Growth hormone-releasing peptide-2 infusion synchronizes growth hormone, thyrotrophin and prolactin release in prolonged critical illness. (1/1252)

OBJECTIVE: During prolonged critical illness, nocturnal pulsatile secretion of GH, TSH and prolactin (PRL) is uniformly reduced but remains responsive to the continuous infusion of GH secretagogues and TRH. Whether such (pertinent) secretagogues would synchronize pituitary secretion of GH, TSH and/or PRL is not known. DESIGN AND METHODS: We explored temporal coupling among GH, TSH and PRL release by calculating cross-correlation among GH, TSH and PRL serum concentration profiles in 86 time series obtained from prolonged critically ill patients by nocturnal blood sampling every 20 min for 9 h during 21-h infusions of either placebo (n=22), GHRH (1 microg/kg/h; n=10), GH-releasing peptide-2 (GHRP-2; 1 microg/kg/h; n=28), TRH (1 microg/kg/h; n=8) or combinations of these agonists (n=8). RESULTS: The normal synchrony among GH, TSH and PRL was absent during placebo delivery. Infusion of GHRP-2, but not GHRH or TRH, markedly synchronized serum profiles of GH, TSH and PRL (all P< or =0.007). After addition of GHRH and TRH to the infusion of GHRP-2, only the synchrony between GH and PRL was maintained (P=0.003 for GHRH + GHRP-2 and P=0.006 for TRH + GHRH + GHRP-2), and was more marked than with GHRP-2 infusion alone (P=0.0006 by ANOVA). CONCLUSIONS: The nocturnal GH, TSH and PRL secretory patterns during prolonged critical illness are herewith further characterized to include loss of synchrony among GH, TSH and PRL release. The synchronizing effect of an exogenous GHRP-2 drive, but not of GHRH or TRH, suggests that the presumed endogenous GHRP-like ligand may participate in the orchestration of coordinated anterior pituitary hormone release.  (+info)

Chickenpox pneumonia: case report and literature review. (2/1252)

The incidence of primary chickenpox infection in young adults appears to be rising in the UK and other developed countries. The infection is more severe in adults than in children and complications, including pneumonia, are more frequent. An illustrative case of severe chickenpox pneumonia in an immunocompetent, non-pregnant adult smoker is presented. The epidemiology and pathology of the disease is discussed and a review of current management in the emergency department and the intensive care unit is presented. Strategies for the prevention of chickenpox pneumonia are also discussed.  (+info)

Emergency management of meningococcal disease. (3/1252)

Meningococcal disease remains a major cause of mortality in children in the UK. Aggressive early volume resuscitation, meticulous attention to the normalisation of all physiological and laboratory parameters, and prompt referral to specialist paediatric intensive care may lead to a sharp reduction in mortality. Application of the management algorithm described in this article may be helpful to those involved in the early part of management of critically ill patients with meningococcal disease.  (+info)

Transesophageal echocardiographic assessment in trauma and critical care. (4/1252)

Cardiac ultrasonography, in particular transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) provides high-quality real-time images of the beating heart and mediastinal structures. The addition of Doppler technology introduces a qualitative and quantitative assessment of blood flow in the heart and vascular structures. Because of its ease of insertion and ready accessibility, TEE has become an important tool in the routine management of critically ill patients, as a monitor in certain operative settings and in the aortic and cardiac evaluation of trauma patients. The rapid assessment of cardiac preload, contractility and valve function are invaluable in patients with acute hemodynamic decompensation in the intensive care unit as well as in the operating room. Because of its ease and portability, the TEE assessment of traumatic aortic injury after blunt chest trauma can be rapidly undertaken even in patients undergoing life-saving procedures. The role of TEE in the surgical and critical care setting will no doubt increase as more people become aware of its potential.  (+info)

Comparison of transcranial color-coded duplex sonography and cranial CT measurements for determining third ventricle midline shift in space-occupying stroke. (5/1252)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Transcranial color-coded duplex sonography (TCCS) allows the noninvasive, easily reproducible measurement of midline dislocation (MLD) of the third ventricle in space-occupying stroke, even in critically ill patients. However, the method has been validated only in a small number of subjects. The aim of this study was to test the method under clinical conditions. METHODS: In 61 prospectively recruited patients (mean age, 62+/-15 years) with supratentorial ischemic infarction or intracranial hemorrhage, the sonographic measurement of MLD was compared with cranial CT data in a 12-hour time window. Subgroup analysis was also undertaken for comparing TCCS and cranial CT measurements within a 3-hour time window. RESULTS: One hundred twenty-two data pairs of TCCS and cranial CT MLD measurements were correlated within the 12-hour time window. TCCS and cranial CT measurements of MLD correlated both in the total patient group and in the different subgroups with coefficients of over 0.9. The 2-SD confidence interval of the difference between the TCCS measurements and the respective means of both methods in the total patient collective was +/-1.78 mm. CONCLUSION: TCCS provides a noninvasive, easily reproducible and reliable method for monitoring MLD of the third ventricle in stroke patients. It is particularly suitable for critically ill patients who are not fit for transportation.  (+info)

