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1.  Author's reply 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(2):93-94.
PMCID: PMC2700485
2.  Asthma guidelines: Global to local 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(4):161-162.
PMCID: PMC2801039  PMID: 19881160
3.  Pulmonary Hypertension: More To Be Done 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(3):107-108.
PMCID: PMC2714561  PMID: 19641638
4.  Can we change the way we look at BCG vaccine? 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(2):92-93.
PMCID: PMC2700489  PMID: 19561932
5.  Annals of Thoracic Medicine … a three-year journey 
PMCID: PMC2700476  PMID: 19561912
7.  The Saudi Initiative for Asthma 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(4):216-232.
The Saudi Initiative for Asthma (SINA) provides up-to-date guidelines for healthcare workers managing patients with asthma. SINA was developed by a panel of Saudi experts with respectable academic backgrounds and long-standing experience in the field. SINA is founded on the latest available evidence, local literature, and knowledge of the current setting in Saudi Arabia. Emphasis is placed on understanding the epidemiology, pathophysiology, medications, and clinical presentation. SINA elaborates on the development of patient-doctor partnership, self-management, and control of precipitating factors. Approaches to asthma treatment in SINA are based on disease control by the utilization of Asthma Control Test for the initiation and adjustment of asthma treatment. This guideline is established for the treatment of asthma in both children and adults, with special attention to children 5 years and younger. It is expected that the implementation of these guidelines for treating asthma will lead to better asthma control and decrease patient utilization of the health care system.
PMCID: PMC2801049  PMID: 19881170
Asthma; guidelines; Saudi Arabia
8.  Mycobacterium chelonae empyema with bronchopleural fistula in an immunocompetent patient 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(4):213-215.
Mycobacterium chelonae is one of the rapidly growing mycobacteria that rarely cause lung disease. M chelonae more commonly causes skin and soft tissue infections primarily in immunosuppressed individuals. Thoracic empyema caused by rapidly growing mycobacteria and complicated with bronchopleural fistula is rarely reported, especially in immunocompetent patients. In this article we report the first immunocompetent Arabian patient presented with M chelonae-related empyema with bronchopleural fistula which mimics, clinically and radiologically, empyema caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
PMCID: PMC2801048  PMID: 19881169
Bronchopleural fistula; empyema; Mycobacterium chelonae; nontuberculous mycobacteria; rapidly growing mycobacteria
9.  Penetrating chest trauma secondary to falling on metallic (iron) bar 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(4):211-212.
Case of a 27-year-old man who sustained penetrating chest injury caused by a metallic (iron) bar projecting from a pillar of a construction after he fell down from a height.
PMCID: PMC2801047  PMID: 19881168
Haemothorax; chest injury; metalic bar
10.  A case-control study of tobacco smoking and tuberculosis in India 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(4):208-210.
To evaluate the role of smoking as a risk factor for the development of pulmonary tuberculosis.
A total of 111 sputum smear—positive patients of pulmonary tuberculosis and 333 controls matched for age and sex were interviewed according to a predesigned questionnaire.
The adjusted odd ratio of the association between tobacco smoking and pulmonary tuberculosis was 3.8 (95% confidence interval, 2.0 to 7.0; P value, <.0001). A positive relationship between pack years, body mass index and socioeconomic class was also observed.
There is a positive association between tobacco smoking and pulmonary tuberculosis.
PMCID: PMC2801046  PMID: 19881167
Diagnosis; India; smoking; tobacco; tuberculosis
11.  Prognostic factors and long term results of neo adjuvant therapy followed by surgery in stage IIIA N2 non-small cell lung cancer patients 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(4):201-207.
Prognosis of stage IIIA N2 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains poor despite the changes in therapeutic strategies.
To assess long term results of neo adjuvant therapy followed by surgery for patients with stage IIIA N2 NSCLC and to analyze factors influencing survival.
The methods adopted include: Retrospective review of medical records of 91 patients with stage IIIA N2 NSCLC, who received neo adjuvant therapy followed by surgery; collection of information on demographic information, staging procedure, preoperative therapy, clinical response, type of resection, pathologic response of tumor, status of lymph nodes and adjuvant chemotherapy; survival analysis by Kaplan-Meier and calculation of prognostic factors using log-rank and Cox regression model.
All patients received a platinum-based chemotherapy and 23 (29.1%) had an associated radiotherapy. Eighty four patients underwent thoracotomy. Median survival was 26 months (95%CI, 22.6-30.8 months) with three and five year survival rates of 31.6 and 20.9%, respectively. Prognostic factors for survival on univariate analysis was clinical response (P= 0.032), complete resection (P= 0.002), pathologic tumor response (P< 0.001), and lymph nodal down staging (P = 0.001). Multivariate analyses identified complete resection, pathologic tumor response and lymph nodal down staging as independent prognostic factors.
