Clinical Questions

Should Beta-Blockers Be Used In The Setting Of Cocaine-Related Chest Pain?

February 5, 2014
Should Beta-Blockers Be Used In The Setting Of Cocaine-Related Chest Pain?

By Matthew A. Haber

Peer Reviewed

The following is a hypothetical example of a classic exam question that one might come across as a medical student:

A 50-year-old male presents to the emergency department with severe chest pain. His past medical history is significant for congestive heart failure and stent placement. His vitals are significant for a blood pressure of 220/110 and a heart rate of 170. On physical exam he appears to be profusely sweating, and his pupils are markedly dilated. Troponin I is …

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How Much Do We Know About HDL Cholesterol?

January 29, 2014
How Much Do We Know About HDL Cholesterol?

By Gregory Katz, MD

Peer Reviewed

As levels of HDL cholesterol increase, rates of heart disease go down. It’s this fact that has given HDL its reputation as the “good cholesterol,” serving a crucial role in reverse cholesterol transport. According to our models, HDL ferries cholesterol away from our arteries – where its buildup leads to heart disease and stroke – and back towards our liver, safely out of harm’s way. The epidemiology backs this up: people with higher levels of HDL tend to have …

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Can Young Patients Get Diverticular Disease?

January 23, 2014
Can Young Patients Get Diverticular Disease?

By Aaron Smith, MD

Peer Reviewed

Case: A 35 year-old, overweight female presents to the emergency room with five days of left lower quadrant abdominal pain. The pain is 10/10 in severity and accompanied by nausea, bloating, and loss of appetite.

Diverticulosis, the presence of small colonic outpouchings thought to occur secondary to high pressure within the colon, is an extremely common condition in elderly patients. Recent data suggests that up to 50% of people over the age of 60 have colonic diverticula. When a …

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Is it Time to Skip the Gym?

January 15, 2014
Is it Time to Skip the Gym?

By Robert Mocharla, MD

Peer Reviewed

No. Sorry. Despite such reasonable excuses as – “I forgot my iPod”, “It’s pouring rain”, or “Game of Thrones is on” — an exhaustive literature search will not reveal a shred of evidence that you or most of your patients should skip daily exercise. However, a subset of your patients should indeed be skipping workouts regularly. The group referred to consists of endurance athletes (e.g. cyclists, swimmers, long-distance runners, competitive athletes). While this may not describe the majority of …

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Who Should We Screen for Hepatitis C: By Risk Or Birth Cohort?

January 8, 2014
Who Should We Screen for Hepatitis C: By Risk Or Birth Cohort?

By Jung-Eun Ha

Peer Reviewed

Over the last few years major changes have occurred in the diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis C. In 2011 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a rapid finger stick antibody test for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection . The FDA also approved the protease inhibitors telapravir (Incivek; Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, New Jersey) and boceprevir (Victrelis; Merck, Whitehouse Station, New Jersey), for the treatment of genotype 1 hepatitis C . In August 2012, …

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To Stent or not to Stent? A Review of the Evidence on the Utility of Stenting in Renal Artery Stenosis

November 22, 2013
To Stent or not to Stent? A Review of the Evidence on the Utility of Stenting in Renal Artery Stenosis

By Elizabeth Hammer, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Renovascular hypertension, often caused by renal artery stenosis (RAS) due to atherosclerosis or fibromuscular dysplasia, is the most common potentially correctable cause of secondary hypertension. Although only approximately one percent of patients with hypertension have atherosclerotic renovascular disease (ARVD), the prevalence increases to 30-40% in patients with CAD, CHF, and PVD. Screening studies of asymptomatic populations in the United States demonstrate a disease prevalence of 7%, with an annual incidence of 0.5% per year in analyses of medical …

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FROM THE ARCHIVES – Kayexalate: What is it and does it work?

November 7, 2013
FROM THE ARCHIVES – Kayexalate: What is it and does it work?

Please enjoy this post from the archives dated December 1, 2010

By Todd Cutler, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

A 62-year-old male is hospitalized with an acute congestive heart failure exacerbation. On hospital day three, the patient’s symptoms have significantly improved with twice daily furosemide 80mg IV. He is continued on IV diuretics and aggressive electrolyte repletion. On day five of his admission, his basic metabolic panel is significant for a creatinine of 2.3 mg/dL (increased from 1.3 on admission) and a potassium concentration of 5.9

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To Stent or Not to Stent?

November 6, 2013
To Stent or Not to Stent?

By Anish Vani

Faculty Peer Reviewed

According to the 2010 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics update of the American Heart Association, there are 17.6 million Americans living with coronary heart disease (CHD) . Fortunately, mortality from heart disease is on the decline in the United States and in countries with advanced health care, likely due to better management of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and a reduction in lifestyle risk factors such as smoking. However, for the millions of Americans with stable ischemic heart disease (SIHD), …

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