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1.  A female with fever and shortness of breath 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2008;3(4):158-159.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.43086
PMCID: PMC2700453  PMID: 19561901
2.  The first Saudi lung cancer guidelines 
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.43155
PMCID: PMC2700452  PMID: 19561893
3.  Evaluation of brain stem auditory evoked potentials in stable patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2008;3(4):128-134.
Though there are few studies addressing brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEP) in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), subclinical BAEP abnormalities in stable COPD patients have not been studied. The present study aimed to evaluate the BAEP abnormalities in this study group.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
In the present study, 80 male subjects were included: COPD group comprised 40 smokers with stable COPD with no clinical neuropathy; 40 age-matched healthy volunteers served as the control group. Latencies of BAEP waves I, II, III, IV, and V, together with interpeak latencies (IPLs) of I-III, I-V, and III-V, and amplitudes of waves I-Ia and V-Va were studied in both the groups to compare the BAEP abnormalities in COPD group; the latter were correlated with patient characteristics and Mini–Mental Status Examination Questionnaire (MMSEQ) scores to seek any significant correlation.
RESULTS:
Twenty-six (65%) of the 40 COPD patients had BAEP abnormalities. We observed significantly prolonged latencies of waves I, III, V over left ear and waves III, IV, V over right ear; increased IPLs of I-V, III-V over left ear and of I-III, I-V, III-V over right side. Amplitudes of waves I-Ia and V-Va were decreased bilaterally. Over left ear, the latencies of wave I and III were significantly correlated with FEV1; and amplitude of wave I-Ia, with smoking pack years. A weak positive correlation between amplitude of wave I-Ia and duration of illness; and a weak negative correlation between amplitude of wave V-Va and MMSEQ scores were seen over right side.
CONCLUSIONS:
We observed significant subclinical BAEP abnormalities on electrophysiological evaluation in studied stable COPD male patients having mild-to-moderate airflow obstruction.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.42271
PMCID: PMC2700451  PMID: 19561894
Brainstem auditory evoked potentials; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; correlation analysis; Mini–Mental Status Examination
4.  Isoniazid- and ethambutol-induced psychosis 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2008;3(4):149-151.
Most cases of antituberculous agent–associated psychoses were caused by isoniazid (INH), with ethambutol (EMB)-induced psychosis being rare. The concomitant occurrence of INH- and EMB- induced psychosis and in a single individual is extremely uncommon. We report a case of 28-year-old male who developed psychotic symptoms on start of EMB initially and later on INH also. He was prescribed rifampicin, pyrazinamide, and ofloxacin and had no further psychotic symptoms.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.43083
PMCID: PMC2700450  PMID: 19561898
Ethambutol; isoniazid; psychosis
5.  Avian influenza: The tip of the iceberg 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2008;3(4):154-157.
For some years now, we have been living with the fear of an impending pandemic of avian influenza (AI). Despite the recognition, in 1996, of the global threat posed by the highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza virus found in farmed geese in Guangdong Province, China, planning for the anticipated epidemic remains woefully inadequate; this is especially true in developing countries such as Saudi Arabia.
These deficiencies became obvious in 1997, with the outbreak of AI in the live animal markets in Hong Kong that led to the transmission of infection to 18 humans with close contact with diseased birds; there were six reported deaths.[1] In 2003, with the reemergence of H5N1 (considered the most likely AI virus) in the Republic of Korea and its subsequent spread to Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong and China. Many countries started aggressively making preparations to meet the threat.[2] The pressure for real action from governments has increased. Most developed countries have requested increased funding for the search for a more effective vaccine, for stockpiling possibly helpful antiviral drugs, and for intensifying domestic and global surveillance.[3] Most countries, however, continue to be inadequately prepared for such an epidemic, especially with regard to animal surveillance in the farm market and surveillance among migratory birds. Even now, most countries do not have the ability to detect disease among humans in the early stages of an outbreak nor do most hospitals comply with effective infection control measures that could curtail the spread of the virus in the early stages of an epidemic. In Saudi Arabia we are rapidly implementing many of these measures.[4]
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.43085
PMCID: PMC2700449  PMID: 19561900
Avian influenza; H5N1; review; Saudi Arabia
6.  Comparison of clinicoradiologic manifestation of nonspecific interstitial pneumonia and usual interstitial pneumonia/idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2008;3(4):140-145.
