Clinical Questions

Why Aren’t Patients Using Advance Directives?

October 23, 2013
Why Aren’t Patients Using Advance Directives?

By Abigail Maller, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Advance directives are a means for patients to communicate their wishes regarding medical decisions to their families and health care professionals once they are unable to make these decisions themselves. These documents, together with the assignment of health care proxies, help avoid a discrepancy between what a patient wanted in terms of end-of-life care and the level of care that they end up receiving . These resources also prevent confusion and promote mutual understanding between providers and family …

Read more »

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 …

Read more »

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) …

Read more »

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 …

Read more »

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, …

Read more »

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 …

Read more »

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 …

Read more »

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 …

Read more »