OBJECTIVE: To describe the chest computed tomography findings for severe influenza H1N1 infection in a series of hospitalized neutropenic cancer patients. METHODS: We performed a retrospective systematic analysis of chest computed tomography scans for eight hospitalized patients with fever, neutropenia, and confirmed diagnoses of influenza H1N1. The clinical data had been prospectively collected. RESULTS: Six of eight patients (75%) developed respiratory failure and required intensive care. Prolonged H1N1 shedding was observed in the three mechanically ventilated patients, and overall hospital mortality in our series was 25%. The most frequent computed tomography findings were ground-glass opacity (all patients), consolidation (7/8 cases), and airspace nodules (6/8 cases) that were frequently moderate or severe. Other parenchymal findings were not common. Five patients had features of pneumonia, two had computed tomography findings compatible with bronchitis and/or bronchiolitis, and one had tomographic signs of chronicity. CONCLUSION: In this series of neutropenic patients with severe influenza H1N1 infection, chest computed tomography demonstrated mainly moderate or severe parenchymatous disease, but bronchiolitis was not a common feature. These findings associated with febrile neutropenia should elicit a diagnosis of severe viral infection.
OBJECTIVES: To describe the clinical outcomes and thrombotic events in a series of critically ill cancer patients positive for antiphospholipid (aPL) antibodies. DESIGN: Retrospective case series study. SETTING: Medical-surgical oncologic intensive care unit (ICU). PATIENTS AND PARTICIPANTS: Eighteen patients with SIRS/sepsis and multiple organ failure (MOF) and positive for aPL antibodies, included over a 10-month period. INTERVENTIONS: None MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: aPL antibodies and coagulation parameters were measured up to 48 hours after the occurrence of acrocyanosis or arterial/venous thrombotic events. When current criteria for the diagnosis of aPL syndrome were applied, 16 patients met the criteria for "probable" and two patients had a definite diagnosis of APL syndrome in its catastrophic form (CAPS). Acrocyanosis, arterial events and venous thrombosis were present in eighteen, nine and five patients, respectively. Sepsis, cancer and major surgery were the main precipitating factors. All patients developed MOF during the ICU stay, with a hospital mortality rate of 72% (13/18). Five patients were discharged from the hospital. There were three survivors at 90 days of follow-up. New measurements of lupus anticoagulant (LAC) antibodies were performed in these three survivors and one patient still tested positive for these antibodies. CONCLUSIONS: In this small series of patients, we observed a high frequency of auto-antibodies and micro- and macro-vascular thrombotic events in critically ill cancer patients. The coexistence of sepsis or SIRS and aPL antibodies was often associated with MOF and death. More studies are necessary to determine the pathophysiological significance of antiphospholipid antibodies in severely ill cancer patients.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Disseminated strongyloidiasis is a clinical form of presentation associated with states of severe immunosuppression, as in AIDS, hematological malignancies and in treatment for immunosuppression (especially with high doses of corticosteroids). It usually mimics severe sepsis and still brings a significant challenge related to the diagnosis and treatment. Therefore exceedingly high mortality rates remain unchanged in the past decades. Initially, the diagnosis depends on the clinical suspicion and on the identification of the larva in an organic fluids or tissues. The cutaneous involvement, albeit rare, is typical and can provide an important clue for the diagnostic hypothesis. The emergence of ivermectin for oral use changed significantly the treatment for strongyloidiasis; however, there are still shortcomings for the utilization in critically ill patients. Shock, ileus and hypoperfusion states are associated with difficulties in the absorption that result in erratic systemic levels. Reports of good results with parenteral administration of ivermectin raised the prospect that this therapeutic modality be more effective. However, questions about dosage and safety remain unanswered. The aim of the present article is to review the medical literature on the clinical aspects of disseminated strongyloidiasis. CONTENTS: A systematic review of the literature was performed by searching the PubMed database within the last 30 years. Search terms were: disseminated strongyloidiasis, strongyloides and hyperinfection e ivermectin. CONCLUSIONS: The article highlights the diagnostic and therapeutic aspects emphasizing the importance of the clinical suspicion for the institution of appropriated therapy.