BACKGROUND:
Ever since Katzenstein and Fiorelli introduced the term nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP) to denote those cases of interstitial pneumonia that cannot be categorized as any of the other types of idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (IIP), there has been continuing debate on whether it is a real clinical entity or not. The American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Symposium task group tried to identify idiopathic NSIP as a separate disease and exclude it from the category of IIP. However, it appears that the clinical presentation of NSIP and usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) are the same.
OBJECTIVE:
To show that the radiologic features of NSIP and UIP should be relied upon, instead of clinical presentation and pathologic findings, to differentiate between the two.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Consecutive patients who had received a diagnosis of either NSIP or UIP on the basis of open lung biopsy between January 2001 and December 2007 were identified for inclusion in this retrospective review. The study included 61 subjects: 32 men and 29 women with a mean age of 59.39 ± 14.5 years. Chest computed tomography images of all the cases were collected for a review. High resolution computed tomography (HRCT) and all pathologic specimens were also evaluated. A weighted kappa coefficient was used to evaluate whether radiology can be used instead of biopsy for the diagnosis of NSIP and UIP. Comparison of the mean ages and the time intervals (i.e., interval between symptom onset and the time of diagnosis) in the UIP and NSIP groups was done using the Mann-Whitney U test. Association between gender and biopsy result was evaluated by the Fisher exact test. Data were evaluated using SPSS, v.13.
RESULTS:
Sixty-one patients were included in this study, 32 were male and 29 were female. On the basis of biopsy findings, 50 (82%) patients had UIP and 11 (18%) had NSIP. Thirty (60%) of the 50 patients who had UIP were male and 20 (40%) were female; 2 (18.2%) of the 11 patients who suffered from NSIP were male and 9 (81.8%) were female. Based on HRCT findings, 36 (60%) patients were diagnosed to have UIP and 24 (40%) were diagnosed with NSIP. When diagnosis was based on biopsy findings, the time interval in the UIP group was 13.59 ± 8.29 months and in the NSIP group it was 7.90 ± 4.18 months. When diagnosed on the basis of HRCT findings, the time interval in the UIP group was 14.22 ± 8.94 months and in the NSIP group it was 10.54 ± 5.78 months. When diagnosis was on the basis of biopsy, the mean age in the UIP group was 61.30 ± 14.18 years and in the NSIP group it was 50.73 ± 13.14 years.
CONCLUSION:
HRCT can be used instead of invasive methods like lung biopsy to differentiate between UIP and NSIP.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.43081
PMCID: PMC2700448  PMID: 19561896
Interstitial lung diseases; pneumonitis; tomography; X-ray; computed
7.  Congenital bronchopulmonary malformations: A single-center experience and a review of literature 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2008;3(4):135-139.
PURPOSE:
To present a single-center experience with 25 cases of bronchopulmonary malformations and the review the literature.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
We conducted a retrospective analysis of the medical records of patients with congenital bronchopulmonary malformations who were operated between July 1997 and July 2007 in our institute; we examined the modes of presentations, management, and outcome. Outcome of all patients was assessed over a short follow-up period (average 1.8 months).
RESULTS:
Out of 25 patients, 18 (72%) were male and 7 (28%) were female. Age of patients ranged from 1 day to 11 years. The histopathological diagnosis was congenital cystic adenomatoid malformations [CCAM; n = 14 (56%)], congenital lobar emphysema [CLE; n = 5 (20%)], pulmonary sequestrations [PS; n = 3 (12%)], and bronchogenic cysts [BC; n = 3 (12%)]. Antenatal diagnosis was available in only 2 (8%) patients. The common presenting symptoms were respiratory distress and chest infections. Lobectomy was the procedure of choice . Mortality was 16% (n = 4; M: F = 3: 1). Two patients died because of overwhelming sepsis, one from compromised cardiac function, and one from aspiration which might possibly have been prevented.
CONCLUSION:
Patients with progressive respiratory distress due to these anomalies may require urgent surgical intervention regardless of age. The surgical outcome is favorable, with manageable complications. Plain x-ray chest and CT of thorax are usually sufficient for diagnosis and planning of treatment. Pathological diagnosis may differ from the imaging diagnosis. Mortality is found to be more in neonates. Apart from initial stabilization, resection of lesion and careful postoperative care is necessary to reduce mortality and morbidity.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.43080
PMCID: PMC2700447  PMID: 19561895
BC; CCAM; CLE; congenital bronchopulmonary malformations; lobectomy; PS
8.  Diagnosis of peripheral pulmonary carcinoid tumor using endobronchial ultrasound 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2008;3(4):146-148.
