Systems

New Guidelines on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Venous Thromboembolism-Part 1

April 12, 2007
New Guidelines on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Venous Thromboembolism-Part 1

Commentary By: Margaret Horlick, MD, PGY-3

New guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE) were recently jointly issued by the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Physicians. The guidelines are based on a systematic review of the evidence and are published, along with the systematic reviews, in the 2/2007 and 3/2007 issues of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

According to the reviews, there are 600,000 cases of VTE in the US annually, and the…

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Does Screening for Lung Cancer Improve Mortality?

April 10, 2007
Does Screening for Lung Cancer Improve Mortality?

Commentary By: Anna Dvorak, MDPGY-3

Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer mortality in both men and women. Screening patients at risk for lung cancer might reduce mortality if it helps find cancers at an early stage while they are still resectable. Randomized studies done in the 1970s showed that screening for lung cancer with chest x-ray did not support this theory. Chest x-rays identified more small tumors, but resecting them did not improve mortality. The question of whether screening with chest CT…

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Meeting Perspectives: The 2007 American College of Cardiology Scientific Session

April 5, 2007
Meeting Perspectives: The 2007 American College of Cardiology Scientific Session

Commentary By: Steven Sedlis, MD Associate Professor of Medicine, Chief, Division of Cardiology Manhattan Veterans Administration Medical Center

The 56th annual scientific session of the American College of Cardiology was held in New Orleans on March 24-27.  The site of the meeting had been selected before hurricane Katrina; the ACC re-affirmed its commitment last year when the devastation caused by the storm was still fresh and when future prospects for southern Louisiana were still uncertain. The ACC meeting was by far the largest…

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First Direct Renin Inhibitor Approved for Hypertension

March 29, 2007
First Direct Renin Inhibitor Approved for Hypertension

Commentary By: Josh Olstein, PGY-3

Earlier this month the FDA approved Tekturna (aliskiren) the first drug in a novel class of antihypertensives that work by directly inhibiting renin. While Novartis has yet to release pricing information, don’t expect to see this new addition on the Bellevue or VA formulary any time soon.

The idea of treating hypertension by blocking the actions of renin has been toyed with by pharmaceutical companies for over twenty years with little success. Aliskiren is the first agent…

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The COURAGE Trial: PCI is not superior to medical therapy in patients with stable coronary disease

March 27, 2007
The COURAGE Trial:  PCI is not superior to medical therapy in patients with stable coronary disease

Commentary by Cara Litvin, PGY-3

The results of one of the more remarkable studies from the meeting of the American College of Cardiology were presented on Monday, along with the simultaneous early publishing of the study online in the New England Journal of Medicine. As a result the study results captured a front page article in today’s New York Times.

The COURAGE (Clinical Outcomes Utilizing Revascularization and Aggressive Drug Evaluation) trial was a randomized trial involving 2287 patients with stable but significant coronary artery disease…

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Morning Report-How Do You Approach a Patient with a Significant Transaminitis?

March 23, 2007
Morning Report-How Do You Approach a Patient with a Significant Transaminitis?

Consultant: Robert Raicht, MD Professor of Medicine, Chief Division of Gastroenterology

Clinical Vignette:
The patient is a 50 year old male with a past medical history notable for type II diabetes, hypertension and recently treated right foot cellulitis and c.difficile colitis who presented to the emergency room with the complaint of fevers and malaise for 1 week. His labs were notable for a significant transaminitis (AST 1997, ALT 1620, alkaline phosphatase 365, total bilirubin 3.1), INR wnl. An abdominal ultrasound was ordered with outpatient follow-up…

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Will my breast cancer patient need adjuvant chemotherapy? Gene Micro array technology may help answer this question��

March 20, 2007
Will my breast cancer patient need adjuvant chemotherapy?  Gene Micro array technology may help answer this question��

Commentary By Sandra D’Angelo, PGY-3

Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women, second only to lung cancer as a leading cause of death from cancer. Experts state that approximately 210, 000 women will be diagnosed in 2006 and about 40,000 will die from the disease.1 According to data compiled by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute, 61% of breast cancer cases are diagnosed while the cancer is still confined to the primary site (localized stage);…

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More Breaking News for the Glitazones…

March 15, 2007
More Breaking News for the Glitazones…

Coming right on the heels of the recent warning from the FDA about the risk of fractures and Rosiglitazone, the FDA announced on March 9th that pioglitazone (Actos) has also been linked to an increased occurrence of arm, hand, and foot fractures among women taking the drug for treatment of type 2 diabetes. In an analysis of over 15,000 patients followed for up to 3.5 years, the risk of fracture was 1.9 fractures per 100 patient years in the pioglitazone group, compared to 1.0…

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When Should You Order a Serum Fructosamine Level for a Diabetic Patient?

March 14, 2007
When Should You Order a Serum Fructosamine Level for a Diabetic Patient?

Commentary By: Christopher Johnson, MSIV and Glenn Matfin, MD Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Divsion of Endocrinology

When was the last time you had a diabetic patient in clinic whose hemoglobin A1C was elevated, prompting you to modify their diabetic regimen? You may have scheduled a repeat hemoglobin A1C in 3 months, since you know A1C measures glycemic control over a 3 month period. A serum fructosamine may help give you a snapshot of more recent control.

What is fructosamine?
Fructosamine is…

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Does the Overuse of Macrolides Lead to Antibiotic Resistance?

March 12, 2007
Does the Overuse of Macrolides Lead to Antibiotic Resistance?

Commentary By: Danise Schiliro, PGY-3

Although intuitively we always worry about creating drug resistance when using antibiotics, there is a surprising lack of well done studies that show a clear causal effect of antibiotic use on the development of subsequent drug resistance. A recent study in Lancet may however lead us to re-evaluate our use of macrolides in everyday practice.

Azithromycin and clarithromycin are two of the most commonly used macrolides for treating respiratory infections. Azithromycin has a long half-life, making it convenient for once…

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How Do You Approach A Patient with a Non-Ischemic Cardiomyopathy

March 7, 2007
How Do You Approach A Patient with a Non-Ischemic Cardiomyopathy

A 26 year old woman developed uncontrolled hypertension peripartum 5 years prior to this presentation After diagnosis she was intermittently compliant with her medication although remained asymptomatic. She now presents with new onset congestive heart failure. On admission, she was in mild respiratory distress. Her physical exam was notable for tachycardia with a blood pressure ranging from 160/100-200/110. She had a jugular-venous pressure of 8cm, +S4, crackles were present bilaterally 1/2 way up, but no peripheral edema. Labs were notable only for renal insufficiency…

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More Breaking News: Rosiglitazone Linked to Fractures

March 6, 2007
More Breaking News: Rosiglitazone Linked to Fractures

Commentary By: Cara Litvin PGY-3

The FDA recently informed physicians of a report issued by GlaxoSmithKline acknowledging that Avandia (rosiglitazone) has been linked to increased fractures in females (1). The report stems from a review of the safety data from ADOPT (A Diabetes Outcome and Progression Trial) (2), which was a recently published randomized trial of 4,360 patients designed to compare glycemic control with rosiglitazone relative to metformin and glyburide monotherapies. In the published study, there were no unexpected adverse events reported, although…

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