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1.  A foreign body of a different kind: Pill aspiration 
PMCID: PMC3912679  PMID: 24551009
2.  Rapid on-site evaluation with BIOEVALUATOR® during endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration for diagnosing pulmonary and mediastinal diseases 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2014;9(1):14-17.
Rapid on-site evaluation (ROSE) is used widely during endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA). BIOEVALUATOR® is a device used for determining whether the tissues obtained by EBUS-TBNA are appropriate for a pathological diagnosis. This study describes our experience with ROSE using BIOEVALUATOR® during EBUS-TBNA for diagnosing pulmonary and mediastinal diseases.
We retrospectively evaluated the results of 35 patients who underwent EBUS-TBNA with BIOEVALUATOR® between December 2011 and February 2013. For the diagnosis, the tissue areas were appearing white and red through BIOEVALUATOR® are considered to be appropriate and inappropriate, respectively. We examined their medical records to obtain information concerning the examination of BIOEVALUATOR® results of the patient's materials (white/red), the diagnosis yield, site and size of lymph nodes and number of needle passes.
The median longest diameter of 40 lymph nodes (21 #7, 13 #4R, 4 #4L and 2 #11) from 35 patients was 27.9 (range 12.4-50.6) mm and the median number of needle passes was 2 (range 1-5). The definitive diagnosis was made by EBUS-TBNA in 28 of 35 patients, by thoracotomy in one patient and BIOEVALUATOR® results were white and lymphocytes were seen in the rest six patients. The BIOEVALUATOR® results of other patients without accurate diagnosis were left indefinitive. Finally, the six patients were judged as having benign lymphadenopathy because the lymph node size on computed tomography decreased or remained stable after for at least 8 months.
Checking aspirated samples using BIOEVALUATOR® appears useful for determining their adequacy for pathological diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC3912680  PMID: 24551012
BIOEVALUATOR®; endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration; rapid on-site evaluation
3.  Outcome of pulmonary embolism and clinico-radiological predictors of mortality: Experience from a university hospital in Saudi Arabia 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2014;9(1):18-22.
The objective of this study is to determine the outcome of pulmonary embolism (PE) and the clinico-radiological predictors of mortality in a university hospital setting.
A Prospective observational study conducted at King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh Saudi Arabia between January 2009 and 2012. A total of 105 consecutive patients (49.9 ± 18.7 years) with PE diagnosed by computed tomography pulmonary angiography were followed until death or hospital discharge.
Overall in hospital mortality rate was 8.6%, which is lower than other international reports. Two-thirds of patients developed PE during the hospitalization. The most common risk factors were surgery (35.2%), obesity (34.3%) and immobility (30.5%). The localization of the embolus was central in 32.4%, lobar in 19% and distal in 48.6%. A total of 26 patients (25%) had evidence of right ventricular strain and 14 (13.3%) were hypotensive. Multivariate analysis revealed that heart failure (Beta = −0.53, P < 0.001), palpitation (Beta = −0.24, P = 0.014) and high respiratory rate (Beta = −0.211, P < 0.036) were significant predictors of mortality.
There was no significant difference in the localization of the embolus or obstruction score between survivors and non-survivors.
The outcome of PE is improving; however, it remains an important risk factor for mortality in hospitalized patients. Congestive heart failure, tachypnea and tachycardia at presentation were associated with higher mortality. These factors need to be considered for risk stratification and management decisions of PE patients. Radiological quantification of clot burden was not a predictor of death.
PMCID: PMC3912681  PMID: 24551013
Outcome; pulmonary embolism predictors; obstruction score
4.  Effectiveness of high dose remifentanil in preventing coughing and laryngospasm in non-paralyzed patients for advanced bronchoscopic procedures 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2014;9(1):23-28.
Anesthesia for bronchoscopy presents unique challenges, as constant stimulus due to bronchoscope needs to be obtunded using drugs with a minimal post-procedure residual effect. Remifentanil for maintenance is an ideal choice, but optimal doses are yet to be determined.