A 51-year-old woman with severe asthma underwent bronchoscopy and endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) for investigation of a 15-mm peripheral lung nodule. Histology demonstrated a typical carcinoid tumor. Pulmonary location is the second commonest site for carcinoid tumors. Diagnosis of peripheral carcinoid tumor of the lung is difficult due to its small size, poor accuracy of cytologic diagnosis, and low sensitivity of positron emission tomography in detecting it. EBUS has a high diagnostic yield and a low complication rate in the evaluation of small solitary pulmonary nodules. The ultrasound appearance of carcinoid tumors is identical to that of lung carcinomas. Prompt diagnosis of carcinoid tumor is desirable as regional lymph node metastasis is seen in 10% of patients and is associated with a reduced 5-year survival. We feel that, where possible, all patients presenting with solitary pulmonary nodules should be investigated initially using EBUS due to its high diagnostic rate and the very low incidence of adverse events.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.43082
PMCID: PMC2700446  PMID: 19561897
Pulmonary carcinoid tumor; endobronchial ultrasound; solitary pulmonary nodule
9.  Ectopia cordis associated with Cantrell's pentalogy 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2008;3(4):152-153.
Cantrell's pentalogy with ectopia cordis is an extremely rare and lethal congenital anomaly, with a reported incidence of 1:100000 births in developed countries. We report a neonate who presented with ectopia cordis along with cleft lower sternum, upper abdominal wall defect, ectopic umbilicus, diaphragmatic defect, and interventricular septal defect. The neonate had respiratory distress with peripheral cyanosis and died because of acidosis and electrolyte imbalance before surgical intervention could be undertaken. We discuss the case and present a brief review of literature and of embryogenesis
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.43084
PMCID: PMC2700445  PMID: 19561899
Abdominal wall defect; Cantrell's pentalogy; ectopia cordis
10.  Role of nitric oxide in management of acute respiratory distress syndrome 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2008;3(3):100-103.
The current mortality rate of patients suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is between 45% and 92%, with most dying within the first two weeks of the illness. In an effort to combat such an alarmingly high mortality rate, various treatment therapies such as low tidal volume ventilation strategies, corticosteroid therapy, and use of nitric oxide (NO) have been attempted in the management of patients with ARDS. Three cases which were admitted to the ICU and confirmed to have ARDS were unable to be weaned from ventilatory support, and nitric oxide therapy was initiated. It improved patients' oxygenation for short periods of time but did not affect the mortality. The patients could not be weaned from the ventilator and expired.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.41914
PMCID: PMC2700444  PMID: 19561888
Acute respiratory distress syndrome; nitric oxide; PAC; ventilator
11.  Spontaneous pneumothorax: An unusual complication of pregnancy - A case report and review of literature 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2008;3(3):104-105.
Spontaneous pneumothorax complicating pregnancy is rare. Only 55 cases have been reported till now. We describe a case of a 30-year-old Indian woman with spontaneous pneumothorax during her 28th week of pregnancy.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.41915
PMCID: PMC2700443  PMID: 19561889
Pneumothorax; pregnancy; spontaneous
12.  Unusual variant of Cantrell's pentalogy? 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2008;3(3):106-107.
A 12-hour-old male infant presented with prolapsed abdominal content through a defect on left side of chest wall with respiratory distress. A thorough clinical examination suggested absence of ectopia cordis, abdominal wall defect, and any bony anomaly. The child expired after 6 hours of admission because of respiratory distress and electrolyte imbalance. Is congenital defect of chest wall associated with diaphragmatic hernia without ectopia cordis and omphalocele, an unusual variant of Cantrell's pentalogy?
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.41916
PMCID: PMC2700442  PMID: 19561890
Cantrell's pentalogy; chest wall defect; congenital diaphragmatic hernia
13.  International cooperation to promote advances in medicine 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2008;3(3):79-81.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.41913
PMCID: PMC2700441  PMID: 19561884
14.  Colopleural fistula: Case report and review of the literature 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2008;3(3):108-109.
