Clinical Questions

How Aggressively Should You Treat a Patient with a Pulmonary Embolus?

January 17, 2007
How Aggressively Should You Treat a Patient with a Pulmonary Embolus?

An otherwise healthy 57 year old patient presents with shortness of breath and pleuritic chest pain.  The patient is hemodynamically stable without evidence of shock.  A chest CT reveals a pulmonary embolus.

Questions: 1. When should an echocardiogram to assess for right heart strain be performed in a patient with a pulmonary embolism?  Should stable patients without evidence of shock have a routine echo once a diagnosis of pulmonary embolism is made?

2. If the echo shows signs of right…

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Morning Report: How Do You Approach a Patient With Bronchiectasis

January 16, 2007
Morning Report: How Do You Approach a Patient With Bronchiectasis

Chief complaint: 85 year old female presents with worsening shortness of breath for one day.

History of present illness:

The patient’s history of present illness begins at the age of 60 when she was diagnosed with asthma, for which she had been treated with inhaled anticholinergics, beta agonists and intermittent oral steroids.  Twelve years prior to admission, the patient was diagnosed with diabetes, which was managed with oral medications.  Two years prior to admission, the patient was diagnosed with Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) at an…

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A Debate: Should Smokers be Denied Surgery?

January 12, 2007
A Debate: Should Smokers be Denied Surgery?

In last week’s issue of the British Medical Journal, two physicians argue about the merits of refusing to perform elective surgeries on smokers. The debate has been spurred by a primary care group in the UK who announced last year that it would take smokers off waiting lists for surgery in an attempt to contain costs. The proponent, Matthew Peters, argues that, for elective procedures such as plastic, reconstructive, and orthopedic surgeries, the rates of complications in smokers are so high that the increased costs…

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To Lavage or Not to Lavage?

January 10, 2007
To Lavage or Not to Lavage?

Case and Commentary by Minisha Sood PGY-3 and Ilseung Cho Fellow, Division of Gastroenterology

The patient is a 57 year-old man with a past history of hypetension, hyperlipidemia, hepatitis B/C cirrhosis and coronary artery disease status/post a non-st-elevation mi in August 2006, during which time he was on a heparin drip and developed an upper gastrointestinal bleed. Upper endoscopy at that time revealed non-bleeding esophageal varices and he was discharged on a beta blocker. He again presented to Tisch hospital in December 2006 with complaints…

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Why Are Breast Cancer Rates Trending Down?

January 9, 2007
Why Are Breast Cancer Rates Trending Down?

The recent finding of decreasing breast cancer rates made headlines throughout the media; including a NY Times article entitled, Reversing Trend, Big Drop is seen in Breast Cancer on December 15, 2006.

Striking epidemiological facts tells us that breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the U.S., and only second to lung cancer as the most common cause of cancer deaths. It is estimated that approximately 212,920 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the year…

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Do Statins Get Along With Hepatitis C?

January 4, 2007
Do Statins Get Along With Hepatitis C?

A 53 year old male with chronic hepatitis C and type 2 diabetes is found to have a moderately elevated cholesterol.

1. Is it safe to start a statin?

2. Do statins have any effect on viral replication?

Comentary By Ed Bini, M.D. Associate Professor/Director Gastroenterology and Hepatology Research

The many benefits of statins far outweigh the risks associated with this class of medications. However, statins are known to have the potential to cause hepatotoxicity. The most common form of statin-induced hepatotoxicity is elevations in…

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Does the Existence of Community Acquired MRSA Change Empiric Therapy for Skin and Soft Tissue Infections?

January 3, 2007
Does the Existence of Community Acquired MRSA Change Empiric Therapy for Skin and Soft Tissue Infections?

A 58 year old man with type 2 diabetes and chronic venous insufficiency/recurrent lower extremity cellulitis presents with fever and a left lower extrmity ulcer with purulent drainage. He’s been successfully treated in the past with both Unasyn/Augmentin or Levaquin.  In the face of community acquired methicillin resistant staph aureus (CA-MRSA),  have guidelines for skin and soft tissue infections changed?

Commentary By Howard Leaf, M.D. Assistant Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology

 

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Who Should Receive Prophylaxis for Gout?

December 26, 2006
Who Should Receive Prophylaxis for Gout?

A 70 year old male, former alcoholic, with a past history of gout diagnosed by joint aspiration, presents with his second episode of right 1st metatarsal erythema, swelling and severe pain in the last 6 months.

Commentary By Pamela Rosenthal, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology

 

Question 1. Is there any specific rule you follow when deciding to start someone on colchicine prophylaxis? e.g. >x # episodes

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Should we recommend mammography screening for women between the ages of 40-50?

December 22, 2006
Should we recommend mammography screening for women between the ages of 40-50?

In a recent article in the Lancet, this question was addressed by a group of investigators led by Sue Moss, Ph.D. from the University of Leeds.  Currently, the  National Cancer Institute, U.S. Preventative Health Services Task Force and the American Cancer Society all recommend screening at a younger age(those between 40-50).  The task force, however, does recommend educating your patients about the potential risks/benefits regarding mammography at a younger age.  Screening women older than 50 has been shown to reduce mortality from breast cancer by…

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How do you approach a patient with Pneumomediastinum?

December 19, 2006
How do you approach a patient with Pneumomediastinum?

BH Morning Report Fast Facts

29 year old male presents with anuria, vomiting, and pneumomediastinum.  1 month prior to admission the patient traveled to South America and developed an upper respiratory infection.  He returned to the US after traveling for two weeks feeling well.   The patient used ecstasy and marijuana four days prior to presentation.  The next day he developed vomiting including one episode of hemetemesis.  For the next three days he had intermittent vomiting, no diarrhea.  On admission his BUN/CR was 68/7.5. …

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Does Circumcision Decrease the Transmission of HIV?

December 18, 2006
Does  Circumcision Decrease the Transmission of HIV?

Recently, two large clinical trials in Kenya and Uganda that examined the role of circumcision in men to prevent the spread of HIV were halted on the grounds that not offering circumcision to men taking part in the trial would be unethical.  The trials involved nearly 3,000 heterosexual men in Kenya and nearly 5,000 men in Uganda, none of whom were infected with HIV prior to starting the trial.  In the Kenayn trial, men who were circumcised had a 53% relative risk reduction (2%…

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When Can You Safely Anticoagulate a Patient after an Intracranial Hemorrhage?

December 15, 2006
When Can You Safely Anticoagulate a Patient after an Intracranial Hemorrhage?

55 year old white male falls down a flight of stairs and sustains a subdural hemorrhage and a subarachnoid hemorhage with significant neurological changes. Hospital course was notable for 1 episode of chest pain without ekg changes and negative cardiac enzymes.  The patient was seen several months later in medicine clinic with resolution of his neurologic findings but now with multiple episodes of chest pain.  He was sent for a stress test which showed a mild reversible anterior wall defect, with normal left ventricle and…

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