Clinical Questions

The Skinny on Cachexia…Can it be Treated?

April 22, 2009
The Skinny on Cachexia…Can it be Treated?

Michael T. Tees, MD, MPH

On the wards and in the clinic, the physician is frequently presented with a patient with a decreased appetite and alarming weight loss. The patient is likely frustrated with their own fraility, the family is upset at the poor nutritional state of their loved one, but the healthcare provider should be the most concerned. This clinical presentation without a prior diagnosis is worrisome, and if the patient does have an underlying etiology, this likely represents progression.…

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Clinical Questions: How do you dose argatroban?

April 16, 2009
Clinical Questions: How do you dose argatroban?

Frederick Gandolfo, MD

Case: An 85 year-old woman admitted to the hospital with pneumonia and after a prolonged hospital course developed heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). She is currently being treated with argatroban and her platelet counts are recovering. You are the covering physician and are called by the lab for an INR of 12 on her routine labs. The patient shows no signs of bleeding and she is not on warfarin. The PTT at the time…

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What is the Role of Colchicine in Recurrent Pericarditis?

March 14, 2009
What is the Role of Colchicine in Recurrent Pericarditis?

Commentary by Sabina Berezovskaya MD, PGY-3

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Up to 32% of patients with acute pericarditis will have a recurrent episode. Acute attacks are commonly precipitated by infections, malignancy, cardiac trauma, myocardial infection, or autoimmune disease. Recurrent pericarditis usually presents with symptoms akin to the acute attack, including chest pain, fever, pericardial rub, typical electrocardiographic findings (i.e. diffuse ST elevations and PR depressions), pericardial effusion and, infrequently, tamponade. The time to relapse after acute pericarditis usually occurs within 18 to 20 months; however some report recurrences…

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Real Time Clinical Question: Rheumatology

February 13, 2009
Real Time Clinical Question: Rheumatology

Commentary by Jon-Emile Kenny MD, PGY- 2 

Faculty Peer Reviewed

At morning report, the case of a 55 F with known dermatomyositis (DM), and interstitial lung involvement who had presented to the hospital with increasing dyspnea was presented.  The discussion of the case opened with the cardinal manifestations of DM including proximal muscle weakness as diagnosed with EMG, cutaneous manifestations such as the heliotrope rash, the shawl sign, Gottron’s papules, Reynaud’s, and ‘Mechanics Hand’, and the systemic manifestations such as interstitial lung disease.…

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Should All Patients with Cellulitis Be Treated for Community-Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus?

January 22, 2009
Should All Patients with Cellulitis Be Treated for Community-Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus?

Commentary by Melanie Maslow, MD, FACP, Associate Professor of Medicine, NYUSOM, Chief, Infectious Diseases, New York Harbor Healthcare System, NY

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Cellulitis is an acute spreading infection of the skin extending to the deep subcutaneous tissue characterized by pain, swelling, erythema and warmth. Cellulitis in the non-neutropenic patient, in the absence of bite wounds, salt or fresh water exposure, and coexisting ulcers is usually caused by Gram-positive pathogens, the most common being the beta-hemolytic streptococci and S .aureus, including methicillin-sensitive (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant…

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Analgesia for Cirrhotics: A Practical Approach

November 20, 2008
Analgesia for Cirrhotics:  A Practical Approach

Commentary by Albert B. Knapp MD, NYU Clinical Professor of Medicine (Gastroenterology)

THE CASE:
WS, a 49 yo year old Caucasian male with a known 35 year history of alcohol abuse, now presents with jaundice, tense ascites and a left shoulder fracture following a bar room brawl last night. He is admitted to the orthopedic service for elective pinning but is presently in great pain. You are consulted in regards to pain management….

THE QUESTION:
How should you approach the use…

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How Do You Approach a Patient with Arthritis and Hepatitis C?

August 7, 2008
How Do You Approach a Patient with Arthritis and Hepatitis C?

Commentary by Peter Izmirly MD, NYU Division of Rheumatology

A 54 year old male with a past medical history significant for hepatitis C genotype 1a s/p ifn/ribavarin 2003-2004 with HCV Qual negative in 2005 presents with 3 weeks of bilateral wrist pain. The pain is worst with extension. His exam is notable for diffuse tenderness when pressure is applied to his wrists. He has no obvious swelling, erythema, deformity or subcutaneous nodules. The remainder of his musculoskeletal exam in unremarkable. In addition, he has no stigmata of cirrhosis. Labs…

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Admission screening cultures for MRSA: Is it time?

July 9, 2008
Admission screening cultures for MRSA: Is it time?

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

Pressure continues to build for healthcare facilities to act to decrease hospital-acquired infections, particularly those associated with MRSA. This is partly data-driven, with one study reporting that 25% of patients acquiring MRSA colonization during a hospitalization subsequently become infected . The call to act is also partly a political response to concerns in the lay press about “superbugs” wreaking havoc both in hospitals and in the community. Seven states have…

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Aspirin Use in the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

June 25, 2008
Aspirin Use in the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

Commentary by Daniel Frenkel, MD PGY-2 and Aleksandar Adzic, MD PGY-2 (in consultation with Greg Mints, MD Attending Physician, General Internal Medicine)

Case #1: A 47 year old man with no significant medical history, nonsmoker, and no family history of CAD. Blood pressure 124/72 Cholesterol 202, LDL 129, HDL 35, Triglycerides 190.
Case #2: A 36 year old man history of hypertension controlled with hydrochlorothiazide, smoker, with no family history of CAD. Blood pressure 134/72 Cholesterol 168, LDL 91, HDL 46, Triglycerides 155.

Would you…

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Should H. pylori Eradication Be Confirmed?

June 12, 2008
Should H. pylori Eradication Be Confirmed?

Commentary by Fritz Francois, MD, MS, NYU Division of Gastroenterology

Humans are essentially the only reservoir for Helicobacter pylori, which is estimated to colonize the stomach of about half the world’s population (1). Although the bacteria generally do not invade the mucosa, attachment to the epithelium leads to an inflammatory reaction with neutrophils, lymphocytes, plasma cells, and macrophages. Over time, the persistent inflammation leads to changes in the gastric mucosa that may predispose to the development of dysplasia(2).

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How do you approach male patients with osteoporosis?

February 28, 2008
How do you approach male patients with osteoporosis?

Commentary by Carrie Mahowald MD

Case: GS, a 65 year old man with only a history of severe OA, is seen in pre-op clinic for medical clearance before his hip replacement. On his pre-op x-ray, an incidental finding of a lumbar vertebral compression fracture is noted. After his hip replacement, how would you work him up for osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis, defined as low bone mass and the deterioration of bone micro-architecture which leads to the compromise of bone strength and the increased risk of fracture,…

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SSRIs: Do They Increase Rates of Suicide?

January 25, 2008
SSRIs: Do They Increase Rates of Suicide?

Commentary by Arthur Sinkman MD, NYU Department of Psychiatry

Three years ago the FDA began requiring that all selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) carry a black-box warning stating that their use in children and adolescents is associated with an increase in risk for suicidal thinking, feelings and behavior. Recently the FDA ordered that this warning be extended to include treatment for young adults aged 18 to 24.

The 2004 order had a dramatic impact on the treatment of depression in children. The use of SSRIs dropped…

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