We report a 28-year-old woman, pregnant, at 24 weeks, with 3-day history of right-sided chest pain and shortness of breath. Few hours after admission, she delivered a dead baby. She had a history of right partial hepatic lobotomy and cholecystectomy at UK on May 2004 because of multiple pyogenic liver abscesses. Chest examination revealed signs of hydrothorax on the right side. Chest X-ray showed pleural effusion on the right side. Pleural fluid was exudative with high neutrophils. Gram stain and culture showed multiple organisms. CT scan chest and abdomen with contrast, combined with barium enema, revealed right colothorax communication. Colothorax fistula was closed surgically. On the following days, the patient's symptoms resolved, and she was consequently discharged.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.41917
PMCID: PMC2700440  PMID: 19561891
Colopleural fistula; colothorax fistula; fecal hydrothorax
15.  Correlation between high-resolution computed tomography features and patients' characteristics in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2008;3(3):87-93.
BACKGROUND:
During the last few decades, high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) has come up as a new diagnostic modality to diagnose emphysematous and chronic bronchitis components of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The present study was undertaken to evaluate for various quantitative and qualitative HRCT features in patients with COPD, and to detect patients' characteristics that correlate with these HRCT features.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Forty male patients with COPD attending the COPD clinic at a tertiary referral hospital and postgraduate medical institute were included in the study. Various HRCT features, including tracheal index, thoracic cage ratio, sterno-aortic distance, thoracic cross-sectional area, vascular attenuation, vascular distortion, mosaic attenuation pattern, and directly visible small airways, were evaluated and correlated with patients' characteristics, including age, duration of illness, quantum of smoking, dyspnea score, quality-of-life index, and various spirometric indices.
RESULTS:
We found significant correlations of various quantitative and qualitative HRCT features with age, duration of illness, quantum of smoking, quality-of-life index, and the spirometric indices showing the extent of airways obstruction.
CONCLUSIONS:
Various quantitative and qualitative HRCT features were found to correlate with patients' characteristics, spirometric indices, and health-related quality-of-life score, suggesting that HRCT is useful not only in detecting emphysema and its various subtypes but also in predicting the extent and severity of COPD.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.39676
PMCID: PMC2700439  PMID: 19561886
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; correlation analysis; high-resolution computed tomography features
16.  Using arm span to derive height: Impact of three estimates of height on interpretation of spirometry 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2008;3(3):94-99.
BACKGROUND:
When standing height required to calculate forced vital capacity (FVC) cannot be measured, it can be derived from arm span using different methods.
OBJECTIVES:
To compare three different estimates of height derived from arm span and investigate their impact on interpretation of spirometric data.
METHODS:
In a cross-sectional study, 517 subjects aged 7 to 76 years, with various respiratory diseases underwent spirometry. Three estimates of height were obtained from arm span: (a) by direct substitution (HtAS); (b) estimated height (Htest), obtained from the mean arm span:standing height ratio; and (c) predicted height (Htpred), obtained from arm span by linear regression analysis. Predicted values of forced vital capacity (FVC) obtained from these estimates were compared with those obtained from actual standing height (Htact), followed by Bland Altman analysis of agreement in the patterns of ventilatory impairment.
RESULTS:
The arm span was 5%-6% greater than the height. The difference increased with increasing height. HtAS and the FVC predicted from it were significantly greater than the other measures of height and the related predicted FVCs respectively. Compared to Htact, HtAS gave a misclassification rate of 23.7% in taller subjects (Htact > 150 cm) and 14.2% in shorter subjects in the patterns of ventilatory impairment. Misclassification rates were 6%-8% with Htest and Htpred. Agreement analysis showed that FVCs predicted from Htpred had the best agreement with the FVC predicted from Htact.
CONCLUSIONS:
Among several methods of estimating height from the arm span, prediction by regression is most appropriate as it gives least errors in interpretation of spirometric data
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.39574
PMCID: PMC2700438  PMID: 19561887
Arm span; interpretation; spirometry
17.  Tuberculosis of the breast 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2008;3(3):110-114.
Tuberculosis of the breast is an uncommon disease even in countries where the incidence of pulmonary and extrapulmonary tuberculosis is high. Clinical presentation is usually of a solitary, ill-defined, unilateral hard lump situated in the upper outer quadrant of the breast. This disease can present a diagnostic problem on radiological and microbiological investigations, and thus a high index of suspicion is needed. Incorporating a highly sensitive technique like polymerase chain reaction (PCR) may be helpful in establishing the usefulness of such technology and can aid in conforming the diagnosis early. The disease is curable with antitubercular drugs, and surgery is rarely required
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.41918
PMCID: PMC2700437  PMID: 19561892
Tuberculous mastitis (TM); Direct amplification tests (DAT); M tuberculosis direct test (MTD)
18.  HRCT score in bronchiectasis: Correlation with pulmonary function tests and pulmonary artery pressure 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2008;3(3):82-86.
