Long-term recovery of diaphragm strength in neuralgic amyotrophy. (1/1741)

Diaphragm paralysis is a recognized complication of neuralgic amyotrophy that causes severe dyspnoea. Although recovery of strength in the arm muscles, when affected, is common, there are little data on recovery of diaphragm function. This study, therefore, re-assessed diaphragm strength in cases of bilateral diaphragm paralysis due to neuralgic amyotrophy that had previously been diagnosed at the authors institutions. Fourteen patients were recalled between 2 and 11 yrs after the original diagnosis. Respiratory muscle and diaphragm strength were measured by volitional manoeuvres as maximal inspiratory pressure and sniff transdiaphragmatic pressure. Cervical magnetic phrenic nerve stimulation was used to give a nonvolitional measure of diaphragm strength: twitch transdiaphragmatic pressure. Only two patients remained severely breathless. Ten of the 14 patients had evidence of some recovery of diaphragm strength, in seven cases to within 50% of the lower limit of normal. The rate of recovery was variable: one patient had some recovery after 2 yrs, and the rest took 3 yrs or more. In conclusion, in most patients with diaphragm paralysis due to neuralgic amyotrophy, some recovery of the diaphragm strength occurs, but the rate of recovery may be slow.  (+info)

Time course of respiratory decompensation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a prospective, double-blind study of peak flow changes prior to emergency department visits. (2/1741)

The aim of this study was to look at changes in peak expiratory flow rates (PEFR) prior to emergency department visits for decompensated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It was designed as a prospective, double-blind study at the Albuquerque Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Twelve patients with an irreversible component of airflow obstruction on pulmonary function tests were assessed. At entry, all subjects were instructed in the use of a mini-Wright peak flow meter with electronic data storage. They then entered a 6-month monitoring phase in which they recorded PEFR twice daily, before and after bronchodilators. The meter displays were disabled so that the patients and their physicians were blinded to all values. Medical care was provided in the customary manner. Patients were considered to have respiratory decompensation if they required treatment for airflow obstruction in the Emergency Department (ED) and no other causes of dyspnea could be identified. Simple linear regression was used to model changes in PEFR over time. The 12 subjects had 22 episodes of respiratory decompensation during 1741 patient-days of observation. Two episodes could not be analysed because of missing values. Ten episodes in seven subjects were characterized by a significant linear decline in at least one peak flow parameter prior to presentation. The mean rates of change for the four daily parameters varied from 0.22% to 0.27% predicted per day (or 1.19 to 1.44 1 min-1 day-1). The average decrement in these parameters ranged from 30.0 to 33.8 1 min-1 (or 18.6%-25.9% of their baseline values). No temporal trends were found for the 10 episodes occurring in the other five subjects. We concluded that respiratory decompensation is characterized by a gradual decline in PEFR in about half of cases. Future studies should be done to elucidate the mechanisms of respiratory distress in the other cases.  (+info)

Early occurrence of respiratory muscle deoxygenation assessed by near-infrared spectroscopy during leg exercise in patients with chronic heart failure. (3/1741)

The mechanisms of respiratory muscle deoxygenation during incremental leg exercise with expired gas analysis were investigated in 29 patients with chronic heart failure and 21 normal subjects. The deoxygenation and blood volume of the respiratory muscle and exercising leg muscle were assessed by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). To evaluate the influence of the leg exercise on the blood volume of the respiratory muscle, 10 normal subjects also underwent a hyperventilation test with NIRS. The respiratory muscle deoxygenation point (RDP), at which oxygenated hemoglobin starts to decrease, was observed in both groups during exercise. The oxygen consumption (VO2) and the minute ventilation at the RDP in the patients was lower (p<0.01). At the same VO2, the respiratory rate was higher in patients (p<0.01). During exercise, the blood volume of the leg muscle increased, while that of the respiratory muscle decreased. During a hyperventilation test, the minute ventilation was higher than that of the RDP during exercise, the blood volume of the respiratory muscle did not decrease, and the RDP was not detectable. In conclusion, a limited ability to increase perfusion of respiratory muscles during exercise combined with the greater work of breathing results in early respiratory muscle deoxygenation in patients with chronic heart failure.  (+info)

