Pulmonary/Critical Care

Mystery Quiz-The Answer

January 10, 2013
Mystery Quiz-The Answer

Elizabeth Mulaikal MD, Vivian Hayashi MD, Robert Smith MD

The answer to the mystery quiz is pulmonary Mycobacterium kansasii infection. The patient’s clinical presentation of fevers and night sweats suggested an infectious process or B symptoms due to lymphoma. The initial chest radiograph (image 1) demonstrated a left hilar mass which was noted to be larger on a subsequent chest radiograph (images 2 and 4)) 1 month later. This increase in size over a short duration again suggested an infectious etiology. Importantly and a key…

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Mystery Quiz

December 21, 2012
Mystery Quiz

Elizabeth Mulaikal MD, Vivian Hayashi MD, Robert Smith MD

The patient is a 55 year old African American male with a 60 pack year history of tobacco use and AIDS,who presented with 1 month of intermittent fevers and weight loss. His most recent CD4 count and viral load were 2/cmm and 50,623 copies/mL, respectively. Prior opportunistic infections included pneumocystis pneumonia and thrush. He was previously homeless, but currently resides in a Single Room Occupancy Housing. Upon presentation he complained of occasional night sweats, but no…

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Xopenex: Is it worth the money?

August 16, 2012
Xopenex: Is it worth the money?

By Han Na Kim

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Case:

The patient is a 50-year-old woman with history of steroid-dependent, severe, persistent asthma since childhood and coronary artery disease who presented with dyspnea and URI symptoms admitted for management of asthma exacerbation. Patient received nebulized albuterol treatment every two to four hours, and on hospital day two, patient developed persistent sinus tachycardia to heart rate of 120s believed to be secondary to albuterol therapy. Given her tachycardia, would it be safer to prescribe levalbuterol rather than…

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Bystander CPR: How Much Does It Help?

July 18, 2012
Bystander CPR: How Much Does It Help?

By Andrew L. Weinstein

Faculty Peer Reviewed

You have just completed a certification course in basic life support and are competent at performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) using chest compressions, a CPR mask, a bag-valve mask with impedance threshold device, and an automated external defibrillator (AED), all interventions recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA) to improve circulation following a sudden cardiac arrest. On your way home from the training center you see a man collapse and rush over to find him unresponsive, not breathing, and…

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What are the Barriers to Using Low Dose CT to Screen for Lung Cancer?

February 23, 2012
What are the Barriers to Using Low Dose CT to Screen for Lung Cancer?

By Benjamin Lok

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths globally and responsible for an estimated 221,120 new cases and 156,940 deaths in 2011 in the United States. Presently, the United States Preventive Services Task Force, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the American College of Chest Physicians, and most other evidence-based organizations do not recommend screening for lung cancer with chest x-ray or low-dose helical computed tomography (CT) due to inadequate evidence to support mortality reduction. This…

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Why Are Asthma Patients Noncompliant With Their Inhalers?

January 11, 2012
Why Are Asthma Patients Noncompliant With Their Inhalers?

By Kristen Mattei

Faculty Peer Reviewed

I distinctly remember being 9 years old, sitting in my doctor’s office after a cold left me struggling for breath, doubled over and wheezing, when he told me that I had asthma. At first I didn’t believe the diagnosis, despite the fact that the albuterol inhaler he had given me was like a breath of life after running suicides on the soccer field. I wasn’t sick or weak! My father insisted I needed to “build my breath up,” and…

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Does Perioperative Smoking Cessation Improve outcomes?

January 6, 2012
Does Perioperative Smoking Cessation Improve outcomes?

By Benjamin Wu, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Mr. T is a 53-year-old man, with history significant for cholelithiasis. He decides to have an elective cholecystectomy after years of biliary colic. Mr. T is an active smoker and wanted to know if he should stop smoking prior to surgery?

Smoking is associated with adverse outcomes in surgery, however debate continues regarding the safety of perioperative smoking cessation. The current understanding of perioperative smoking cessation follows that smokers who stop smoking close to surgery have a higher…

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Mystery Quiz- The Answer

December 14, 2011
Mystery Quiz- The Answer

Vivian Hayashi MD and Robert Smith MD, Mystery Quiz Section Editors
The answer to the mystery quiz is Kaposi’s sarcoma. The CXR shows bilateral confluent airspaceopacities which have a wide differential diagnosis in this case. The CT narrows the differential.  Specifically, the opacities appear to emanate from the central hilar areas, cuff the airways, and fan out into the more distal airspaces (Images 3 and 4).  This appearance is very suggestive of Kaposi’s sarcoma. CT scans may also reveal mediastinal lymphadenopathy and large

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Mystery Quiz

December 9, 2011
Mystery Quiz

Vivian Hayashi MD and Robert Smith MD, Mystery Quiz Section Editors

The patient is a 52 year old African-American man who presented with breathlessness and weight loss over one month along with watery stools during the week prior to admission. He had a history of untreated HIV infection, a CD4 cell count of 5/cmm, oral candidiasis, and peri-rectal HSV infection. The patient reported occasional cough with variable sputum production but denied fever, night sweats, hemoptysis, recent travel, or sick contacts. His risk factor for HIV…

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Mystery Quiz

November 30, 2011
Mystery Quiz

Vivian Hayashi MD and Robert Smith MD, Mystery Quiz Section Editors

The patient is a 52 year old African-American man who presented with breathlessness and weight loss over one month along with watery stools during the week prior to admission. He had a history of untreated HIV infection, a CD4 cell count of 5/cmm, oral candidiasis, and peri-rectal HSV infection. The patient reported occasional cough with variable sputum production but denied fever, night sweats, hemoptysis, recent travel, or sick contacts. His risk factor for HIV…

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Does Culturing the Catheter Tip Change Patient Outcomes?

November 17, 2011
Does Culturing the Catheter Tip Change Patient Outcomes?

By Todd Cutler, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

An 82-year-old man is admitted to the intensive care unit with fevers, hypoxic respiratory failure and hypotension. He is intubated and resuscitated with intravenous fluids. A central venous catheter is placed via the internal jugular vein. A chest x-ray showed a right lower lobe infiltrate and he is treated empirically with antibiotics for pneumonia. Blood cultures grow out S. pneumoniae. After four days he is successfully extubated. The night following extubation, the patient has a fever of 100.8…

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Should you Treat a COPD Exacerbation with Antibiotics?

September 3, 2011
Should you Treat a COPD Exacerbation with Antibiotics?

By: Aviva Regev

Mr. S is a 68-year old man with longstanding COPD and a 40-pack-year smoking history.  He presents to clinic with three days of increasing shortness of breath, and complains that he has been coughing up “more junk” than usual.  As I watch him spit a wad of chartreuse sputum into his tissue, I reach for the prescription pad and tell him he’ll need a week of antibiotics.  He wants to know why he can’t just go up on his inhaled medications instead…

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