Category Archives: Review

Critical Care Aspects of Gallstone Disease

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2019-0003

Approximately twenty percent of adults have gallstones making it one of the most prevalent gastrointestinal diseases in Western countries. About twenty percent of gallstone patients requires medical, endoscopic, or surgical therapies such as cholecystectomy due to the onset of gallstone-related symptoms or gallstone-related complications. Thus, patients with symptomatic, uncomplicated or complicated gallstones, regardless of the type of stones, represent one of the largest patient categories admitted to European hospitals.
This review deals with the important critical care aspects associated with a gallstone-related disease.

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Abdominal Sepsis: An Update

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2018-0023

Despite the significant development and advancement in antibiotic therapy, life-threatening complication of infective diseases cause hundreds of thousands of deaths world. This paper updates some of the issues regarding the etiology and treatment of abdominal sepsis and summaries the latest guidelines as recommended by the Intra-abdominal Infection (IAI) Consensus (2017). Prognostic scores are currently used to assess the course of peritonitis. Irrespective of the initial cause, there are several measures universally accepted as contributing to an improved survival rate, with the early recognition of IAI being the critical matter in this respect. Immediate correction of fluid balance should be undertaken with the use of vasoactive agents being prescribed, if necessary, to augment and assist fluid resuscitation. The WISS study showed that mortality was significantly affected by sepsis irrespective of any medical and surgical measures. A significant issue is the prevalence of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae in the clinical setting, and the reported prevalence of ESBLs intra-abdominal infections has steadily increased in Asia. Europe, Latin America, Middle East, North America, and South Pacific. Abdominal cavity pathology is second only to sepsis occurring in a pulmonary site. Following IAI (2017) guidelines, antibiotic therapy should be initiated as soon as possible after a diagnosis has been verified.

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Abdominal Compartment Syndrome as a Multidisciplinary Challenge. A Literature Review

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2018-0024

Abdominal Compartment Syndrome (ACS), despite recent advances in medical and surgical care, is a significant cause of mortality. The purpose of this review is to present the main diagnostic and therapeutic aspects from the anesthetical and surgical points of view. Intra-abdominal hypertension may be diagnosed by measuring intra-abdominal pressure and indirectly by imaging and radiological means. Early detection of ACS is a key element in the ACS therapy. Without treatment, more than 90% of cases lead to death and according with the last reports, despite all treatment measures, the mortality rate is reported as being between 25 and 75%. There are conflicting reports as to the importance of a conservative therapy approach, although such an approach is the central to treatment guidelines of the World Society of Abdominal Compartment Syndrome, Decompressive laparotomy, although a backup solution in ACS therapy, reduces mortality by 16-37%. The open abdomen management has several variants, but negative pressure wound therapy represents the gold standard of surgical treatment.

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Transplant Critical Care: Is There A Need for Sub-specialized Units? — A Perspective

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2018-0014

The critical care involved in solid-organ transplantation (SOT) is complex. Pre-, intra- and post-transplant care can significantly impact both – patients’ ability to undergo SOT and their peri-operative morbidity and mortality. Much of the care necessary for medical optimization of end-stage organ failure (ESOF) patients to qualify and then successfully undergo SOT, and the management of peri-operative and/or long-term complications thereafter occurs in an intensive care unit (ICU) setting. The current literature specific to critical care in abdominal SOT patients was reviewed. This paper provides a contemporary perspective on the potential multifactorial advantages of sub-specialized transplant critical care units in providing efficient, comprehensive, and collaborative multidisciplinary care.

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Endotracheal Tube Biofilm and its Impact on the Pathogenesis of Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2018-0011

Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a common and serious nosocomial infection in mechanically ventilated patients and results in high mortality, prolonged intensive care unit- (ICU) and hospital-length of stay and increased costs. In order to reduce its incidence, it is imperative to better understand the involved mechanisms and to identify the source of infection. The role of the endotracheal tube (ET) in VAP pathogenesis became more prominent over the last decades, along with extensive research dedicated to medical device-related infections and biofilms. ET biofilm formation is an early and constant process in intubated patients. New data regarding its temporal dynamics, composition, germ identification and consequences enhance knowledge about VAP occurrence, microbiology, treatment response and recurrence.
This paper presents a structured analysis of the medical literature to date, in order to outline the role of ET biofilm in VAP pathogenesis and to review recommended methods to identify ET biofilm microorganisms and to prevent or decrease VAP incidence.