Survival of patients with stage IIIA N2 NSCLC who received neo adjuvant therapy is significantly influenced by clinical response, complete resection, pathologic tumor response, and lymph nodal down staging. These results can be helpful in guiding standard clinical practice and evaluating the outcome of neo adjuvant therapy followed by surgery in patients with stage IIIA N2 NSCLC.
PMCID: PMC2801045  PMID: 19881166
Neo adjuvant therapy; non-small cell lung cancer; prognostic factor; stage IIIA; surgery; survival
12.  Incidence and risk factors predisposing anastomotic leak after transhiatal esophagectomy 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(4):197-200.
The objective of our study was to identify the incidence and risk factors of anastomotic leaks following transhiatal esophagectomy (THE).
A prospective study was conducted on 61 patients treated for carcinoma of the esophagus between 2006 and 2007. We examined the following variables: age, gender, preoperative cardiovascular function, intraoperative complications such as hypotension, arrhythmia, mediastinal manipulation period, blood loss volume, blood transfusion, duration of surgery, postoperative complications such as anastomotic leak, anastomotic stricture, requiring reoperation, respiratory complications, and total morbidity and mortality. Variables were compared between the patients with and without anastomotic leak. T-test for quantitative variables and Chi-square test for qualitative variables were used to find out any relationship. P value less than 0.05 was considered significant.
Out of 61 patients, anastomotic leaks occurred in 13 (21.3%). Weight loss, forced expiratory volume (FEV1) <2 lit, preoperative albumin, intaoperative blood loss volume, and respiratory complication were associated with the anastomotic leak in patients undergoing THE. Anastomotic leaks were the leading cause of postoperative morbidity, anastomotic stricture, and reoperation.
Anastomotic leakage is a life-threatening postoperative complication. Careful attention to the factors contributing to the development of a leak can reduce the incidence of anastomotic complications postoperatively.
PMCID: PMC2801044  PMID: 19881165
Anastomotic leak; risk factor; transhiatal esophagectomy
13.  Evaluation of recently validated non-invasive formula using basic lung functions as new screening tool for pulmonary hypertension in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(4):187-196.
A prediction formula for mean pulmonary artery pressure (MPAP) using standard lung function measurement has been recently validated to screen for pulmonary hypertension (PH) in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) patients.
To test the usefulness of this formula as a new non invasive screening tool for PH in IPF patients. Also, to study its correlation with patients' clinical data, pulmonary function tests, arterial blood gases (ABGs) and other commonly used screening methods for PH including electrocardiogram (ECG), chest X ray (CXR), trans-thoracic echocardiography (TTE) and computerized tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA).
Cross-sectional study of 37 IPF patients from tertiary hospital. The accuracy of MPAP estimation was assessed by examining the correlation between the predicted MPAP using the formula and PH diagnosed by other screening tools and patients' clinical signs of PH.
There was no statistically significant difference in the prediction of PH using cut off point of 21 or 25 mm Hg (P = 0.24). The formula-predicted MPAP greater than 25 mm Hg strongly correlated in the expected direction with O2 saturation (r = −0.95, P < 0.000), partial arterial O2 tension (r = −0.71, P < 0.000), right ventricular systolic pressure measured by TTE (r = 0.6, P < 0.000) and hilar width on CXR (r = 0.31, P = 0.03). Chest symptoms, ECG and CTPA signs of PH poorly correlated with the same formula (P > 0.05).
The prediction formula for MPAP using standard lung function measurements is a simple non invasive tool that can be used as TTE to screen for PH in IPF patients and select those who need right heart catheterization.
PMCID: PMC2801043  PMID: 19881164
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; pulmonary hypertension; pulmonary function tests; screening
14.  Autologous blood pleurodesis: A good choice in patients with persistent air leak 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(4):182-186.
The study compares the efficiency, side effects and complications of autologous blood pleurodesis with talcum powder and tetracycline.
This prospective study evaluated 50 patients with persistent air leak resulting from primary and secssondary spontaneous pneumothorax between February 2004 and March 2009. The patients inclussded 32 (64.0%) males and 18 (36.0%) females with a median age of 39 years (range 14-69 years). All cases had persistent air leak of more than seven days. Pleurodesis was performed using autologous blood in 20 (40.0%) patients, talc powder in 19 (38.0%) patients and tetracycline in 11 (22.0%) patients through a chest tube. Air leak cessation times after pleurodesis, side effects and pulmonary function tests (PFT) in the first and third months were measured.