A case of eosinophilic myocarditis complicated by Kimura's disease (eosinophilic hyperplastic lymphogranuloma) and erythroderma. (4/1741)

This report describes a patient with eosinophilic myocarditis complicated by Kimura's disease (eosinophilic hyperplastic lymphogranuloma) and erythroderma. A 50-year-old man presented with a complaint of precordial pain. However, the only abnormal finding on examinatioin was eosinophilia (1617 eosinophils/microl). Three years later, the patient developed chronic eczema, and was diagnosed with erythroderma posteczematosa. One year later, a tumor was detected in the right auricule, and a diagnosis of Kimura's disease was made, based on the biopsy findings. The patient developed progressive dyspnea 6 months later and was found to have cardiomegaly and a depressed left ventricular ejection fraction (17%). A diagnosis of eosinophilic myocarditis was made based on the results of a right ventricular endomyocardial biopsy. The eosinophilic myocarditis and erythrodrema were treated with steroids with improvement of both the eosinophilia and left ventricular function.  (+info)

Mechanisms of death in the CABG Patch trial: a randomized trial of implantable cardiac defibrillator prophylaxis in patients at high risk of death after coronary artery bypass graft surgery. (5/1741)

BACKGROUND: The CABG Patch trial compared prophylactic implantable cardiac-defibrillator (ICD) implantation with no antiarrhythmic therapy in coronary bypass surgery patients who had a left ventricular ejection fraction <0.36 and an abnormal signal-averaged ECG. There were 102 deaths among the 446 ICD group patients and 96 deaths among the 454 control group patients, a hazard ratio of 1.07 (P=0.63). The mechanisms of death were classified, and hypotheses were tested about the effects of ICD therapy on arrhythmic and nonarrhythmic cardiac deaths in the CABG Patch Trial and the Multicenter Automatic Defibrillator Implantation Trial (MADIT). METHODS AND RESULTS: The 198 deaths in the trial were reviewed by an independent Events Committee and classified by the method of Hinkle and Thaler. Only 54 deaths (27%) occurred out of hospital; 145 deaths (73%) were witnessed. Seventy-nine (82%) of the 96 deaths in the control group and 76 (75%) of the 102 deaths in the ICD group were due to cardiac causes. Cumulative arrhythmic mortality at 42 months was 6.9% in the control group and 4.0% in the ICD group (P=0. 057). Cumulative nonarrhythmic cardiac mortality at 42 months was 12. 4% in the control group and 13.0% in the ICD group (P=0.275). Death due to pump failure was significantly associated with death >1 hour from the onset of symptoms, dyspnea within 7 days of death, and overt heart failure within 7 days of death. CONCLUSIONS: In the CABG Patch Trial, ICD therapy reduced arrhythmic death 45% without significant effect on nonarrhythmic deaths. Because 71% of the deaths were nonarrhythmic, total mortality was not significantly reduced.  (+info)

Quality of life four years after acute myocardial infarction: short form 36 scores compared with a normal population. (6/1741)

