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.
Asthma; guidelines; Saudi Arabia
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.
Bronchopleural fistula; empyema; Mycobacterium chelonae; nontuberculous mycobacteria; rapidly growing mycobacteria
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.
Haemothorax; chest injury; metalic bar
To evaluate the role of smoking as a risk factor for the development of pulmonary tuberculosis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
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.
Diagnosis; India; smoking; tobacco; tuberculosis
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.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
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.
Neo adjuvant therapy; non-small cell lung cancer; prognostic factor; stage IIIA; surgery; survival
The objective of our study was to identify the incidence and risk factors of anastomotic leaks following transhiatal esophagectomy (THE).
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
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.
Anastomotic leak; risk factor; transhiatal esophagectomy
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).
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
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.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; pulmonary hypertension; pulmonary function tests; screening
The study compares the efficiency, side effects and complications of autologous blood pleurodesis with talcum powder and tetracycline.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
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.
Autologous blood; pleurodesis; persistent air leak
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.
Diseases; exhaled nitric oxide; measurement; respiratory
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.
Epidemiology; H1N1; influenza
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.
Chest x-ray; intensive care unit; cardiopulmonary disorders
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.
Chest wall; desmoid; fibromatosis; intrathoracic; tumor
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.
Bronchial asthma; computed tomography; intra-spinal air; pneumorrhachis
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.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
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.
Germ cell tumor; lymphoma; primary mediastinal tumor; thymoma
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.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
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.
Ischemia and arrhythmia; magnesium effects; off-pump coronary surgery
To evaluate and compare the clinical and the pathological characteristics of antrochoanal polyps (ACPS) in adults and children.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
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.
Adults; antrochoanal polyp; children; pathology; surgery
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.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
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.
Baseline dyspnoea index; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Modified Medical Research Council scale; oxygen cost diagram
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.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
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.
Congenital heart disease; hemodynamics; oxygen consumption; pulmonary hypertension; pulmonary vascular resistance
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may cause, trigger or exacerbate many pulmonary diseases. The physiological link between GERD and pulmonary disease has been extensively studied in chronic cough and asthma. A primary care physician often encounters patients with extra esophageal manifestations of GERD in the absence of heartburn. Patients may present with symptoms involving the pulmonary system; noncardiac chest pain; and ear, nose and throat disorders. Local irritation in the esophagus can cause symptoms that vary from indigestion, like chest discomfort and abdominal pain, to coughing and wheezing. If the gastric acid reaches the back of the throat, it may cause a bitter taste in the mouth and/or aspiration of the gastric acid into the lungs. The acid can cause throat irritation, postnasal drip and hoarseness, as well as recurrent cough, chest congestion and lung inflammation leading to asthma and/or bronchitis/ pneumonia. This clinical review examines the potential pathophysiological mechanisms of pulmonary manifestations of GERD. It also reviews relevant clinical information concerning GERD-related chronic cough and asthma. Finally, a potential management strategy for GERD in pulmonary patients is discussed.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease; lungs; pulmonary
There is a worldwide drive for the home management of chronic respiratory diseases. With the widespread use of home intravenous (IV) treatment for cystic fibrosis (CF) pulmonary exacerbations (PExs), evidence pointing to an inferior outcome of care for home-treated patients in comparison to hospital-treated patients is a cause of concern. Currently, patients who self-administer IV antibiotics at home are provided with equipment and instructions on the use of antibiotics. Policies vary; but in most UK centers, these patients are then followed up by the multidisciplinary team only on days 1, 7 and 14 of the treatment course. We aimed to review the current published literature in search for evidence for the value and the shortfalls of self-administered IV treatment at home for acute PExs in CF patients in comparison to conventional hospital treatment. We searched the electronic database system Medline for published papers regarding studies comparing home- and hospital-based IV antibiotic treatment for both adult and pediatric CF patients. Sixteen studies were identified and grouped into those that showed a similar outcome between home and hospital treatment and those that showed an inferior outcome for home management. Most studies were retrospective or inadequately powered to provide clear answers. Ideally, outcome of care for home treatment should be at least equal to outcome for hospital treatment. Extensive efforts should be made to standardize therapies preserving the advantages of home management and addressing the perceived reasons for an inferior outcome. Until further studies provide definitive answers, treatment at home should be reserved for adequately selected patients and individualized depending on the unique settings of each CF center and specific patients' requirements. There is great need for a prospective randomized controlled trial comparing home and hospital treatments in order to clarify this matter.
Cystic fibrosis; home; treatment