therapies in improving the patients’ symptomatic status and slowing down the rate of clinical deterioration.
Although the newer modern medications have significantly improved the survival of patients with PAH, it remains a non-curable and fatal disease. Lung transplantation (LT) remains the only therapeutic option for selected patients with advanced disease who continue to deteriorate despite optimal therapy.
Specific therapy; target therapy; pulmonary arterial hypertension; lung transplant; Saudi association for pulmonary hypertension guidelines
The Saudi Association for Pulmonary Hypertension (previously called Saudi Advisory Group for Pulmonary Hypertension) has published the first Saudi Guidelines on Diagnosis and Treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension back in 2008. That guideline was very detailed and extensive and reviewed most aspects of pulmonary hypertension (PH). One of the disadvantages of such detailed guidelines is the difficulty that some of the readers who just want to get a quick guidance or looking for a specific piece of information might face.
All efforts were made to develop this guideline in an easy-to-read form, making it very handy and helpful to clinicians dealing with PH patients to select the best management strategies for the typical patient suffering from a specific condition. This Guideline was designed to provide recommendations for problems frequently encountered by practicing clinicians involved in management of PH. This publication targets mainly adult and pediatric PH-treating physicians, but can also be used by other physicians interested in PH.
Pulmonary hypertension; pulmonary vascular resistance; modified functional class; target therapy; SAPH guidelines
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is relatively uncommon in children. Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in pediatric comprises a wide spectrum of diseases, from a transient neonatal condition to a progressive disease associated with morbidity and mortality. Most common PAH in pediatric are idiopathic (IPAH) or PAH associated with congenital heart disease (PAH-CHD), while other associated conditions, such as connective tissue disease (CTD), are less common in pediatrics. Despite better understanding of PH and the availability of new medications during recent decades; the diagnosis, investigation and choice of therapy remain a challenge in children, as evidence-based recommendations depend mainly on adult studies.
In this review, we provide a detailed discussion about the distinctive features of PAH in pediatric, mainly emphacysing on classification and diagnostic algorithm.
Pediatric; pulmonary arterial hypertension; specific therapy; Saudi association for pulmonary hypertension guidelines
The Saudi Thoracic Society (STS) launched the Saudi Initiative for Chronic Airway Diseases (SICAD) to develop a guideline for the diagnosis and management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This guideline is primarily aimed for internists and general practitioners. Though there is scanty epidemiological data related to COPD, the SICAD panel believes that COPD prevalence is increasing in Saudi Arabia due to increasing prevalence of tobacco smoking among men and women. To overcome the issue of underutilization of spirometry for diagnosing COPD, handheld spirometry is recommended to screen individuals at risk for COPD. A unique feature about this guideline is the simplified practical approach to classify COPD into three classes based on the symptoms as per COPD Assessment Test (CAT) and the risk of exacerbations and hospitalization. Those patients with low risk of exacerbation (<2 in the past year) can be classified as either Class I when they have less symptoms (CAT < 10) or Class II when they have more symptoms (CAT ≥ 10). High-risk COPD patients, as manifested with ≥2 exacerbation or hospitalization in the past year irrespective of the baseline symptoms, are classified as Class III. Class I and II patients require bronchodilators for symptom relief, while Class III patients are recommended to use medications that reduce the risks of exacerbations. The guideline recommends screening for co-morbidities and suggests a comprehensive management approach including pulmonary rehabilitation for those with a CAT score ≥10. The article also discusses the diagnosis and management of acute exacerbations in COPD.
Chronic bronchitis; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; emphysema; guidelines; Saudi Arabia
The efficacy of magnesium sulphate in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was assessed by conducting a systematic review of published randomized clinical trials through extensive searches in MEDLINE and SCOPUS with no date limits, as well as manual review of journals. Outcome measures varied depending on route(s) of administration of magnesium sulphate and medications co-administered. Risk of bias was evaluated and quality of evidence was graded. Four (4) randomized trials were included. All trials had a moderate risk of bias and were of average methodological quality. Magnesium sulphate given intravenously did not seem to have an immediate bronchodilatory effect; however it appears to potentiate the bronchodilatory effect of inhaled beta-2 agonists. Increase in peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) at 30 and 45 min was greater in those who received magnesium sulphate compared to placebo (P = 0.03), although the mean percentage change in PEFR was just 24%, without significant differences in dyspnoea scores, hospital admission rates, or emergency department readmission rates compared to placebo. Nebulized magnesium sulphate with salbutamol versus nebulized salbutamol with saline placebo showed no significant differences is forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) measured at 90 min after adjustment for baseline FEV1 (P = 0.34) or differences in the need for hospital admission. Combined inhalational and intravenous magnesium sulphate versus intravenous saline placebo and nebulized ipratropium bromide were comparable in terms of hospital admission, intubation and death, but the ipratropium bromide group showed better bronchodilator effect and improvement in arterial blood gas parameters. Overall, trial evidence for trial evidence for magnesium sulphate in acute exacerbation of COPD is poor, and further well-designed trials are needed.
Airway disease; chronic obstructive; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; emphysema; magnesium sulphate; pulmonary disease; review; treatment
This paper summarizes the roundtable discussion from the Second International Patient Safety Conference held in April 9-11, 2013, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The objectives of the roundtable discussion were to: (1) review the conceptual framework for building capacity in quality and safety in critical care. (2) examine examples of leading international experiences in building capacity. (3) review the experience in Saudi Arabia in this area. (4) discuss the role of building capacity in simulation for patient safety in critical care and (5) review the experience in building capacity in an ongoing improvement project for severe sepsis and septic shock.
Building capacity; critical care; safety culture; sepsis; simulation
The professional content of sleep medicine has grown significantly over the past few decades, warranting the recognition of sleep medicine as an independent specialty. Because the practice of sleep medicine has expanded in Saudi Arabia over the past few years, a national regulation system to license and ascertain the competence of sleep medicine physicians and technologists has become essential. Recently, the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties formed the National Committee for the Accreditation of Sleep Medicine Practice and developed national accreditation criteria. This paper presents the newly approved Saudi accreditation criteria for sleep medicine physicians and technologists.
Accreditation; licensing; sleep medicine; sleep technology; technicians; technologists