Items in AFP with MESH term: Anticoagulants
Thromboembolism - Clinical Evidence Handbook
ABSTRACT: Acute respiratory distress syndrome manifests as rapidly progressive dyspnea, tachypnea, and hypoxemia. Diagnostic criteria include acute onset, profound hypoxemia, bilateral pulmonary infiltrates, and the absence of left atrial hypertension. Acute respiratory distress syndrome is believed to occur when a pulmonary or extrapulmonary insult causes the release of inflammatory mediators, promoting neutrophil accumulation in the microcirculation of the lung. Neutrophils damage the vascular endothelium and alveolar epithelium, leading to pulmonary edema, hyaline membrane formation, decreased lung compliance, and difficult air exchange. Most cases of acute respiratory distress syndrome are associated with pneumonia or sepsis. It is estimated that 7.1 percent of all patients admitted to an intensive care unit and 16.1 percent of all patients on mechanical ventilation develop acute lung injury or acute respiratory distress syndrome. In-hospital mortality related to these conditions is between 34 and 55 percent, and most deaths are due to multiorgan failure. Acute respiratory distress syndrome often has to be differentiated from congestive heart failure, which usually has signs of fluid overload, and from pneumonia. Treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome is supportive and includes mechanical ventilation, prophylaxis for stress ulcers and venous thromboembolism, nutritional support, and treatment of the underlying injury. Low tidal volume, high positive end-expiratory pressure, and conservative fluid therapy may improve outcomes. A spontaneous breathing trial is indicated as the patient improves and the underlying illness resolves. Patients who survive acute respiratory distress syndrome are at risk of diminished functional capacity, mental illness, and decreased quality of life; ongoing care by a primary care physician is beneficial for these patients.
Guillain-Barre Syndrome - Article
ABSTRACT: Guillain-Barré syndrome consists of a group of neuropathic conditions characterized by progressive weakness and diminished or absent myotatic reflexes. The estimated annual incidence in the United States is 1.65 to 1.79 per 100,000 persons. Guillain-Barré syndrome is believed to result from an aberrant immune response that attacks nerve tissue. This response may be triggered by surgery, immunizations, or infections. The most common form of the disease, acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy, presents as progressive motor weakness, usually beginning in the legs and advancing proximally. Symptoms typically peak within four weeks, then plateau before resolving. More than one-half of patients experience severe pain, and about two-thirds have autonomic symptoms, such as cardiac arrhythmias, blood pressure instability, or urinary retention. Advancing symptoms may compromise respiration and vital functions. Diagnosis is based on clinical features, cerebrospinal fluid testing, and nerve conduction studies. Cerebrospinal fluid testing shows increased protein levels but a normal white blood cell count. Nerve conduction studies show a slowing, or possible blockage, of conduction. Patients should be hospitalized for multidisciplinary supportive care and disease-modifying therapy. Supportive therapy includes controlling pain with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, carbamazepine, or gabapentin; monitoring for respiratory and autonomic complications; and preventing venous thrombosis, skin breakdown, and deconditioning. Plasma exchange therapy has been shown to improve short-term and long-term outcomes, and intravenous immune globulin has been shown to hasten recovery in adults and children. Other therapies, including corticosteroids, have not demonstrated benefit. About 3 percent of patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome die. Neurologic problems persist in up to 20 percent of patients with the disease, and one-half of these patients are severely disabled.
ABSTRACT: The American College of Chest Physicians provides recommendations for the use of anticoagulant medications for several indications that are important in the primary care setting. Warfarin, a vitamin K antagonist, is recommended for the treatment of venous thromboembolism and for the prevention of stroke in persons with atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, or valvular heart disease. When warfarin therapy is initiated for venous thromboembolism, it should be given the first day, along with a heparin product or fondaparinux. The heparin product or fondaparinux should be continued for at least five days and until the patient’s international normalized ratio is at least 2.0 for two consecutive days. The international normalized ratio goal and duration of treatment with warfarin vary depending on indication and risk. Warfarin therapy should be stopped five days before major surgery and restarted 12 to 24 hours postoperatively. Bridging with low-molecular-weight heparin or other agents is based on balancing the risk of thromboembolism with the risk of bleeding. Increasingly, self-testing is an option for selected patients on warfarin therapy. The ninth edition of the American College of Chest Physicians guidelines, published in 2012, includes a discussion of anticoagulants that have gained approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since publication of the eighth edition in 2008. Dabigatran and apixaban are indicated for the prevention of systemic embolism and stroke in persons with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. Rivaroxaban is indicated for the prevention of deep venous thrombosis in patients undergoing knee or hip replacement surgery, for treatment of deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, for reducing the risk of recurrent deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism after initial treatment, and for prevention of systemic embolism in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation.