The human microbiome, defined as a personal, genomic signature of our latent or manifest infectious profile (bacterial, viral, fungal), located predominantly in the digestive tract, opens the door to personalized medicine studies on a scale larger than the human genome in terms of data that can be analyzed and interpreted. Compared to the human genome, which has approximately 23,000 genes, the European Metagenomics of the Human Intestinal Tract and the Human Microbiome Project have reported 3.3 million non-redundant microbial genes . [More]
Background: Since its debut, as reported by the first published studies, COVID-19 has been linked to life-threatening conditions that needed vital assistance and admission to the intensive care unit. Skeletal muscle is a core element in an organism’s health due to its ability to keep energy balance and homeostasis. Many patients with prolonged hospitalization are characterized by a greater probability prone to critical illness myopathy or intensive care unit-acquired weakness.
Objective: The main aim of this study was to assess the skeletal muscle in a COVID-19 cohort of critically ill patients by measuring the psoas area and density.
Material and methods: This is a retrospective study that included critically ill adult patients, COVID-19 positive, mechanically ventilated, with an ICU stay of over 24 hours, and who had 2 CT scans eligible for psoas muscle evaluation. In these patients, correlations between different severity scores and psoas CT scans were sought, along with correlations with the outcome of the patients.
Results: Twenty-two patients met the inclusion criteria. No statistically significant differences were noticed regarding the psoas analysis by two blinded radiologists. Significant correlations were found between LOS in the hospital and in ICU with psoas area and Hounsfield Units for the first CT scan performed. With reference to AUC-ROC and outcome, it is underlined that AUC-ROC is close to 0.5 values, for both the psoas area and HU, indicating that the model had no class separation capacity.
Conclusion: The study suggested that over a short period, the psoas muscle area, and the psoas HU decline, for both the left and the right sight, in adult COVID-19 patients in ICU conditions, yet not statistically significant. Although more than two-thirds of the patients had a negative outcome, it was not possible to demonstrate an association between the SARS-COV2 infection and psoas muscle impairment. These findings highlight the need for further larger investigations.
Introduction: The immunological response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the treatment of COVID-19 disease present a potential susceptibility to viral reactivation, particularly Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1).
Case Presentation: A 49-year-old female presented to hospital with severe COVID-19 pneumonitis and was given sarilumab and dexamethasone. She was intubated and ventilated in the intensive care unit (ICU) and initially demonstrated biochemical and clinical evidence of improvement. This was followed by a severe acute deterioration in respiratory, renal, and cardiovascular function, accompanied by a vesicular rash on the face. Polymerase chain reaction confirmed HSV-1 reactivation and treatment with acyclovir was commenced. After 49 days in ICU the patient was successfully weaned from all organ support, and she made a satisfactory recovery.
Conclusions: HSV-1 reactivation is common in COVID-19 and likely contributes to poorer clinical outcomes. The mechanism causing susceptibility to viral reactivation is not clearly defined, however, the development of critical illness induced immunosuppression via dysfunction of interferon and interleukin pathways is a likely mechanism. This effect could be perpetuated with immunosuppressant medications, although further research is needed to characterise this phenomenon.
Background: Increasing awareness of the emotional impact of an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) hospitalization on patients and their families has led to a rise in studies seeking to mitigate Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) for both groups. In efforts to decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression, ICUs have implemented a variety of programs to reduce family distress.
Methods: We conducted a systematic review of experimental studies which aimed to reduce stress related disorders in family members after the experience of having a patient admitted to the ICU. Multiple databases were searched for randomized controlled trials or nonrandomized comparative trials which targeted family members or surrogate decision makers. A total of 17 studies were identified for inclusion in the review representing 3471 participants.
Results: We describe those interventions which we qualitatively assigned as “not passive,” or those which actively engaged the family to express themselves, as more likely to be successful in both the available pediatric and adult literature than interventions which we identified as “passive.” Studies which described active engagement of family members demonstrated comparative improvements in symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD, as well as reduced hospital costs in the case of two studies.
Discussion: This review may serve to aid in the development of future interventions targeted at reducing family stress and PICS following an ICU hospitalization.
Pain is one of the major concerns in Intensive Care Units (ICU). The majority of the patients admitted in ICU experience a certain degree of pain during their stay. Opioid analgesia constitutes the main analgesic option for ICU patients .
Opioids are known to have serious side effects, some of them such as ileus, respiratory depression, which leads to prolonged mechanical ventilation, can interfere with the patient’s outcome can lengthen the stay in ICU and leads to iatrogenic withdrawal syndrome (IWS) [1, 2]. In the last few years, a new concept of pain management in ICU patients was introduced: opioid free analgesia (OFA). This concept implies achieving good quality analgesia without using any type of opioids, in any manner . [More]
Background: Traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The relationship between hyperoxia and outcomes in patients with TBI remains controversial. We assessed the effect of persistent hyperoxia on the neurological outcomes and survival of critically ill patients with moderate-severe TBI.