Bronchoscopic procedures were prospectively evaluated for 4 months studying the frequency of complications and anesthesia techniques. Anesthesia was maintained on remifentanil/propofol infusion avoiding neuromuscular blockers. Laryngeal mask airway was used for the controlled ventilation (with high oxygen concentration) that also served as a conduit for bronchoscope insertions. Anesthesiologists were blinded to the study (avoiding performance bias) and the Pulmonologist was blinded to the anesthesia technique (to document unbiased procedural satisfaction scores). Procedures were divided into 2 groups based on the dose of remifentanil used for maintenance: Group-H (high dose −0.26 to 0.5 μg/kg/min and Group-NH (non-high dose ≤0.25 μg/kg/min).
Observed 75 procedures were divided into Group-H (42) and Group-NH (33). Number of statistical difference was found in demography, procedural profile, hemodynamic parameters and total phenylephrine used. Chi-square test showed Group-NH had significantly higher frequency of laryngospasm (P = 0.047) and coughing (P = 0.002). The likelihood ratio of patient coughing and developing laryngospasm in Group-NH was found to be 4.56 and 10.97 times respectively. Minimum pulse-oximeter saturation was statistically higher in Group-H (98.80% vs. 96.50% P = 0.009). Pulmonologist satisfaction scores were significantly better in Group-H.
High dose of remifentanil infusion is associated with a lower incidence of coughing and laryngospasms during bronchoscopy. Simultaneously, it improves Pulmonologist's satisfaction and procedural conditions.
PMCID: PMC3912682  PMID: 24551014
High dose remifentanil; laryngospasm during bronchoscopy; remifentanil for bronchoscopy
5.  The usefulness of two-port video-assisted thoracosopic surgery in low-risk patients with secondary spontaneous pneumothorax compared with open thoracotomy 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2014;9(1):29-32.
Secondary spontaneous pneumothorax is difficult to treat and has been thought to have high morbidity and mortality rate due to the underlying diseases and presence of comorbidities in the patients. However, early surgical intervention will be beneficial if it is tolerable by the patient. In the surgical approach for treating pneumothorax, video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) may reduce the postoperative drainage period and hospital stay compared with open thoracotomy.
A retrospective review of the clinical data of 40 patients with secondary spontaneous pneumothorax who underwent open thoracotomy (n = 20) or two-port VATS (n = 20) between January 2008 and December 2012 was performed.
Postoperative drainage period of open thoracotomy group and two-port VATS group was 9.85 ± 5.28 and 6.75 ± 2.45, respectively, with a significant inter-group difference. Postoperative hospital stay was 11.8 ± 5.12 in the open thoracotomy group and 8.25 ± 2.88 in the two-port VATS group, with a significant inter-group difference. Recurrence rate and postoperative complication rate were not significant between the two groups.
In selected patients with secondary spontaneous pneumothorax treated with surgical approach, two-port VATS resulted in shorter postoperative drainage period and hospital stay compared with open thoracotomy.
PMCID: PMC3912683  PMID: 24551015
Secondary spontaneous pneumothorax; open thoracotomy two-port video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery
6.  Pulmonary rehabilitation: A regional perspective evidenced-based review 
Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is an integral component of the comprehensive management plan of patients with chronic lung diseases by addressing their functional and psychological deficits. PR is generally recommended to symptomatic patients with chronic lung diseases who develop shortness of breath on their own pace at level ground while receiving optimum therapy. From a regional perspective, this review covers the description of a PR program, its establishment and outcome assessment.
PMCID: PMC3912684  PMID: 24551010
Chronic lung diseases; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; pulmonary rehabilitation; quality of life
7.  Risk factors, management and outcomes of patients admitted with near fatal asthma to a tertiary care hospital in Riyadh 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2014;9(1):33-38.
Near-fatal asthma (NFA) has not been well studied in Saudi Arabia. We evaluated NFA risk factors in asthmatics admitted to a tertiary-care hospital and described NFA management and outcomes.
This was a retrospective study of NFA patients admitted to an ICU in Riyadh (2006-2010). NFA was defined as a severe asthma attack requiring intubation. To evaluate NFA risk factors, randomly selected patients admitted to the ward for asthma exacerbation were used as controls. Collected data included demographics, information on prior asthma control and various NFA treatments and outcomes.