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Perioperative Stress-Induced (Takotsubo) Cardiomyopathy in Liver Transplant Recipients

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2018-0006

A comprehensive analysis of published cases of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, occurred in liver transplant recipients in the perioperative period, has been attempted in this review. Predisposing factors, precipitating events, potential physiological mechanisms, acute and post-event management have been discussed.

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Use of Transcranial Doppler in Intensive Care Unit

DOI: 10.1515/jccm-2017-0021

Use of transcranial Doppler has undergone much development since its introduction in 1982, making the technique suitable for general use in intensive care units. The main application in intensive care units is to assess intracranial pressure, confirm the lack of cerebral circulation in brain death, detect vasospasm in subarachnoid haemorrhage, and monitor the blood flow parameters during thrombolysis and carotid endarterectomy, as well as measuring stenosis of the main intracranial arteries in sickle cell disease in children.
This review summarises the use of transcranial Doppler in intensive care units.

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The Importance of Haemogram Parameters in the Diagnosis and Prognosis of Septic Patients

DOI: 10.1515/jccm-2017-0019

Sepsis represents a severe pathology that requires both rapid and precise positive and differential diagnosis to identify patients who need immediate antimicrobial therapy. Monitoring septic patients’ outcome leads to prolonged hospitalisation and antibacterial therapy, often accompanied by substantial side effects, complications and a high mortality risk.
Septic patients present with complex pathophysiological and immunological disorders and with a predominance of pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory mediators which are heterogeneous with respect to the infectious focus, the aetiology of sepsis or patients’ immune status or comorbidities. Previous studies performed have analysed inflammatory biomarkers, but a test or combinations of tests that can quickly and precisely establish a diagnosis or prognosis of septic patients has yet to be discovered. Recent research has focused on re-analysing older accessible parameters found in the complete blood count to determine the sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values for the diagnosis and prognosis of sepsis.
The neutrophil/lymphocyte count ratio (NLCR), mean platelet volume (MPV) and red blood cells distribution width (RDW) are haemogram indicators which have been evaluated and which are of proven use in septic patients’ management.

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Perioperative Management of Lactic Acidosis in End-Stage Liver Disease Patient

DOI: 10.1515/jccm-2017-0014

Lactic acidosis (LA) in end-stage liver disease (ESLD) patients has been recognized as one of the most complicated clinical problems and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Multiple-organ failure, associated with advanced stages of cirrhosis, exacerbates dysfunction of numerous parts of lactate metabolism cycle, which manifests as increased lactate production and impaired clearance, leading to severe LA-induced acidemia. These problems become especially prominent in ESLD patients, that undergo partial hepatectomy and, particularly, liver transplantation. Perioperative management of LA and associated severe acidemia is an inseparable part of anesthesia, post-operative and critical care for this category of patients, presenting a wide variety of challenges. In this review, lactic acidosis applied pathophysiology, clinical implications for ESLD patients, diagnosis, role of intraoperative factors, such as anesthesia- and surgery-related, vasoactive agents impact, and also current treatment options and modalities have been discussed.

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Anticoagulant Therapy in Sepsis. The Importance of Timing

DOI: 10.1515/jccm-2017-0011

Sepsis associated coagulopathy is due to the inflammation-induced activation of coagulation pathways concomitant with dysfunction of anticoagulant and fibrinolytic systems, leading to different degrees of haemostasis dysregulation. This response is initially beneficial, contributing to antimicrobial defence, but when control is lost coagulation activation leads to widespread microvascular thrombosis and subsequent organ failure. Large clinical trials of sepsis-related anticoagulant therapies failed to show survival benefits, but posthoc analysis of databases and several smaller studies showed beneficial effects of anticoagulants in subgroups of patients with early sepsis-induced disseminated intravascular coagulation. A reasonable explanation could be the difference in timing of anticoagulant therapy and patient heterogeneity associated with large trials. Proper selection of patients and adequate timing are required for treatment to be successful. The time when coagulation activation changes from advantageous to detrimental represents the right moment for the administration of coagulation-targeted therapy. In this way, the defence function of the haemostatic system is preserved, and the harmful effects of overwhelming coagulation activation are avoided.

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