Clinical Questions

Xopenex: Is it worth the money?

August 16, 2012
Xopenex: Is it worth the money?

By Han Na Kim

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Case:

The patient is a 50-year-old woman with history of steroid-dependent, severe, persistent asthma since childhood and coronary artery disease who presented with dyspnea and URI symptoms admitted for management of asthma exacerbation. Patient received nebulized albuterol treatment every two to four hours, and on hospital day two, patient developed persistent sinus tachycardia to heart rate of 120s believed to be secondary to albuterol therapy. Given her tachycardia, would it be safer to prescribe levalbuterol rather than…

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Should I Consider Antibiotics in My Patient with Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

July 26, 2012
Should I Consider Antibiotics in My Patient with Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

By Jason Chalifoux

Faculty Peer Review

The story of a patient with multiple office visits due to uncontrolled abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea/constipation is common among primary care doctors and gastroenterologists. The workup is often extensive and rules out many etiologies. After discovering no metabolic, inflammatory, or anatomic pathology, physicians use the Rome III criteria to diagnose irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is a functional bowel disorder that is diagnosed by symptoms of recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort for at least 3 days per month…

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Is a VBG just as good as an ABG?

July 13, 2012
Is a VBG just as good as an ABG?

By Sunnie Kim, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

A rapid response is called overhead. As white-coated residents rush to the patient’s bedside, the medical consult starts to shout out orders to organize the chaos. “What’s the one-liner?” “Whose patient is this?” And of course, “Who’s drawing the labs?” Usually, at this point, the intern proceeds to collect the butterfly needle, assorted colored tubes, and the arterial blood gas (ABG) syringe. If lucky, there’s a strong pulse. The intern pauses, directs the needle, and hopes for that…

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Should Patients With Nephrotic Syndrome Receive Anticoagulation?

May 9, 2012
Should Patients With Nephrotic Syndrome Receive Anticoagulation?

By Jennifer Mulliken

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Case 1:

A 30-year-old African-American male with a history of bilateral pulmonary emboli presents with a 1-week history of bilateral lower extremity edema. Blood pressure is 138/83, cholesterol 385, LDL 250, albumin 2.9. Urinalysis shows 3+ protein. Twenty-four hour urinary protein is 7.2 grams.

Case 2:

A 47-year-old Hispanic male with a history of mild hypertension and venous insufficiency presents with a 3-month history of bilateral lower extremity edema. BP is 146/95, cholesterol 241, LDL 165, albumin 1.9.…

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From The Archives: How Does Alcohol Cause Cardiomyopathy?

April 19, 2012
From The Archives: How Does Alcohol Cause Cardiomyopathy?

Please enjoy this post from the archives dated November 4, 2009

Charles Levine

Faculty peer reviewed

Excessive consumption of ethanol (EtOH) has many deleterious effects on the human body. The heart is a target of damage from EtOH consumption, as chronic consumption of EtOH leads to decreased cardiac function and structural heart disease, including dilated cardiomyopathy.(1) The exact mechanism by which EtOH exerts its deleterious effects on the heart remains poorly understood and is an area of active…

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RTS,S/AS01: Is This The Beginning Of The End Of Malaria?

April 12, 2012
RTS,S/AS01: Is This The Beginning Of The End Of Malaria?

By Nicole Sunseri

Faculty Peer Reviewed

In Africa, there lurks a stealthy and powerful beast. Is it a lion, a black mamba, or a crocodile? No, it is the Anopheles mosquito. Although less than the size of a paperclip, these insects inflict an incapacitating blow, inoculating their larger human prey with Plasmodium spp., the parasites responsible for malaria. According to the World Health Organization, the worldwide incidence of malaria infection in 2009 was 225 million cases with a death toll of 781,000 Most of these…

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Use it or Lose it- Do cognitive leisure activities protect against the development of Alzheimer’s?

March 30, 2012
Use it or Lose it- Do cognitive leisure activities protect against the development of Alzheimer’s?

By Courtney Cunningham, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

As the world population ages, enormous resources will be required to adequately care for persons suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The disease is the fifth leading cause of death for adults aged 65 years and older, and is estimated to affect 1 in 8 persons in this age group. Despite recent advances, the cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not well understood. The FDA-approved medications in common use—donepezil (Aricept), galantamine (Razadyne), rivastigmine (Exelon), and memantine (Namenda)–help to manage symptoms; however…

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Should Physicians Offer The HPV Vaccine To Men And Boys?

March 23, 2012
Should Physicians Offer The HPV Vaccine To Men And Boys?

By Kevin Burns

Faculty Peer Reviewed

On December 22, 2010, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine (Gardasil; Merck, Whitehouse Station, New Jersey) for prevention of anal cancer and anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN) for males and females 9 to 26 years old. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States and the high-risk subtypes 16 and 18 are linked to development of cervical, vaginal, vulvar, anal, penile, and oropharyngeal malignancies. The FDA-approved uses for…

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From The Archives: How to interpret troponins in renal disease?

March 15, 2012
From The Archives: How to interpret troponins in renal disease?

Please enjoy this post from the archives first posted on October 21, 2009.

By Ivan Saraiva MD

Case: A 68-year-old man, with a history of stable angina and end-stage renal disease treated by hemodialysis for the past three years, presents to the hospital with leg swelling and shortness of breath. He also complains of intermittent chest pain unrelated to exertion. Physical exam reveals bilateral pitting lower extremity edema, pulmonary crackles, and an elevated jugular venous pressure. Initial electrocardiogram is notable for some nonspecific repolarization abnormalities.…

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Is There a Long-Term Mortality Benefit From Bariatric Surgery?

March 8, 2012
Is There a Long-Term Mortality Benefit From Bariatric Surgery?

By Marc O’Donnell

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of ?30 kg/m2. The rate of obesity in the United States has skyrocketed over the last several decades, becoming a disease of epidemic proportions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2009, 32 states had a prevalence of obesity of ?25%, while 9 of these states had a prevalence of ?30%. It has been estimated that the economic costs of treating obesity and its complications, including type…

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FROM THE ARCHIVES: How Do You Diagnose Polymyalgia Rheumatica?

March 1, 2012
FROM THE ARCHIVES: How Do You Diagnose Polymyalgia Rheumatica?

Please enjoy this post from the archives dated August 12, 2009

By Eve Wadsworth MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a condition that resembles several different disorders including osteoarthritis and can be difficult to diagnose. In addition to osteoarthritis, PMR can resemble conditions as diverse as depression, fibromyalgia, myopathic drug reactions, and malignancy. PMR, however, can be associated with dangerous consequences, namely blindness, and is responsive to well-established treatment regimens. As such, familiarity with PMR’s presentation and its unique features is critical so…

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How Should You Choose the Best Anti-platelet Agents for Secondary Stroke Prevention?

February 16, 2012
How Should You Choose the Best Anti-platelet Agents for Secondary Stroke Prevention?

By Demetrios Tzimas, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

You are about to discharge a 75-year-old female with hyperlipidemia, hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, who was admitted to the hospital for an ischemic stroke. Being an astute physician, you would like to mitigate this patient’s risk of having a second stroke. But you ask yourself, “with all of the agents available today, what anti-platelet agents should I put this patient on to decrease her risk for a second stroke?”

The etiology of an ischemic stroke, as defined by…

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