Pulmonary/Critical Care

Is There Really a Link between Asthma and Reflux?

February 27, 2018
Is There Really a Link between Asthma and Reflux?

By Scott Statman, MD

Peer Reviewed

There is little doubt that an association between asthma and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) exists. However clinicians have debated the nature of this relationship for decades. Asthma and GERD are among the most common disorders encountered by physicians, with prevalence in the general population estimated at 8%1 and 10 to 20%2 respectively. Studies have shown that up to 80% of asthmatics have symptomatic GERD3 and that people with GERD are nearly1.2 times more likely to have asthma.4  This may …

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Spotlight: Pneumocystis Pneumonia in a Patient Without AIDS, A Clinical Vignette

September 20, 2017
Spotlight: Pneumocystis Pneumonia in a Patient Without AIDS, A Clinical Vignette

By Martin Fried, MD

Peer reviewed

Learning Objectives

Why does impaired cellular immunity increase the risk for Pneumocystis jiroveci Pneumonia (PJP)?  How do acquired humoral immune deficiencies, such as the use of rituximab, increase the risk for PJP? At what dose of chronic steroids use should patients be given prophylaxis for PJP?

Case Summary

The patient is a 35-year-old man with a history of psoriatic arthritis and complex regional pain syndrome on prednisone, methotrexate and abatacept who presented with two weeks of dyspnea on exertion …

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Oxygen Saturation Target of 88-92% in COPD: Evidence-based Medicine?

April 12, 2017
Oxygen Saturation Target of 88-92% in COPD: Evidence-based Medicine?

By Christopher V. Cosgriff

Peer Reviewed

The American College of Physicians (ACP) recommends supplemental long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT) in all patients who have severe resting hypoxemia, defined as a PaO2 ≤55 mmHg or an SpO2 ≤88%. In patients with cor pulmonale or polycythemia they recommend initiation of oxygen therapy at a PaO2 ≤59 mmHg.1 Absent from the ACP recommendation is a target range to which saturation should be restored. The accepted standard of practice is restoration to a range of 88%-92%, and there are British …

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What is the Evidence for Noninvasive Ventilation in Acute Cardiogenic Pulmonary Edema?

February 1, 2017
What is the Evidence for Noninvasive Ventilation in Acute Cardiogenic Pulmonary Edema?

By Jenna Conway, MD

Peer Reviewed

Introduction 

A 58-year-old man presents with worsening dyspnea and nonproductive cough for five days. Significant history includes a recent hospitalization for congestive heart failure. He is afebrile with a blood pressure of 95/55 mmHg, heart rate of 115 beats per minute, and oxygen saturation of 85% on room air. Physical exam is notable for rales bilaterally. Chest X-ray shows bilateral pulmonary infiltrates and an enlarged cardiac silhouette suggestive of cardiogenic pulmonary edema. Standard therapy is initiated with oxygen by …

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Oxygen-Induced Hypercapnia in COPD: What is the Mechanism?

September 28, 2016
Oxygen-Induced Hypercapnia in COPD: What is the Mechanism?

By Jonathan Glatt

Peer Reviewed 

It was my first week on the wards as a third-year medical student, and I found myself huddled with the team in a busy corner of the Bellevue ED, listening to a man cough and wheeze his way through an interview. He was an elderly patient with an extensive smoking history–a lifetime of a destructive habit that had dilated and distorted his lungs beyond repair. He told us, between bouts of breathlessness, of worsening dyspnea and copious sputum production over …

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Diagnostic Challenges in Latent Tuberculosis Infection: A Brief Review of Available Tests and their Appropriate Use

July 15, 2015
Diagnostic Challenges in Latent Tuberculosis Infection: A Brief Review of Available Tests and their Appropriate Use

By: Miguel A. Saldivar, MD

Peer Reviewed 

“Indeterminate.” Many clinicians have expressed frustration when reading this word on a Quantiferon-TB Gold test result. The obligate follow-up question is: what is the next best step? Repeat the Quantiferon? Ignore it altogether and perform a Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) instead? Even worse, what happens when both tests are performed with discordant results? In order to answer some of these questions, this article begins with a very brief overview of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) infection epidemiology. This is followed …

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Lung Cancer Screening with Low-Dose CT Scans

May 9, 2014
Lung Cancer Screening with Low-Dose CT Scans

By Susanna Jeurling

Peer Reviewed

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently finalized its position regarding annual low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scanning for early detection of lung cancer. The grade B recommendation states that individuals between the ages of 55 and 80 with a 30 pack-year history or more of smoking who are current smokers or who have quit within the last 15 years should undergo annual LDCT screening, based on the results of the National Lung Screening Trial . Lung cancer is the …

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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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