Thirty NFA cases were admitted to the ICU in the five-year period. Compared to controls (N = 120), NFA patients were younger (37.5 ± 19.9 vs. 50.3 ± 23.1 years, P = 0.004) and predominantly males (70.0% vs. 41.7%, P = 0.005) and used less inhaled steroids/long-acting ß2-agonists combination (13.6% vs. 38.7% P = 0.024. Most (73.3%) NFA cases presented in the cool months (October-March). On multivariate analysis, age (odds ratio [OR] 0.96; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.92-0.99, P = 0.015) and the number of ED visits in the preceding year (OR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.00-1.55) were associated with NFA. Rescue NFA management included ketamine (50%) and theophylline (19%) infusions. NFA outcomes included: neuromyopathy (23%), mechanical ventilation duration = 6.4 ± 4.7 days, tracheostomy (13%) and mortality (0%). Neuromuscular blockade duration was associated with neuromyopathy (OR, 3.16 per one day increment; 95% CI, 1.27-7.83).
In our study, NFA risk factors were younger age and higher number of ED visits. NFA had significant morbidity. Reducing neuromuscular blockade duration during ventilator management may decrease neuromyopathy risk.
PMCID: PMC3912685  PMID: 24551016
Asthma; critical illness; mechanical ventilation; neuromyopathy
8.  A rare case of alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency associated with hypogammaglobulinemia and recurrent pulmonary thrombosis 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2014;9(1):39-41.
Alpha 1-antitrypsin (AAT) belongs to the family of serpins (serine protease inhibitors). Loop sheet polymerization is the pathology behind serpinopathies which encompasses AAT, anti-thrombin III and neuroserpin deficiency. To the best of our knowledge, we report the first case of alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency associated with hypogammaglobulinemia and recurrent pulmonary thrombosis without any concomitant use of drugs.
PMCID: PMC3912686  PMID: 24551017
Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency; hypogammaglobulinemia; recurrent pulmonary thrombosis; serpinopathies
9.  Two cases of food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis with different culprit foods 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2014;9(1):42-44.
Food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis (FDEIA) is one of the severe allergic reactions in which symptoms develop only if exercise takes place within a few hours of eating a specific food. It is important to consider FDEIA in cases of unexplained anaphylaxis as reactions can occur several hours after ingesting the culprit food(s). We herein report the first two cases of FDEIA in the Middle East. The first one is induced by wheat, while the other by peanut. The pathophysiology, predisposing factors, diagnosis, and treatment of FDEIA are also summarized here.
PMCID: PMC3912687  PMID: 24551018
Anaphylaxis; food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis; wheat
10.  Sleep medicine services in Saudi Arabia: The 2013 national survey 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2014;9(1):45-47.
We conducted this national survey to quantitatively assess sleep medicine services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and to identify obstacles that specialists and hospitals face, precluding the establishment of this service.
A self-administered questionnaire was designed to collect the following: General information regarding each hospital, information regarding sleep medicine facilities (SFs), the number of beds, the number of sleep studies performed and obstacles to the establishment of SFs. The questionnaire and a cover letter explaining the study objectives were mailed and distributed by respiratory care practitioners to 32 governmental hospitals and 18 private hospitals and medical centers in the KSA.
The survey identified 18 SFs in the KSA. The estimated per capita number of beds/year/100,000 people was 0.11 and the per capita polysomnography (PSG) rate was 18.0 PSG/year/100,000 people. The most important obstacles to the progress of sleep medicine in the KSA were a lack of trained sleep technologists and a lack of sleep medicine specialists.
The sleep medicine services provided in the KSA have improved since the 2005 survey; however, these services are still below the level of service provided in developed countries. Organized efforts are needed to overcome the identified obstacles and challenges to the progress of sleep medicine in the KSA.
PMCID: PMC3912688  PMID: 24551019
Polysomnography; quantitative assessment; sleep disorders center; sleep medicine service; sleep technologists
12.  Reply to the editor 
PMCID: PMC3912690  PMID: 24551021
14.  Author reply to the editor 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2014;9(1):49-50.
PMCID: PMC3912692  PMID: 24551023
15.  Incidence and predictors of readmission to the cardiac surgery intensive care unit: A retrospective cohort study in Greece 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2014;9(1):8-13.