Recurrent primary spontaneous pneumothorax was the cause of persistent air leak in all cases. Air leaks were expiratory only in 54.0% of cases. We obtained a success rate of 75.0% using autologous blood, 84.2% using talc powder and 63.6% using tetracycline. Mean air leak termination interval was significantly (P < 0.001) shorter in patients treated with autologous blood in comparison to talc powder and tetracycline. We observed a significant (P < 0.05) decline in PFT in patients treated with talc powder compared with tetracycline and autologous blood. Vital capacity, FVC and FEV1 were significantly lower in patients treated with tetracycline compared with autologous blood.
This study shows that autologous blood pleurodesis compared to talc powder and tetracycline is related with shorter leak cessation time and less pulmonary function decline in patients with persistent air leak. We think further randomized clinical trials of pleurodesis as treatment could increase its use in thorax surgery by demonstrating the safety and the efficacy of this procedure.
PMCID: PMC2801042  PMID: 19881163
Autologous blood; pleurodesis; persistent air leak
15.  Exhaled nitric oxide in diagnosis and management of respiratory diseases 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(4):173-181.
The analysis of biomarkers in exhaled breath constituents has recently become of great interest in the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of many respiratory conditions. Of particular interest is the measurement of fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) in breath. Its measurement is noninvasive, easy and reproducible. The technique has recently been standardized by both American Thoracic Society and European Respiratory Society. The availability of cheap, portable and reliable equipment has made the assay possible in clinics by general physicians and, in the near future, at home by patients. The concentration of exhaled nitric oxide is markedly elevated in bronchial asthma and is positively related to the degree of esinophilic inflammation. Its measurement can be used in the diagnosis of bronchial asthma and titration of dose of steroids as well as to identify steroid responsive patients in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In primary ciliary dyskinesia, nasal NO is diagnostically low and of considerable value in diagnosis. Among lung transplant recipients, FENO can be of great value in the early detection of infection, bronchioloitis obliterans syndrome and rejection. This review discusses the biology, factors affecting measurement, and clinical application of FENO in the diagnosis and management of respiratory diseases.
PMCID: PMC2801041  PMID: 19881162
Diseases; exhaled nitric oxide; measurement; respiratory
16.  The novel influenza A (H1N1) virus pandemic: An update 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(4):163-172.
In the 4 months since it was first recognized, the pandemic strain of a novel influenza A (H1N1) virus has spread to all continents and, after documentation of human-to-human transmission of the virus in at least three countries in two separate World Health Organization (WHO) regions, the pandemic alert was raised to level 6. The agent responsible for this pandemic, a swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus (S-OIV), is characterized by a unique combination of gene segments that has not previously been identified among human or swine influenza A viruses. As of 31th July 2009, 168 countries and overseas territories/communities have each reported at least one laboratory-confirmed case of pandemic H1N1 infection. There have been a total of 162,380 reported cases and 1154 associated deaths. Influenza epidemics usually take off in autumn, and it is important to prepare for an earlier start this season. Estimates from Europe indicate that 230 millions Europe inhabitants will have clinical signs and symptoms of S-OIV this autumn, and 7–35% of the clinical cases will have a fatal outcome, which means that there will be 160,000–750,000 H1N1-related deaths. A vaccine against H1N1 is expected to be the most effective tool for controlling influenza A (H1N1) infection in terms of reducing morbidity and mortality and limiting diffusion. However, there are several issues with regard to vaccine manufacture and approval, as well as production capacity, that remain unsettled. We searched the literature indexed in PubMed as well as the websites of major international health agencies to obtain the material presented in this update on the current S-OIV pandemic.
PMCID: PMC2801040  PMID: 19881161
Epidemiology; H1N1; influenza
17.  A 22-year-old woman with fever, shortness of breath and chest pain 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(3):158-160.
PMCID: PMC2714573  PMID: 19641650
18.  Reading chest radiographs in the critically ill (Part II): Radiography of lung pathologies common in the ICU patient 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(3):149-157.
This is part II of two series review of reading chest radiographs in the critically ill. Conventional chest radiography remains the cornerstone of day to day management of the critically ill occasionally supplemented by computed tomography or ultrasound for specific indications. In this second review we discuss radiographic findings of cardiopulmonary disorders common in the intensive care patient and suggest guidelines for interpretation based not only on imaging but also on the pathophysiology and clinical grounds.