JUSTIFICATIVA E OBJETIVOS: A estrongiloidíase disseminada é uma entidade clínica relacionada a estados de imunossupressão como os que ocorrem na síndrome da imunodeficiência aguda (SIDA), nas neoplasias hematológicas e nos tratamentos imunossupressores. Sua ocorrência e gravidade são mais freqüentes em pacientes usando elevadas doses de corticosteróides. A estrongiloidíase disseminada se apresenta habitualmente sob a forma de sepse grave. Essa apresentação clínica inespecífica representa grandes desafios relacionados ao diagnóstico e tratamento, resultando em elevada taxa de mortalidade. O diagnóstico depende de elevada suspeição clínica e da identificação da larva em amostras de fluidos ou tecidos. O envolvimento cutâneo é raro, entretanto por ser característico pode incrementar a possibilidade da hipótese diagnóstica. O objetivo deste estudo foi rever na literatura os aspectos clínicos da estrongiloidíase disseminada, destacando os métodos de diagnóstico e tratamento e ressaltar a importância da suspeição clínica para a profilaxia e tratamento adequados. CONTEÚDO: Foi realizada uma busca sistemática nos últimos 30 anos através da PubMed utilizando os termos disseminated strongyloidiasis, strongyloides and hyperinfection e ivermectin. CONCLUSÕES: Recentes avanços ocorreram na área terapêutica e dentre eles destaca-se o uso da ivermectina. O seu surgimento mudou significativamente o tratamento para estrongiloidíase, no entanto a administração por via oral ou enteral desse fármaco representou importante limitação para sua utilização em pacientes com íleo ou estado de hipoperfusão tecidual. Relatos de resultados positivos com o uso de ivermectina parenteral levantaram a possibilidade de essa modalidade terapêutica ser mais eficaz nas formas graves. No entanto questões relativas à posologia e segurança ainda precisam ser elucidadas.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The adverse effects of intra-abdominal hypertension are known for many years. Only recently proper attention has been given to routine intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) monitoring. There is evidence that a quarter of intensive care units (ICU) do not measure IAP, due to a lack of knowledge of its importance or difficulty in results interpretation. The aim of this study is investigate the knowledge of ICU physicians about abdominal compartimental syndrome and its management. METHODS: A questionnaire with 12 questions about this issue was mailed to ICU physicians. RESULTS: The current knowledge of the international definitions of ACS does not seem to be linked to the number of years of medical practice, but was associated with the time spent working on intensive care. Although most physicians are aware of the existence of ACS, less than half know the present international definitions. The IAP monitoring is performed in patients at risk for ACS, by means of the intravesical filling with 25 to 100 mL of liquids, in intervals varying from of 4 to 8 hours. There was no consensus on the value of IAP values (with or without organ dysfunctions) for the clinical or surgical treatments of ACS in this survey. CONCLUSIONS: The knowledge of ACS is satisfactory when we consider only physicians that devote most of their time to ICU work. However, it is necessary to improve education and knowledge of most intensive care physicians regarding the presence and severity of intra-abdominal hypertension in Rio de Janeiro.
JUSTIFICATIVA E OBJETIVOS: Os efeitos adversos da hipertensão intra-abdominal (PIA) são conhecidos há muitos anos, mas apenas recentemente deu-se importância à sua monitorização. Há evidências que cerca de um quarto dos centros de tratamento intensivo (CTI) não medem a PIA por falta de conhecimento da sua importância ou dificuldade na interpretação dos resultados. O objetivo deste estudo foi avaliar o conhecimento dos médicos sobre a síndrome de compartimento abdominal (SCA) e as características do seu manuseio. MÉTODO: Para a realização deste estudo foi enviado um questionário, contendo 12 perguntas sobre o assunto, para médicos que trabalham em CTI. RESULTADOS: O conhecimento das definições internacionais de SCA não parece estar influenciado pelo tempo de exercício da Medicina, mas sim pelo tempo de atividade dedicada à Medicina Intensiva. Embora a maioria esteja ciente da existência da SCA, menos da metade dos médicos que responderam ao questionário conhece as definições internacionais de 2004. A medida da PIA é realizada em pacientes com predisposição para SCA, por via intravesical, com injeção de 25 a 100 mL de líquido, com intervalos de 4 a 8 horas. Não parece existir valor de PIA (associado ou não a disfunções orgânicas) de consenso entre médicos desta pesquisa em relação ao tratamento clínico ou cirúrgico. CONCLUSÕES: O conhecimento sobre SCA é satisfatório quando considerados apenas os médicos que atuam majoritariamente em Medicina Intensiva. Contudo, é necessária a educação acerca da presença e gravidade da hipertensão intra-abdominal para grande parte dos médicos atuantes na Medicina Intensiva na região metropolitana do Rio de Janeiro.
Cutaneous manifestations in disseminated strongyloidiasis are infrequent but should raise the suspicion for its diagnosis. We retrospectively evaluated the charts of six patients with cancer and a proven diagnosis of disseminated strongyloidiasis. All patients had received prophylaxis with albendazole before starting antineoplastic therapy, which included high-dose steroids. They presented with septic shock, acute respiratory failure and characteristic purpuric periumbilical skin lesions. Strongyloides larvae were identified in tracheal aspirates (n=5), gastric aspirates (n=4), lung (n=2) and skin biopsies (n=2). All patients died despite antihelminthic therapy and intensive care support.