Readmission in the intensive care unit (ICU) is a significant morbidity index, which has been related to poor patient outcomes
To identify the preoperative and intraoperative risk factors for readmission in the cardiac surgery ICU.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 595 consecutive patients who were admitted to the cardiac surgery ICU of a tertiary hospital of Athens — Greece during the one-year period (September 2011-September 2012). Data collection was carried out, retrospectively, by the use of a short questionnaire and based on the review of medical and nursing patient records at December 2012.
The incidence of ICU readmission was 3.7% (22/595). Respiratory disorders were the main reason for readmission (45.4%). Readmitted patients had a significantly higher in-hospital mortality compared to those requiring no readmission (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed that female gender [for males odds ratio (OR) 0.37, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.15-0.89], high logistic EuroSCORE (OR 1.02, 95% CI 1.00-1.04), prolonged cardiopulmonary (CPB) duration (OR 1.01, 95% CI 1.00-1.02) and preoperative renal failure (OR 1.02, 95% CI 1.00-1.05) were the independent risk factors for readmission to the cardiac surgery ICU.
One intraoperative and three preoperative variables are associated strongly with higher probability for ICU readmission. Shorter CPB duration could contribute to lower ICU readmission incidence. In addition, the early identification of high risk patients for readmission in the cardiac surgery ICU could encourage both the more efficient healthcare planning and resources allocation.
PMCID: PMC3912693  PMID: 24551011
Cardiac surgery; intensive care units; patient readmission
16.  Pediatric pulmonology services in Saudi Arabia: Past, present, and future 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2013;8(4):181-182.
PMCID: PMC3821275  PMID: 24250729
17.  Building capacity for quality and safety in critical care: A roundtable discussion from the second international patient safety conference in April 9-11, 2013, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2013;8(4):183-185.
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.
PMCID: PMC3821276  PMID: 24250730
Building capacity; critical care; safety culture; sepsis; simulation
18.  Atypical radiological manifestations of thoracic sarcoidosis: A review and pictorial essay 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2013;8(4):186-196.
Thoracic sarcoidosis is a common disease, with well-described and recognizable radiographic features. Nevertheless, most physicians are not familiar with the rare atypical often-confusing manifestations of thoracic sarcoid. Although these findings have been previously reviewed, but more recent advances in imaging and laboratory science, need to be incorporated. We present a review of literature and illustrate the review with unpublished data, intended to provide a more recent single comprehensive reference to assist with the diagnosis when atypical radiographic findings of thoracic sarcoidosis are encountered. Thoracic involvement accounts for most of morbidity and mortality associated with sarcoidosis. An accurate timely identification is required to minimize morbidity and mortality. It is essential to recognize atypical imaging findings and relate these to clinical manifestations and histology.
PMCID: PMC3821277  PMID: 24250731
Atypical; cardiology; chest; radiology; sarcoidosis
19.  Differences in care between general medicine and respiratory specialists in the management of patients hospitalized for acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2013;8(4):197-203.
Hospitalized patients with acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) may be managed by either respiratory specialists (RS) or general medicine physicians (GMP). While previous studies have audited the hospital AECOPD management of RS, only a small number of studies have evaluated the management of GMP.
The aims of this study were to firstly examine the differences in AECOPD management of GMP and RS and secondly compare their care to national COPD guidelines.
A retrospective review was undertaken of consecutive AECOPD patients admitted to two hospitals (one hospital where all AECOPD patients were managed by RS and another where all AECOPD patients were managed by GMP) over a 3-month period. Electronic medical records, medical case notes, pathology and radiology data for the admission were reviewed.
There were 201 COPD exacerbations in 169 patients (49.7% male, mean age 72.3). GMP managed 84 (41.7%) exacerbations. In comparison to RS, GMP performed fewer spirometry tests, blood gas analysis and less frequently treated patients with guideline-recommended medications. Referral to pulmonary rehabilitation was poor for both groups of clinicians. Median length of stay was shorter in GMP patients versus RS patients (3 days vs. 5 days, P = 0.001). There were no differences in the 12-month re-admission (41.7% vs. 38.5%, P = 0.664) and mortality rates (10.7% vs. 6%, P = 0.292) between both groups of patients.