Sepsis: clinical dilemmas. (6/1252)

Sepsis, manifested by systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), septic shock and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS), remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in critically ill patients. Despite advances and our knowledge of sepsis, there remain clinical dilemmas that impact how we treat patients. These clinical dilemmas include hypotension, cardiac dysfunction and altered oxygen consumption. There is increasing recognition that treatment of these problems does not necessarily improve outcome. As we improve our understanding of sepsis, there is increased recognition that improvement in morbidity and survival will come not only from treating the manifestations of sepsis but also the endogenous mediators responsible for the development of these clinically important conditions. This manuscript discusses the clinical dilemmas associated with sepsis, current therapy and future directions for managing sepsis.  (+info)

Self-prepared heparinized syringes for measuring ionized magnesium in critical care patients. (7/1252)

We have compared ionized magnesium assays in the Nova 8 electrolyte analyser using dry balanced heparinized syringes and self-prepared heparinized syringes. Thirty blood specimens were obtained into syringes either operator-prepared with liquid sodium heparin or commercially manufactured dry balanced heparinized syringes. There was a good correlation between results from the two syringes. The mean difference between sampling methods was 0.01 mmol litre-1 (95% confidence index -0.05 to 0.08 mmol litre-1). The correlations for sodium, potassium and ionized calcium assays were similarly close. The relationship between sampling methods was close enough to justify the clinical use of self-prepared syringes, with potential economies in clinical costs.  (+info)

Pharmacokinetics and burn eschar penetration of intravenous ciprofloxacin in patients with major thermal injuries. (8/1252)

Adequate penetration of antibiotics into burn tissue and maintenance of effective serum levels are essential for the treatment of patients sustaining major thermal injuries. The pharmacokinetics and burn eschar penetration of intravenous ciprofloxacin were determined in 12 critically ill patients with burn injuries. Mean age for the 12 patients was 45 +/- 17 (range 25-82 years), total body surface area burned (TBSAB) = 38 +/- 15% and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II score = 8 +/- 6. Patients received recommended doses of ciprofloxacin, 400 mg q12h iv, for three doses beginning 72 h post-burn. Serum concentrations were measured at t = 0, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, 1.25, 1.5, 2.0, 4.0 and 12.0 h after the first and third doses. Burn eschar biopsies were obtained after the third ciprofloxacin dose. Three of these 12 patients (25%) manifested later signs of clinical sepsis (TBSAB = 61 +/- 6% and APACHE II score = 11 +/- 3) and underwent a second infusion of three doses of intravenous ciprofloxacin, blood sampling and eschar biopsy. Serum and eschar concentrations were determined by high performance liquid chromatography. Serum ciprofloxacin concentrations were comparable to those of normal volunteers (C(max) = 4.0 +/- 1 mg/L and AUC = 11.4 +/- 2 mg.h/L) during the immediate post-burn period after dose 1 (C(max1) = 4.8 +/- 3 mg/L and AUC(0-12) = 12.5 +/- 7 mg. h/L) and dose 3 (C(max3) = 4.9 +/- 2 mg/L and AUC(24-36) = 17.5 +/- 11 mg.h/L). Mean burn eschar concentration during the 72 h post-burn was significantly lower than that found during clinical sepsis (18 +/- 17 compared with 41.3 +/- 54 microg/g; P < 0.05 by t test). Similar serum concentrations were achieved in patients with clinical sepsis (C(max1) = 4.2 +/- 0.2 mg/L and AUC(0-12) = 15.0 +/- 3 mg. h/L; C(max3) = 5.0 +/- 1 mg/L and AUC(24-36) = 22.8 +/- 9 mg.h/L). A positive correlation between burn eschar concentrations and C(max) (r = 0.71, r(2) = 0.51, P = 0.01) was found by linear regression analysis. A C(max)/MIC ratio > 10 (MIC = 0.5 mg/L) and an AUC/MIC ratio > 100 SIT(-1).h (serum inhibitory titre) (MIC = 0.125 mg/L) were achieved. High burn eschar concentrations and serum levels, similar to those found in normal volunteers, can be achieved after intravenous ciprofloxacin infusion in critically ill burns patients.  (+info)