BACKGROUND:
High-resolution CT scan (HRCT) and its score have an important role in delineating pathological changes and pulmonary functional impairment in patients with bronchiectasis.
AIMS:
To assess pulmonary function tests (PFTs) in patients with cystic and cylindrical bronchiectasis. To correlate HRCT score with PFTs and systolic pulmonary artery pressure (SPAP) in both radiological types.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
A cross-sectional study of patients with bronchiectasis diagnosed by HRCT was conducted at King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. PFTs, HRCT score and SPAP were measured in both types.
RESULTS:
We studied 94 patients with bronchiectasis; 62 were cystic and 32 were cylindrical. Their mean age was 53.4 ± 17.5 SD years. Forced vital capacity (FVC%) and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1%) were significantly lower in cystic patients (P < 0.0001) as compared with cylindrical patients; and diffusion capacity of carbon monoxide (DLCO%) was also significantly lower (P < 0.01). In the cystic group, PaO2 was significantly lower; and PaCO2, higher (P < 0.0001). HRCT score was correlated with FEV1% (r = −0.51). HRCT score was significantly lower in the cystic group (P = 0.002) and correlated with SPAP (r = 0.23). Global HTCT score of 10.3 ± 2.5 was associated with SPAP ≥40 mm Hg (P = 0.011).
CONCLUSION:
Patients with cystic bronchiectasis have significantly higher impairment of pulmonary physiology as compared with those with cylindrical bronchiectasis patients. HRCT score correlated with PFTs and SPAP.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.39675
PMCID: PMC2700436  PMID: 19561885
Bronchiectasis; high-resolution CT; pulmonary artery pressure
19.  Bronchial asthma in developing countries: A major social and economic burden 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2008;3(2):39-40.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.39633
PMCID: PMC2700463  PMID: 19561902
20.  Hypogenetic lung syndrome in an adolescent: Imaging findings with short review 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2008;3(2):60-63.
Hypogenetic lung syndrome is more popularly known as a scimitar syndrome (SS). It is a rare developmental lung malformation which almost always occurs on the right side. The two most constant features of this syndrome are anomalous pulmonary venous return into systemic circulation, most frequently via inferior vena cava (IVC), and lung hypoplasia.
We are reporting such a case illustrating most typical and some uncommon features on chest radiograph and multislice computer tomography (MSCT) of chest. Focal herniation of liver through a diaphragmatic defect presenting as an ovoid soft tissue mass in right lower paraspinal region on chest X ray mimicking sequestration is an interesting but rare finding.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.39639
PMCID: PMC2700462  PMID: 19561908
Dextrocardia; pulmonary hypoplasia; sequestration
21.  Unconventional therapy use among asthma patients in a tertiary care center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2008;3(2):48-51.
OBJECTIVES:
Unconventional therapy (UT) is a therapeutic practice of alternative and complementary medicine that is not currently considered an integral part of modern medical practice. The aim of this article is to investigate the experience of Saudi patients with UT modalities in the treatment of asthma.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
We carried out a cross-sectional study of asthma patients referred to King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during the year 2004. Information was collected using a pre-designed questionnaire administered through interviews.
RESULTS:
Two hundred consecutive patients with a mean age of 52.3 years (±18.7) were included in this study. Sixty-nine (34.5%) of those patients used some form of UT in the previous year. There was a tendency to use UT among the older age group (P = 0.029) and among those with longer duration of disease (P = 0.009). However, there was no significant correlation observed between the use of UT and gender, FEV1, or disease control. The most commonly used form of UT was recitation of Holy Quran (9%), honey (24.5%), herbs (23.5%), cautery (12%), and blackseed (10%). There was no significant correlation between disease control and the use of modalities.
CONCLUSION:
Unconventional therapy is frequently practiced by asthma patients in Saudi Arabia, who commonly believe that UT will lead to improvement. The lack of evidence necessitates the fostering of a national project to address the practice of UT.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.39636
PMCID: PMC2700461  PMID: 19561905
Asthma; Saudi Arabia; uncontrolled asthma; unconventional therapy
22.  Hypocalcemia in a Saudi intensive care unit 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2008;3(2):57-59.
OBJECTIVE:
Hypocalcemia has been a common abnormality in the West, seen in patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). It has also been linked with disease severity. We undertook this study to determine the frequency of hypocalcemia in patients admitted to the intensive care unit.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
In a retrospective chart review from January 2004 till December 2004, patients admitted to our ICU were reviewed. Patients’ age, sex, diagnosis, acute physiology and chronic health score APACHE II and ionized calcium were recorded. Patients were divided into three groups based on disease severity as measured by APACHE II. Hypocalcemia was defined as ionized Ca level less than 1.18 mmol/L. Frequency was determined in each group and correlation of hypocalcemia with disease severity was explored.