Our study found differences in the hospital AECOPD management of GMP and RS, but these did not translate into different clinical outcomes between their patients. We also found suboptimal adherence to national COPD guidelines, suggesting that there is scope for improvement in the AECOPD management of both groups of clinicians.
PMCID: PMC3821278  PMID: 24250732
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; disease exacerbation; guideline; hospitalization; specialization
20.  Erlotinib in wild type epidermal growth factor receptor non-small cell lung cancer: A systematic review 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2013;8(4):204-208.
Targeting epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) is an innovative approach to managing non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) which harbors EGFR mutation. However, the efficacy of these agents like erlotinib in patients without the mutation is not known.
This systematic review included Phase III randomized clinical trials that compared single agent erlotinib to other management options in the setting of NSCLC with reported outcome data on patients with EGFR wild type (EGFRWT) tumors. Outcome data include overall survival (OS), progression free survival (PFS) and response rate (RR). Random effects meta-analysis was used to pool outcomes across studies.
Three studies met the inclusion criteria. These studies included a total of 2044 patients with outcome data on 674 patients with EGFRWT tumors (33%). Meta-analysis revealed a statistically significant improvement in OS with erlotinib (hazard ratio of 0.780; 95% confidence interval: 0.654-0.930, P = 0.006). Data were not available to perform PFS or RR analysis. The quality of this evidence is considered to be moderate to high.
Our study revealed a significant benefit of erlotinib in patient with EGFRWT tumors compared with other approaches. These findings add another therapeutic option to patients generally considered difficult to treat.
PMCID: PMC3821279  PMID: 24250733
Epidermal growth factor; erlotinib; non-small cell lung cancer
21.  The relationship between the first episode of wheezing and matrix metalloproteinases-9 and MMP-2 and tissue inhibitors of MMP-1 levels in preterm infants 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2013;8(4):209-213.
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) have been associated with neonatal lung morbidity and MMP dysregulation contributes to the pathology of chronic and acute lung disorders. Most of the previous studies were performed in the 1st weeks of life of the preterm newborns. There are no data on the serum levels of MMP-2, MMP-9 or tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (TIMP-1) from preterm infants recovering from lung morbidities. We aimed to compare MMP-2, MMP-9 and TIMP-1 levels in preterm and term infants hospitalized with their first episode of wheezing.
We prospectively evaluated 18 preterm infants with a history of chronic lung disease, respiratory distress syndrome or oxygen therapy and 14 age- and sex-matched term infants who were admitted for a first episode of wheezing. We quantified total serum concentrations of MMP-2, MMP-9 and TIMP-1 to assess whether these serum markers levels were associated with the first episode of wheezing in infants with a history of oxygen therapy during the neonatal period.
Upon hospitalization, MMP-2 and TIMP-1 levels were higher in preterm infants than in term infants. In contrast, there was no significant relationship between MMP-9 levels or the MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio between preterm and term infants. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for MMP-2 was 0.70 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.51-0.89). The area under the curve for TIMP-1 was 0.78 (95% CI 0.61-0.94). MMP-9, MMP-2 and TIMP-1 levels did not correlate with gestational age, gender or severity of wheezing.
The negative proportion of MMP-9 to TIMP-1 that we detected in term infants was not present in preterm infants. The balance of MMP-9 to TIMP-1 may have been disrupted by lung damage in the premature infants. Overproduction of MMP-2 and TIMP-1 in the serum may be associated with the pathogenesis of wheezing in preterm infants.
PMCID: PMC3821280  PMID: 24250734
Matrix metalloproteinases; matrix metalloproteinases-2; matrix metalloproteinases-9; preterm; tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases-1; wheezing
22.  The effectiveness of breath carbon monoxide analyzer in screening for environmental tobacco smoke exposure in Saudi pregnant women 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2013;8(4):214-217.
Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) has harmful effects on the pregnancy outcomes similar to those observed in actively smoking pregnant women. The aim of this study was to estimate the sensitivity and specificity of the breath carbon monoxide (BCO) analysis in the assessment of smoking status among Saudi pregnant women, including ETS exposure compared to self-reported tobacco smoke exposure.