PMCID: PMC2714572  PMID: 19641649
Chest x-ray; intensive care unit; cardiopulmonary disorders
19.  Huge intrathoracic desmoid tumor 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(3):146-148.
Desmoid tumors are soft-tissue neoplasms arising from fascial or musculo-aponeurotic structures. Most reported thoracic desmoid tumors originate from the chest wall. However, intrathoracic desmoid tumors are rare. We present a case of a 35-year-old male patient complaining of mild shortness of breath. The patient was diagnosed to have a huge intrathoracic desmoid tumor, which was successfully resected.
PMCID: PMC2714571  PMID: 19641648
Chest wall; desmoid; fibromatosis; intrathoracic; tumor
20.  Pneumorrhachis, pneumomediastinum, pneumopericardium and subcutaneous emphysema as complications of bronchial asthma 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(3):143-145.
Pneumorrhachis (PR), or epidural emphysema, denotes the presence of air in the spinal epidural space. It can be associated with a variety of etiologies, including trauma; recent iatrogenic manipulations during surgical, anesthesiological and diagnostic interventions; malignancy and its associated therapy. It usually represents an asymptomatic epiphenomenon but also can be symptomatic by itself as well as by its underlying pathology. The pathogenesis and etiology of PR are varied and can sometimes be a diagnostic challenge. As such, there are no standard guidelines for the management of symptomatic PR, and its treatment is often individualized. Frequently, multidisciplinary approach and regimes are required for its management. PR associated with bronchial asthma is extremely rare, and only very few cases are reported in the literature. Here, we report a case of a 17-year-old Saudi male patient who is a known case of bronchial asthma; he presented with extensive subcutaneous emphysema, pneumomediastinum, pneumopericardium and pneumorrhachis as complications of an acute exacerbation of his primary ailment.
PMCID: PMC2714570  PMID: 19641647
Bronchial asthma; computed tomography; intra-spinal air; pneumorrhachis
21.  Clinicopathological analysis and outcome of primary mediastinal malignancies — A report of 91 cases from a single institute 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(3):140-142.
Primary mediastinal malignancies are uncommon. They can originate from any mediastinal organ or tissue but most commonly arise from thymic, neurogenic, lymphatic, germinal or mesenchymal tissues.
The aim of this study was to review the clinical presentations, diagnostic methods adopted, the histologies and the treatment outcomes of this rare subset of tumors.
Case records of 91 patients in the period 1993-2006 at our institute were retrospectively analyzed. Patients with primary mediastinal mass and supraclavicular nodes were included for the analysis. Patients with primary, extrathoracic disease of the lung and peripheral adenopathy were excluded. Actuarial method was used for calculating the disease-free survival and overall survival.
Primary mediastinal tumors were seen commonly in males with mean age of 37.48 ± 17.04 years. As many as 97% of patients were symptomatic at presentation. Superior venacaval obstruction (SVCO) was seen in 28% of the patients. As many as 50% of the patients were diagnosed by a fine-needle aspiration or Trucut biopsy, while 28% of the patients required thoracotomy for a diagnosis. Majority of the tumors had anterior mediastinal presentation. Pleural effusion was seen in 20% of the patients, but diagnosis was obtained in only 1%. In adults, thymoma (39%), lymphoma (30%) and germ cell tumor (15%) were the common tumors. In the pediatric population, lymphoma, PNET and neuroblastoma were the common tumors. The 5-year DFS and OS are 50% and 55%, respectively.
Primary mediastinal tumors are a challenge to the treating physician because of their unique presentation in the form of medical emergencies, like superior venacaval obstruction and stridor. Diagnosis may require invasive procedures like thoracotomy. Treatment and outcome depend on the histologic subtypes.
PMCID: PMC2714569  PMID: 19641646
Germ cell tumor; lymphoma; primary mediastinal tumor; thymoma
22.  Effects of preoperative magnesium therapy on arrhythmias and myocardial ischemia during off-pump coronary surgery 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(3):137-139.
Heart manipulation during off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery may cause hemodynamic instability, and temporary coronary arterial occlusion may lead to myocardial ischemia. To reduce this, perioperative β-blocking agents or calcium antagonists can be administrated. The effects of perioperative administration of magnesium on myocardial function were studied in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting.
The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of preoperative magnesium administration on perioperative hemodynamia, ventricular arrhythmias and myocardial protection.
We reviewed 2 groups of patients undergoing off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery – 24 patients (control group) that had not received preoperative intravenous infusion of magnesium and 23 patients (treatment group) that had received preoperative intravenous magnesium sulfate.
The results demonstrated that it had reduced the heart rate, changes of ST segments, the need of β-blocking agents and the use of intra-operative intra-aortic balloon pump and the inotropic usage.
This treatment may provide hemodynamic optimization during off-pump coronary artery bypass.