RESULTS:
Hypocalcemia was seen in 22.2% in group A (APACHE II < 10), 40.4% in group B (APACHE II 10–19) and 53.9% in group C (APACHE II > 19). Hypocalcemia and disease severity (APACHE II scores) were negatively correlated (P = 0.02).
Mean ionized Ca levels in groups A, B and C were 1.22 mmol/L (±0.10), 1.19 mmol/L (±0.11) and 1.25 mmol/L (±0.24) respectively.
CONCLUSIONS:
Hypocalcemia is a common finding in critically ill patients. It is correlated with worsening disease severity. Mechanisms underlying hypocalcemia and the possible relationship of hypocalcemia with mortality need further consideration.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.39638
PMCID: PMC2700460  PMID: 19561907
Hypocalcemia; intensive care
23.  Validation of the Arabic version of the asthma control test 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2008;3(2):44-47.
PURPOSE:
Asthma control test (ACT) has been devised to assess the degree of asthma control in out-patients setting. The aim of this study is to validate the Arabic version of ACT.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Patients completed the Arabic version of ACT during regular visit to one of two asthma specialists. Spirometry was obtained. The asthma specialist rated asthma control using a 5-point scale and indicated modification in management as step up, same or step down of asthma treatment.
RESULTS:
40 patients completed the study, the mean age was 32.6 + 14.0 years, mean FEV1 was 2.7 + 1.0 L (89.2% + 23.6% of predicted). The mean ACT score was 15.9 + 5.8; mean of specialist asthma control rating was 3.4 + 1.0. The internal consistency reliability of the 5-item ACT survey was alpha = 0.92. The correlation was moderate between ACT and specialists rating (r = 0.482, P = 0.002) and between ACT and treatment modification (r = −0.350, P = 0.027). The correlation between FEV1 and ACT was low (r = 0.185, P = 0.259). ACT distinguished between patients with different specialist rating (F = 3.37, P = 0.02) and the need to change therapy (F = 3.62, P = 0.037). The areas under the curve (ROC) for ACT, FEV1, and ACT and FEV1 as independent variables were 0.720, 0.721, and 0.766 respectively. All results were comparable to the initial work for development of ACT.
CONCLUSION:
The Arabic version of the ACT is a valid tool to assess asthma control. ACT correlates better with asthma specialist rating of asthma control than with FEV1.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.39635
PMCID: PMC2700459  PMID: 19561904
Asthma; asthma assessment; asthma control test
24.  Knowledge and practice of spirometry among pediatricians in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2008;3(2):52-56.
BACKGROUND:
Spirometry is the most basic, widely used and effort-dependent pulmonary function test. It assesses the lung volumes and flows, and is ideally suited to describe the effects of restriction or obstruction on lung function. Therefore, keeping in view the clinical applications of spirometry, this study attempts to explore the knowledge and practice about spirometry among pediatricians.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
A questionnaire-based study was conducted across multiple centers in various hospitals in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The structured questionnaire, based upon knowledge and practice of spirometry, was distributed to 150 pediatricians in the various tertiary care hospitals in the metropolitan area of Riyadh.
RESULTS:
Ninety-four percent of 113 pediatricians agreed that spirometry is a valuable tool in pediatric clinical practice. However, knowledge relating to spirometry was lacking among pediatricians, and about 86% of the study population did not demonstrate up-to-date knowledge of spirometry in pediatrics. Only 11% of pediatricians were very confident in interpreting spirometry results. No statistically significant association was observed between the distribution of responses relating to knowledge and practice of spirometry and the study variables including academic position, duration of practicing experience and number of patients attended daily.
CONCLUSION:
The results indicated that pediatricians in Riyadh were lacking adequate knowledge about the clinical applications of spirometry in their daily clinical practice. Hence, it was suggested that pediatricians should attend periodical training, workshops and continuous medical education programmes to enhance their knowledge. This should especially be performed during their pediatric residency training programmes, as spirometry is one of the essential components in clinical practice.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.39637
PMCID: PMC2700458  PMID: 19561906
Knowledge; pediatricians; practice; spirometry

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