A cross-sectional design was used during January 2012, 560 pregnant women, irrespective of their gestational age, agreed to undergo BCO testing and completed the data collection sheet for the study. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were calculated to compare the BCO test with self-reported exposure to ETS.
Of the study population 151 (27%) women self-reported ETS exposure during the index pregnancy, 409 (73%) self-reported non-exposure. Sensitivity of the test was 32.5% (95% CI; 25.2-40.3%), the Specificity was much higher at 69.2% (95% CI; 64.4-73.5%), the positive predictive value was 28% (95% CI, 21.9-35.1%), and the negative predictive value was 73.5% (95% CI; 68.9-77.7%).
The BCO test is an ineffective tool to detect the level of ETS exposure among Saudi pregnant women.
PMCID: PMC3821281  PMID: 24250735
Breath carbon monoxide analyzer; environmental tobacco smoke; pregnancy; Saudi Arabia
23.  Timing of silicone stent removal in patients with post-tuberculosis bronchial stenosis 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2013;8(4):218-223.
In patients with post-tuberculosis bronchial stenosis (PTBS), the severity of bronchial stenosis affects the restenosis rate after the silicone stent is removed. In PTBS patients with incomplete bronchial obstruction, who had a favorable prognosis, the timing of stent removal to ensure airway patency is not clear.
We evaluated the time for silicone stent removal in patients with incomplete PTBS.
A retrospective study examined PTBS patients who underwent stenting and removal of a silicone stent.
Incomplete bronchial stenosis was defined as PTBS other than total bronchial obstruction, which had a luminal opening at the stenotic segment on bronchoscopic intervention. The duration of stenting was defined as the interval from stent insertion to removal. The study included 44 PTBS patients and the patients were grouped at intervals of 6 months according to the duration of stenting.
Patients stented for more than 12 months had a significantly lower restenosis rate than those stented for less than 12 months (4% vs. 35%, P = 0.009). Multiple logistic regression revealed an association between stenting for more than 12 months and a low restenosis rate (odds ratio 12.095; 95% confidence interval 1.097-133.377). Moreover, no restenosis was observed in PTBS patients when the stent was placed more than 14 months previously.
In patients with incomplete PTBS, stent placement for longer than 12 months reduced restenosis after stent removal.
PMCID: PMC3821282  PMID: 24250736
Airway obstruction; bronchoscopy; device removal; stents; tuberculosis
24.  Pediatric pulmonary services in Saudi Arabia 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2013;8(4):224-228.
The purpose of this study was to assess the available pediatric pulmonary services, in terms of workforce, resources, and distribution across Saudi Arabia. This would help in proper utilization of resources and direct future planning.
A cross-sectional survey among pediatric pulmonologists registered in the Saudi Thoracic Society.
Among 43 practicing pediatric pulmonologist in Saudi Arabia, 29 have responded to the survey (response rate of 67.4%). The majority of practicing pediatric pulmonologists were young graduates with less than 5 years’ experience (44.8%) and were North American training programs graduates (69%). The majority of the respondents (51%) were located in Riyadh, 27% in Jeddah, 14% in the Eastern region and 3% in Madinah and Al-Majma’a. Most of the respondents had access to basic diagnostic tools required in the subspecialty, a majority of them (85%) lack dedicated pediatric pulmonary function laboratories. Nearly, 80% of the hospitals performed less than 50 flexible bronchoscopies/year.
Pediatric pulmonology is a growing subspecialty in Saudi Arabia with well-trained and experienced physicians. Our study represents an overview of the available pediatric pulmonology services in Saudi Arabia, which would help in future planning and better utilization of the available resources.
PMCID: PMC3821283  PMID: 24250737
Pediatrics; pulmonary; respiratory; Saudi Arabia
25.  Unusual case of a vanishing bronchus of the left allograft in a lung transplant recipient 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2013;8(4):229-230.
We present an interesting case of a complete vanishing of the left main bronchus in a lung transplant recipient who had a successful outcome due to acute respiratory support with venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in order to perform airway dilation.
PMCID: PMC3821284  PMID: 24250738
Acute; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; left main bronchus; lung transplantation; vanishing; venovenous

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