OBJECTIVES: To assess the impact of myocardial infarction on quality of life in four year survivors compared to data from "community norms", and to determine factors associated with a poor quality of life. DESIGN: Cohort study based on the Nottingham heart attack register. SETTING: Two district general hospitals serving a defined urban/rural population. SUBJECTS: All patients admitted with acute myocardial infarction during 1992 and alive at a median of four years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Short form 36 (SF 36) domain and overall scores. RESULTS: Of 900 patients with an acute myocardial infarction in 1992, there were 476 patients alive and capable of responding to a questionnaire in 1997. The response rate was 424 (89. 1%). Compared to age and sex adjusted normative data, patients aged under 65 years exhibited impairment in all eight domains, the largest differences being in physical functioning (mean difference 20 points), role physical (mean difference 23 points), and general health (mean difference 19 points). In patients over 65 years mean domain scores were similar to community norms. Multiple regression analysis revealed that impaired quality of life was closely associated with inability to return to work through ill health, a need for coronary revascularisation, the use of anxiolytics, hypnotics or inhalers, the need for two or more angina drugs, a frequency of chest pain one or more times per week, and a Rose dyspnoea score of >/= 2. CONCLUSIONS: The SF 36 provides valuable additional information for the practising clinician. Compared to community norms the greatest impact on quality of life is seen in patients of working age. Impaired quality of life was reported by patients unfit for work, those with angina and dyspnoea, patients with coexistent lung disease, and those with anxiety and sleep disturbances. Improving quality of life after myocardial infarction remains a challenge for physicians.  (+info)

Syphilitic aortic regurgitation. An appraisal of surgical treatment. (7/1741)

During the 10 years from 1964 to 1973, fifteen patients with severe syphilitic aortic regurgitation were treated surgically at the National Heart Hospital. In thirteen the valve was replaced and in two it was repaired. In addition four had replacement of an aneurysmal ascending aorta with a Dacron graft and seven some form of plastic repair to the coronary ostia. Three patients died within 1 month of surgery and a further six during the follow-up period which varied from 1 to 55 months (mean 25-5). The six survivors have been followed-up for an average of 33 months. Factors contributing to this high mortality were analysed and it was found that the mean duration of effort dyspnoea was 22 months in the survivors compared with 48 months in those who had died. Similarly the average duration of nocturnal dyspnoea was 4 months in the survivors compared with a mean of 8 months in those who had died. Only six out of the fifteen patients had angina; this was present in two of the survivors and in four of the fatalities. The pulse pressure, heart size, and haemodynamic findings were similar in the two groups. The prognostic value of an elevated erythocyte sedimentation rate was also examined. It was concluded that preoperative investigations should include aortography, coronary arteriography, an assessment of left ventricular function, and whenever possible myocardial biopsy. These data were interpreted as suggesting that patients should be referred for surgery at an earlier stage in the disease--certainly before the onset of cardiac failure and--and that if this more aggresive attitude was adopted, as it has been in non-syphilitic cases of aortic valve disease, the present high mortality in this group would be reduced.  (+info)

Multicentre randomised controlled trial of nursing intervention for breathlessness in patients with lung cancer. (8/1741)

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of nursing intervention for breathlessness in patients with lung cancer. DESIGN: Patients diagnosed with lung cancer participated in a multicentre randomised controlled trial where they either attended a nursing clinic offering intervention for their breathlessness or received best supportive care. The intervention consisted of a range of strategies combining breathing control, activity pacing, relaxation techniques, and psychosocial support. Best supportive care involved receiving standard management and treatment available for breathlessness, and breathing assessments. Participants completed a range of self assessment questionnaires at baseline, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks. SETTING: Nursing clinics within 6 hospital settings in the United Kingdom. PARTICIPANTS: 119 patients diagnosed with small cell or non-small cell lung cancer or with mesothelioma who had completed first line treatment for their disease and reported breathlessness. OUTCOME MEASURES: Visual analogue scales measuring distress due to breathlessness, breathlessness at best and worst, WHO performance status scale, hospital anxiety and depression scale, and Rotterdam symptom checklist. RESULTS: The intervention group improved significantly at 8 weeks in 5 of the 11 items assessed: breathlessness at best, WHO performance status, levels of depression, and two Rotterdam symptom checklist measures (physical symptom distress and breathlessness) and showed slight improvement in 3 of the remaining 6 items. CONCLUSION: Most patients who completed the study had a poor prognosis, and breathlessness was typically a symptom of their deteriorating condition. Patients who attended nursing clinics and received the breathlessness intervention experienced improvements in breathlessness, performance status, and physical and emotional states relative to control patients.  (+info)