Clinical Questions

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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The DLO: Does FFP Correct INR?

September 20, 2013
The DLO: Does FFP Correct INR?

By Nicole A Lamparello, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Page from the hematology laboratory: critical lab value; INR 1.9. Liver biopsy scheduled for tomorrow. What is a knowledgeable physician practicing evidence-based medicine to do?

Fresh frozen plasma (FFP) is the liquid, acellular component of blood. FFP contains water, electrolytes, and the majority of the coagulation proteins . It is frequently transfused to patients with an elevated prothrombin time (PT), a measure of the activity of the common coagulation pathway (involving factors X, V, prothrombin and fibrinogen) …

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Does Running Cause Knee Osteoarthritis?

September 14, 2013
Does Running Cause Knee Osteoarthritis?

By Karin Katz, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Post-summer is here. Despite the heat and what feels like 100% humidity, the East River Path is packed with runners. No amount of car fumes pouring onto the path could stop those in training. Others are circling the 6-mile-loop around Central Park. Or, if you are bored of running the typical routes, for a few Saturdays, Park Avenue will be shut down for automobile traffic. New Yorkers love to run (well, some do). And while unforeseen circumstances led …

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Electronic Cigarettes: What We Know So Far

August 28, 2013
Electronic Cigarettes: What We Know So Far

By Daniel Taupin

Faculty Peer Reviewed

 

Image. Typical e-cigarette consisting of (A) LED light, (B) battery/circuitry, (C) atomizer, (D) replaceable mouthpiece cartridge containing glycerin or propylene glycol, water, flavorings, and often dissolved nicotine. Courtesy of Horsten at en.wikipedia.

A man sits in a crowded Manhattan coffee shop, enjoying his oversized latte while reading his favorite blog on an ultrathin laptop. There are several devices plugged into the computer’s USB ports: an external hard drive, a smart phone, and… a cigarette? He unplugs the cigarette, …

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From The Archives: Does Heyde Syndrome Exist?

August 8, 2013
From The Archives: Does Heyde Syndrome Exist?

Please enjoy this post from the Archives dated September 29, 2010

By Lara Dunn, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

In 1958, EC Heyde published 10 cases of aortic stenosis (AS) and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) of the gastrointestinal tract in the New England Journal of Medicine . Thus, the association between aortic stenosis and intestinal angiodysplasia became known as Heyde Syndrome. Yet the existence of this syndrome has been controversial.

Contrasting conclusions have been obtained by studies conducted to evaluate this association. In a prospective study, Bhutani …

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From The Archives: Why Does Multiple Myeloma Treat The Kidneys So Poorly?

July 11, 2013
From The Archives: Why Does Multiple Myeloma Treat The Kidneys So Poorly?

Please enjoy this post from the Archives dated September 22, 2010

By Jon Emile Kenny, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

“You mean I’ve got cancer and my kidneys are failing, doc?” said my frail patient on the Bellevue oncology service shortly after a medical student had told him that his kidneys were damaged. Indeed, his new diagnosis of multiple myeloma was accompanied by an admission creatinine of 2.5 mg/dL.

About a quarter of patients with multiple myeloma have renal insufficiency at diagnosis . There are a …

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Are We Too Hesitant to Anticoagulate Elderly Patients with Atrial Fibrillation? A Risk-Benefit Analysis

June 28, 2013
Are We Too Hesitant to Anticoagulate Elderly Patients with Atrial Fibrillation? A Risk-Benefit Analysis

By Sunny N. Shah, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Background:

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia and its prevalence increases with age. In fact, the lifetime incidence of AF is approximately 25% in individuals by age 80, with the incidence nearly doubling with each decade of life after age 50. (1) Multiple randomized controlled trials have shown that oral antithrombotic therapy with warfarin or aspirin decreases the risk of ischemic stroke in patients with AF. (2-6) Meta-analyses reveal a relative risk reduction of …

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Should I Add Sugar or Splenda to My Coffee?

June 6, 2013
Should I Add Sugar or Splenda to My Coffee?

By Reda Issa

Faculty Peer Reviewed

As a medical student, I adjusted to waking up at 6 AM every day – with the help of coffee, of course. Living in New York City and its fast-paced routine requires that extra kick those beans provide. So, should I add sugar or Splenda to my coffee? Half a century ago this question did not exist, but obesity was not a word in the Merriam-Webster then. Today, we have to think more carefully.

Non-sucrose based sweeteners can be …

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Is Personalized Medicine Really the Cure? Looking Through the Lens of Breast Cancer

May 3, 2013
Is Personalized Medicine Really the Cure?  Looking Through the Lens of Breast Cancer

By Jessica Billig

Faculty Peer Reviewed 

Although millions of dollars are spent towards cancer research every year, progress toward a cure is less than ideal. Last year the New York Times posted a piece about the burgeoning improvements on the genomic front that could lead to a new approach to cancer treatment. “The promise is that low-cost gene sequencing will lead to a new era of personalized medicine, yielding new approaches for treating cancers and other serious diseases” . Through genomic technology, physicians will be …

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Health Care: Do Celebrities Know Best?

April 25, 2013
Health Care: Do Celebrities Know Best?

By Emma Gorynski

Faculty Peer Reviewed

The power that celebrities have over Americans is undeniable. We look to them for guidance on what to listen to, what to wear, and even what to name our children. Celebrities even affect the decisions we make about our own health care. With the increasing popularity of direct-to-consumer advertising, celebrities are promoting pharmaceuticals and other health-related products.

Is there a role for celebrities in health advocacy? On one hand, celebrities can increase public awareness of medical conditions and encourage …

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Did Abraham Lincoln Have Marfan Syndrome?

April 19, 2013
Did Abraham Lincoln Have Marfan Syndrome?

By Anna Krigel

Faculty Peer Reviewed

The iconic image of Abraham Lincoln is ubiquitous in our lives, from his small face on the penny to his large figure looming over the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Lincoln fascinates historians because of his significant role in American history when our nation was bitterly divided, but he intrigues physicians because of his remarkable stature. A reporter once described the 16th president as a “tall, lank, lean man considerably over six feet in height with stooping shoulders, long …

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Have a Cow? How Recent Studies on Red Meat Consumption Apply to Clinical Practice

April 12, 2013
Have a Cow? How Recent Studies on Red Meat Consumption Apply to Clinical Practice

By Tyler R. McClintock

Faculty Peer Reviewed

“Red Meat Kills.” “Red Meat a Ticket to Early Grave.” “A Hot Dog a Day Raises Risk of Dying.” Such were the headlines circulating in popular press last year when the Annals of Internal Medicine released details of an upcoming article out of Frank Hu’s research group at the Harvard School of Public Health . Analyzing long-term prospective data from two large cohort studies, researchers found that individuals who ate a serving of unprocessed red meat each day …

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