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עמוד בית
Thu, 13.06.24

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November 2022
Raymond Farah MD, Nicola Makhoul MD, Alexander Samohvalov MD, William Nseir MD

Background: An increased serum glucose level is a common finding among patients admitted to hospital with acute illness, including the intensive care unit (ICU), even without a history of previous diabetes mellitus (DM). Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) is not only a diagnostic tool for DM but may also has prognostic value for diabetic and non-diabetic populations.

Objectives: To assess the relationship between HbA1c level on admission and clinical outcome among patients admitted to the ICU due to cardiopulmonary disorders with hyperglycemia.

Methods: Patients consecutively admitted to the ICU due to cardiopulmonary disorders who presented with hyperglycemia at admission were evaluated during a 6-month period. HbA1c and serum glucose levels were tested on admission and during the first 24–48 hours of hospitalization. Patients were divided according to HbA1c and compared in term of demographics. We evaluated the effect of HbA1c levels at admission on the clinical outcomes.

Results: Of patients with cardiopulmonary disorders who presented with hyperglycemia at admission to the ICU, 73 had HbA1c levels ≥ 6%, 92 had HbA1c levels < 6%: 63/165 (38.2%) known as diabetic patients. The 30-day all-cause mortality was higher in the group with high HbA1c levels; 38/73 vs. 32/98 (P = 0.02). Increased length of stay in the ICU and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) score were associated with HbA1c ≥ 6% (P < 0.022 and P < 0.026), respectively

Conclusions: HbA1c ≥ 6% has an important clinical prognostic value among diabetic and non-diabetic patients with cardiopulmonary disorders and hyperglycemia.

June 2018
Raymond Farah, Rola Khamisy-Farah and Nicola Makhoul

Background: Accurate diagnosis of community acquired pneumonia (CAP) is crucial to its proper management and to combating antibiotic resistance. Levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) have been shown to distinguish pneumonia from other pathological conditions and can be used to control the severity of infection during admission.

Objective: To investigate an association between consecutive measurements of CRP and the severity of CAP in hospitalized patients.

Methods: A total of 500 patients with CAP were admitted to the hospital. Traditional markers of inflammation including CRP, leukocyte count, body temperature, were measured on the first, second, and fifth days of hospitalization. Correlations between these measures and the length of the hospital stay were calculated.

Results: Mean levels of CRP, body temperature, and leukocyte count were significantly lower on the second day after hospital admission and even lower on the fifth day. A positive correlation of medium strength was found between the level of CRP on the second day of hospitalization and the length of hospital stay (P < 0.001, rs = 0.447), and a negative correlation was noted between the decrease in CRP level from the first to second day and the length of hospital stay.

Conclusions: CRP levels correlated with body temperature and leukocyte count, traditional markers of inflammation. A greater decrease in CRP level between the first and second day of hospitalization was associated with shorter hospital stay and rapid improvement. These findings support the use of CRP as a marker for the severity and complication of CAP.

October 2011
R. Farah and N. Makhoul

Background: Exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are a major problem worldwide and are usually the main indication for mechanical ventilation (MV), especially in the intensive care unit (ICU). The rate of weaning failure is also high and prolonged MV leads to complications of intubation. The goal is to wean these patients as soon as possible.

Objective: To determine the optimal time necessary to start the weaning process.

Methods: In an attempt to determine the length of MV and stay in the ICU, we compared the length of MV, weaning, re-intubations and discharge during a 10 month period. This study included 122 patients on MV due to severe exacerbation of COPD who were not suitable for non-invasive ventilation. For each patient serial arterial blood gases were measured at admission and during hospitalization. PeCO2 (mixed expired CO2) was tested using a Datex S/5 instrument at follow-up.

Results: The study population comprised all patients who required MV; of these 122, 108 were ventilated from 6 to 140 hours (average 48 ± 42), 9 needed more than 168 hours, and 5 died due to severe ventilation-associated pneumonia. No correlation was found between pH, PCO2 and length of MV; these findings did not contribute to evaluation of the patient’s condition nor did they enable us to predict the length of treatment necessary.

Conclusion: Most of the patients (93%) ventilated for acute respiratory failure due to COPD required MV for only 6–90 hours.

April 2011
R. Farah and N, Makhoul

Background: Community-acquired pneumonia requiring hospitalization is a severe illness with high mortality, especially if the appropriate treatment is delayed. Sometimes diagnosis is difficult due to an equivocal clinical picture or chest film, or to accompanying diseases that mask or simulate pneumonia.

Objectives: To assess the usefulness of certain inflammatory markers to differentiate pulmonary edema from pneumonia throughout the hospital stay in patients admitted for pneumonia or pulmonary edema of non-infectious origin and to monitor the response to treatment.

Methods: The study group comprised 50 patients admitted for pneumonia, 50 admitted for pulmonary edema and 30 healthy individuals. Blood samples for determination of leukocyte count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), fibrinogen, C-reactive protein (CRP), albumin, sCD14 and oxidized fibrinogen were drawn upon admission, at 48 and 72 hours after admission, and at discharge from the intensive care unit.

Results: The levels of sCD14 were similar in both patient groups but higher than control levels during the first 48 hours (P < 0.03). They decreased gradually with hospital stay. The concentration of oxidized fibrinogen was similar in both patient groups and significantly lower than that of the healthy control group throughout the hospitalization period.

Conclusions: Oxidized fibrinogen and sCD14 are not reliable markers for the diagnosis of pneumonia, for its differential diagnosis from pulmonary edema, and for patient follow-up throughout hospitalization. The finding of elevated levels of oxidized fibrinogen in the group of healthy controls warrants further study to identify the factors responsible for altering fibrinogen oxidation. The other markers are more indicative.
 

March 2007
R. Farah, A. Samokhvalov, F. Zviebel and N. Makhou

Background: Hyperglycemia is common among patients admitted to intensive care units, and carries the risk for complications and prolonged ICU[1] stay. With intensive insulin control of blood glucose, morbidity and mortality can be reduced.

Objectives: To determine whether intensive or conventional insulin control of blood glucose in hyperglycemic ICU patients correlated with the prognosis.

Methods: Following admission to the ICU, hyperglycemic patients were randomly assigned to a group treated intensively with insulin targeting glucose at 110–140 mg/dl, or to a conventional insulin therapy group, where glucose, upon exceeding 200 mg/dl, was controlled at 140–200 mg/dl. Rates of morbidity and mortality, hypoglycemic episodes, and insulin dosage were compared.

Results: In the 41 patients treated intensively with insulin the glucose level was 142 ± 14 mg/dl, as compared to 174 ± 20 mg/dl in the 48 patients on conventional insulin treatment. Both groups were similar in age, acute physiology and chronic health evaluation score. Morbidity was also similar, except for increased vascular damage in the conventional treatment group and slightly shorter ICU stay in the intensive therapy group. Both groups had similar in-ICU, in-hospital, and 28 day mortalities, and similar rates of hypoglycemic episodes. The daily dosage of insulin was significantly higher with the conventional treatment (P = 0.004).

Conclusions: Intensive insulin treatment did not affect the mortality or morbidity rates in ICU patients. The increased insulin dosage of conventional insulin treatment was attributable to the group's higher prevalence of diabetes. Future studies should address this bias and determine the optimal glucose target.  

 






[1] ICU = intensive care unit


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