PMCID: PMC2714568  PMID: 19641645
Ischemia and arrhythmia; magnesium effects; off-pump coronary surgery
23.  Characteristics of antrochoanal polyps in the pediatric age group 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(3):133-136.
To evaluate and compare the clinical and the pathological characteristics of antrochoanal polyps (ACPS) in adults and children.
Medical records of 35 patients (19 children, 16 adults) operated upon for ACPS between 1995 and 2005 at an academic tertiary center were reviewed retrospectively. Demographic characteristics, clinical presentation, surgical management, histological findings and recurrence rate were compared.
Of the 35 patients, 19 (54%) were children (mean age, 12.6 years) and 16 (46%) were adults (mean age, 31.4 years). Nasal obstruction was the most common presenting symptom in both groups. The incidence of snoring and/or obstructive sleep apnea was statistically significant, more common among the pediatric age group as compared to the adult group (P =.001). Epistaxis was also found to be more common among the pediatric age group (P =.027), while sinusitis was noted to be significantly more common among the adult group (P =.019). Transnasal endoscopic removal of ACPS was performed in 12 (63.1%) children and 11 (68.7%) adults. A combined open/endoscopic approach was required in 36.9% of children and 31.3% of adults. On histologic examination, allergic ACPS (the mucosal surface is respiratory epithelium, no mucus glands, abundant eosinophils) was more common than inflammatory ACPS (the mucosal surface is respiratory epithelium, no mucus glands, abundant neutrophils) in children (2.8:1) as compared to adults (0.8:1) (P =.045). All of our patients were followed with endoscopic examination for a period ranging from 9 to 42 months (mean, 24 months). Recurrence of ACPS was identified in 2 children and 1 adult.
Antrochoanal polyps are a rare clinical entity. Children have unique clinical and pathological features as compared to adults. Endoscopic excision is safe and effective in the pediatric age group and has the capability to ensure complete removal and lower recurrence rate.
PMCID: PMC2714567  PMID: 19641644
Adults; antrochoanal polyp; children; pathology; surgery
24.  Evaluation of three scales of dyspnea in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(3):128-132.
The Modified Medical Research Council (MMRC) scale, baseline dyspnea index (BDI) and the oxygen cost diagram (OCD) are widely used tools for evaluation of limitation of activities due to dyspnea in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). There is, however, limited information on how these relate with each other and with multiple parameters of physiological impairment.
To study the interrelationships between MMRC, BDI and OCD scales of dyspnea and their correlation with multiple measures of physiological impairment.
A retrospective analysis of pooled data of 88 male patients with COPD (GOLD stages II, III and IV) was carried out. Dyspnea was evaluated using the MMRC, BDI and OCD scales. Physiological impairment was assessed by spirometry (FVC % predicted and FEV1 % predicted), arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis and measurement of the 6-min walk distance (6MWD).
The interrelationships between MMRC, BDI and OCD scales were moderately strong. The BDI and OCD scores had strong correlations with ABG abnormalities, weak correlations with spirometric parameters but none with 6MWD. MMRC grades were significantly associated with BDI and OCD scores but did not show clear associations with spirometric parameters, ABG abnormalities and 6MWD.
The MMRC grades of dyspnea and the BDI and OCD scales are moderately interrelated. While the BDI and OCD scales have significant associations with parameters of physiological impairment, the MMRC scale does not.
PMCID: PMC2714566  PMID: 19641643
Baseline dyspnoea index; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Modified Medical Research Council scale; oxygen cost diagram
25.  A computer-based matrix for rapid calculation of pulmonary hemodynamic parameters in congenital heart disease 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(3):124-127.
In patients with congenital heart disease undergoing cardiac catheterization for hemodynamic purposes, parameter estimation by the indirect Fick method using a single predicted value of oxygen consumption has been a matter of criticism.
We developed a computer-based routine for rapid estimation of replicate hemodynamic parameters using multiple predicted values of oxygen consumption.
Using Microsoft® Excel facilities, we constructed a matrix containing 5 models (equations) for prediction of oxygen consumption, and all additional formulas needed to obtain replicate estimates of hemodynamic parameters.
By entering data from 65 patients with ventricular septal defects, aged 1 month to 8 years, it was possible to obtain multiple predictions for oxygen consumption, with clear between-age groups (P <.001) and between-methods (P <.001) differences. Using these predictions in the individual patient, it was possible to obtain the upper and lower limits of a likely range for any given parameter, which made estimation more realistic.
The organized matrix allows for rapid obtainment of replicate parameter estimates, without error due to exhaustive calculations.
PMCID: PMC2714565  PMID: 19641642
Congenital heart disease; hemodynamics; oxygen consumption; pulmonary hypertension; pulmonary vascular resistance

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