Systems

Concussions and Football By The Numbers

December 6, 2013
Concussions and Football By The Numbers

By Benjamin G. Wu

Peer Reviewed

The news of a large $675 million dollar settlement on concussions has headlined on both the sports news channels and in popular media during this 2013 National Football League (N.F.L.) season . Heralded as a victory mainly for the N.F.L., the settlement not only allows the league to avoid larger amounts in potential liability payments but also the public scrutiny of a discovery phase if a case were to move forward . In the wake of this settlement…

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To Stent or not to Stent? A Review of the Evidence on the Utility of Stenting in Renal Artery Stenosis

November 22, 2013
To Stent or not to Stent? A Review of the Evidence on the Utility of Stenting in Renal Artery Stenosis

By Elizabeth Hammer, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Renovascular hypertension, often caused by renal artery stenosis (RAS) due to atherosclerosis or fibromuscular dysplasia, is the most common potentially correctable cause of secondary hypertension. Although only approximately one percent of patients with hypertension have atherosclerotic renovascular disease (ARVD), the prevalence increases to 30-40% in patients with CAD, CHF, and PVD. Screening studies of asymptomatic populations in the United States demonstrate a disease prevalence of 7%, with an annual incidence of 0.5% per year in analyses of…

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From The Archives: The Polymyxins: Why am I using them all the time, and what are they?

November 21, 2013
From The Archives: The Polymyxins: Why am I using them all the time, and what are they?

Please enjoy this post from the archives dated December 8, 2010

By Jon-Emile S Kenny

Faculty Peer Reviewed

A 65-year-old female with locally advanced rectal cancer is admitted to the ICU, hypotensive and febrile. Her PICC line is removed and blood cultures drawn. Fourty-eight hours later all cultures return ESBL Klebsiella with susceptibility only to polymyxin.

I sat on the venerable call-room couch staring mindlessly at the cluttered, nauseating walls repeating the word ‘polymyxin’ like an endless antimicrobial mantra. What strange dosing it has, and…

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BREAKING NEWS: New ACC/AHA Guidelines on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults

November 13, 2013
BREAKING NEWS: New ACC/AHA Guidelines on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults

By Sherif Shoucri, MD

Yesterday, the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association released new groundbreaking guidelines on the treatment of blood cholesterol. These recommendations, which officially drop LDL target levels for patients on statin therapy, will fundamentally alter the way most primary care physicians and cardiologists treat hyperlipidemia. After reviewing the available data on statins, the authors concluded that there was no evidence to support an LDL target of either 70 or 100. Rather, patients should be placed on either moderate-intensity (lowers…

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The Complicated Story of Saturated Fat

November 8, 2013
The Complicated Story of Saturated Fat

By Gregory Katz, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Everyday in clinic, we tell our patients to choose foods low in saturated fat. Because these foods raise plasma cholesterol, the thinking goes, they cause heart disease. Today, every major medical organization – from the American Heart Association to the Harvard School of Public Health to the USDA – recommends a diet low in saturated fat to prevent and treat heart disease. The fat-cholesterol-heart disease connection is so thoroughly integrated into both medicine and popular culture…

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FROM THE ARCHIVES – Kayexalate: What is it and does it work?

November 7, 2013
FROM THE ARCHIVES – Kayexalate: What is it and does it work?

Please enjoy this post from the archives dated December 1, 2010

By Todd Cutler, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

A 62-year-old male is hospitalized with an acute congestive heart failure exacerbation. On hospital day three, the patient’s symptoms have significantly improved with twice daily furosemide 80mg IV. He is continued on IV diuretics and aggressive electrolyte repletion. On day five of his admission, his basic metabolic panel is significant for a creatinine of 2.3 mg/dL (increased from 1.3 on admission) and a potassium concentration of

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To Stent or Not to Stent?

November 6, 2013
To Stent or Not to Stent?

By Anish Vani

Faculty Peer Reviewed

According to the 2010 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics update of the American Heart Association, there are 17.6 million Americans living with coronary heart disease (CHD) . Fortunately, mortality from heart disease is on the decline in the United States and in countries with advanced health care, likely due to better management of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and a reduction in lifestyle risk factors such as smoking. However, for the millions of Americans with stable ischemic heart disease (SIHD),…

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Can we teach the immune system to fight cancer?

November 1, 2013
Can we teach the immune system to fight cancer?

By Jenny Gartshteyn

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Since the start of vaccination – we’ve eradicated smallpox and polio, saved college kids from meningitis, averted flu epidemics, and decreased the incidence of HPV-related cervical cancer … but can we teach our immune systems to actively fight existing cancer?

Here’s the mechanism for an ideal anti-cancer vaccine:

With the growth and turnover of cancerous cells, cancer-specific tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) would be recognized and processed by professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs), such as dendritic cells and macrophages – which would…

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From The Archives: Creatine Kinase: How Much is Too Much?

October 24, 2013
From The Archives: Creatine Kinase: How Much is Too Much?

Please enjoy this post from the archives dated November 3, 2010

By Jon-Emile Kenny, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

A 37-year-old man, with no past medical history and taking finasteride for male pattern baldness, is admitted to Medicine with profound lower extremity weakness after a weekend of performing multiple quadriceps exercises. His measured creatine phosphokinase (CPK) is over 35,000 IU/liter. I wonder to myself, what is the risk to his kidneys and can I mitigate the damage?

Rhabdomyolysis means destruction of striated muscle. Physical manifestations range from…

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Generation A(dderall)

October 17, 2013
Generation A(dderall)

By Michael Weinstock

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Neurocognitive enhancement with mixed amphetamine salts (MAS) has grown commonplace in academic settings. Over 34% of college students at a large public university reported using MAS as a study aid at least once in their life . Other researchers have found prevalence rates ranging from 13.7% lifetime use at another large public university to 55% lifetime use among fraternity members at a large public university . Abuse and misuse of stimulants does not stop after four years of college,…

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Is there a Non-Invasive Method to Diagnose Cirrhosis/Hepatic Fibrosis?

October 11, 2013
Is there a Non-Invasive Method to Diagnose Cirrhosis/Hepatic Fibrosis?

By Becky Naoulou, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Clinical Question:

You are asked to see a 45 year-old male with a medical history significant for untreated hepatitis C (HCV RNA 5,000,000 copies/mL, genotype 1a). He presents complaining of worsening fatigue and weakness for several months. Labs are remarkable for mildly elevated transaminases, low albumin, and an elevated INR. The patient is very worried because he has heard that hepatitis C can cause liver cancer and asks you if there is a non-invasive screening test for liver…

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Barriers to Translating Evidence into Clinical Care: the Zoster Vaccine

October 10, 2013
Barriers to Translating Evidence into Clinical Care: the Zoster Vaccine

By Zachary Elkin

Faculty Peer Reviewed

There are more than a million cases of herpes zoster (HZ) in the US annually . The incidence of HZ, or shingles, has been rising in the US since the 1990s . One third of all people in the US will get HZ, with the highest incidence in people aged 50 to 79 . As a result of the Shingles Prevention Study (SPS), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) approved the…

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