Systems

PTH versus PTHrP — Small Differences, Big Implications

March 3, 2016
PTH versus PTHrP — Small Differences, Big Implications

Samantha Kass Newman, MD

Peer Reviewed 

A 48-year-old depressed male smoker with a bit of an alcohol problem presents to the emergency department with worsening fatigue, severe lower back pain, constipation, abdominal pain, and 4 days of coffee ground emesis.

This could be anything. Viral gastroenteritis? Perhaps. Food poisoning? Probably not. Upper GI bleed? Likely, given his alcohol use. You send off routine labs, and then are called for a critical value: his calcium is 13.8 mg/dL. The albumin is normal. Next, you check the …

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Don’t Tie Me Down! Do Neckties Spread Infection?

February 24, 2016
Don’t Tie Me Down! Do Neckties Spread Infection?

By Gabriel Campion

Peer Reviewed

For over a century, neckties have been a staple accessory in the wardrobe of the American professional man. Although white-collar dress codes have trended toward a more casual style, the quintessential physician still wears the white coat, a stethoscope draped around the neck, and, if male, a necktie. This is understandable. No one would accuse a profession using an oath that originally swore “by Apollo the Physician and by Aesculapius ” to be one that easily strays from tradition. However, …

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Could Metformin be the First Anti-Aging Drug?

February 11, 2016
Could Metformin be the First Anti-Aging Drug?

By Amy Shen Tang, MD

Peer Reviewed

“I would pay you if you took it away from me. I’d try to buy it back,” said Irving Kahn, the late Wall Street investment advisor when asked if he would ever retire from work . Mr. Kahn, who founded Kahn Brothers Group, Inc. with his sons more than 40 years ago, took an active role as chair of his company until his passing last winter at the ripe age of 109 years. Kahn and his siblings all …

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The Persistent HIV Crisis: HIV Prevalence Among Black Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM)

February 3, 2016
The Persistent HIV Crisis: HIV Prevalence Among Black Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM)

By Ofole Mgbako, MD

Peer Reviewed

In July 2010, the much-anticipated “National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States” was released to the public. In its introduction, the president declared, “Our Nation is at a crossroads…unless we take bold actions, we face a new era of rising infections, greater challenges in serving people living with HIV, and higher health care costs” . Indeed, the incidence of HIV infection in the U.S. has fallen dramatically over the last few decades, from initially 130,000 new infections annually in …

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Hirudotherapy: An Ugly Means of Avoiding Uglier Outcomes

January 22, 2016
Hirudotherapy: An Ugly Means of Avoiding Uglier Outcomes

By Jonathan Bekisz

Peer Reviewed

“Do you want to see something gross? Go into the soiled utility room and check out what’s in the jar.” Never one to pass on the opportunity to “see something gross,” I poked my head in and examined the tiny glass jar that sat on the counter. Living up to its billing, within the container sat about a half dozen leeches. Contrary to my assumption that any role these segmented worms had in the field of medicine went away with …

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Is It Time to Reconsider Who Should Get Metformin?

December 11, 2015
Is It Time to Reconsider Who Should Get Metformin?

By Lauren Strazzulla

Current FDA guidelines for the use of metformin stipulate that it not be prescribed to those with an elevated creatinine (at or above 1.5 mg/dL for men and 1.4 mg/dL for women). It is also contraindicated in patients with heart failure requiring pharmacologic treatment, and people over age 80, unless their creatinine demonstrates that renal function is not reduced. These guidelines are in place to prevent lactic acidosis, an understandably feared complication of metformin. However, metformin is, by consensus, the initial drug …

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Are We Overusing Proton Pump Inhibitors?

November 13, 2015
Are We Overusing Proton Pump Inhibitors?

By Shimwoo Lee
Peer Reviewed
Case: A 31-year-old man with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes was hospitalized for community-acquired pneumonia. His home medications included esomeprazole. When asked why he was receiving this medication, the patient said it was first started during his prior hospitalization for “ulcer prevention” eight months ago and that he had continued to take it since. He denied any history of upper gastrointestinal symptoms. Esomeprazole was tapered off during this admission. When being discharged after successful treatment of his pneumonia, he was …

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HDL Quantity, Necessary But Not Sufficient For Cardioprotection

September 30, 2015
HDL Quantity, Necessary But Not Sufficient For Cardioprotection

By Kerrilynn Carney, MD

Peer Reviewed

Coronary heart disease remains the leading cause of death globally despite the use of statin therapy. Although major statin studies suggest an average 31% reduction in relative risk of coronary events, a residual risk of 69% remains to be addressed. (1) The search for a medical therapy to ameliorate residual risk has become the holy grail of cardiologists and pharmaceutical companies alike. While high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (HDL) independently predict cardiovascular disease risk, interventions to raise circulating HDL levels …

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