Method: This was a retrospective cohort study of all adults with moderate-severe TBI admitted to the ICU between 1st January 2016 and 31st December 2019 and who required invasive mechanical ventilation. Arterial blood gas data was recorded within the first 3 hours of intubation and then after 6-12 hours and 24-48 hours. The patients were divided into two categories: Group I had a PaO2 < 120mmHg on at least two ABGs undertaken in the first twelve hours post intubation and Group II had a PaO2 ≥ 120mmHg on at least two ABGs in the same period. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to assess predictors of hospital mortality and good neurologic outcome (Glasgow outcome score ≥ 4).
Results: The study included 309 patients: 54.7% (n=169) in Group I and 45.3% (n=140) in Group II. Hyperoxia was not associated with increased mortality in the ICU (20.1% vs. 17.9%, p=0.62) or hospital (20.7% vs. 17.9%, p=0.53), moreover, the hospital discharge mean (SD) Glasgow Coma Scale (11.0(5.1) vs. 11.2(4.9), p=0.70) and mean (SD) Glasgow Outcome Score (3.1(1.3) vs. 3.1(1.2), p=0.47) were similar. In multivariable logistic regression analysis, persistent hyperoxia was not associated with increased mortality (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.71, 95% CI 0.34-1.35, p=0.29). PaO2 within the first 3 hours was also not associated with mortality: 121-200mmHg: aOR 0.58, 95% CI 0.23-1.49, p=0.26; 201-300mmHg: aOR 0.66, 95% CI 0.27-1.59, p=0.35; 301-400mmHg: aOR 0.85, 95% CI 0.31-2.35, p=0.75 and >400mmHg: aOR 0.51, 95% CI 0.18-1.44, p=0.20; reference: PaO2 60-120mmHg within 3 hours. However, hyperoxia >400mmHg was associated with being less likely to have good neurological (GOS ≥4) outcome on hospital discharge (aOR 0.36, 95% CI 0.13-0.98, p=0.046; reference: PaO2 60-120mmHg within 3 hours.
Conclusion: In intubated patients with moderate-severe TBI, hyperoxia in the first 48 hours was not independently associated with hospital mortality. However, PaO2 >400mmHg may be associated with a worse neurological outcome on hospital discharge.
In recent years, a new form of medicine has become increasingly significant, namely, personalised medicine (PM). PM is a form of care in which treatment is tailored for an individual patient.
PM is about using multiple data sets to create a digital human mapping. A person’s biological traits are determined by the interactions of hundreds of genes and gene networks, as well as external factors such as diet and exercise. Combining and then investigating these multiple databases with powerful statistical tools, allows a new understanding of how genetic intricacy drives health and disease and so leads to a closer personalised medical approach that targets each individual’s unique genetic make-up.
Sepsis is a systemic inflammatory response to infection, ranging from systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) to septic shock and multiple organ dysfunction syndromes (MODS). Sepsis is the most common cause of death in intensive care patients. Treatments in an ICU may need to be adapted to the continuous and rapid changes of the disease, making it challenging to identify a single target. PM is thus seen as the future of sepsis treatment in the ICU.
The fact that individual patients respond differently to treatment should be regarded as a starting point in the approach to providing treatment. The disease itself comes secondary to this concept.
Background: Lactic acidosis (LA) is a complication of diseases commonly seen in intensive care patients which carries an increased risk of mortality. It is classified by its pathophysiology; Type A results from tissue hypo-perfusion and hypoxia, and Type B results from abnormal metabolic activity in the absence of hypoxia. Reports of the co-occurrence of both types have been rarely reported in the literature relating to intensive care patients. This case report describes the challenging management of a patient diagnosed with both Type A and Type B LA.
Case presentation: A 55-year-old female with newly diagnosed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) developed hospital-acquired pneumonia, respiratory failure, shock and intra-abdominal septicaemia from a bowel perforation. Blood gases revealed a mixed picture lactic acidosis. Correction of septic shock, respiratory failure and surgical repair caused initial improvement to the lactic acidosis, but this gradually worsened in the intensive care unit. Only upon starting chemotherapy and renal replacement therapy was full resolution of the lactic acidosis achieved. The patient was discharged but succumbed to her DLBCL several months later.
Conclusion: Type A and Type B LA can co-occur, making management difficult. A systematic approach can help diagnose any underlying pathology and aid in early management.
Introduction: Elevated intraabdominal pressure (IAP) it is known to have an impact on renal function trough the pressure transmitted from the abdominal cavity to the vasculature responsible for the renal blood flow. Intraabdominal pressure is found to be frequent in intensive care patients and also to be a predictor of mortality. Intra- abdominal high pressure is an entity that can have serious impact on intensive care admitted patients, studies concluding that if this condition progresses to abdominal compartment syndrome mortality is as high as 80%.
Aim: The aim of this study was to observe if a link between increased intraabdominal pressure and modification in renal function exists (NGAL, creatinine clearance).
Material and Method: The study enrolled 30 critically ill patients admitted in the Intensive Care Unit of SCJU Tîrgu Mures between November 2015 and August 2016. The study enrolled adult, hemodynamically stable patients admitted in intensive critical care – defined by a normal blood pressure maintained without any vasopressor or inotropic support, invasive monitoring using PICCO device and abdominal pressure monitoring.
Results: The patients were divided into two groups based on the intraabdominal pressure values: normal intraabdominal pressure group= 52 values and increased intraabdominal group= 35 values. We compared the groups in the light of NGAL values, 24 hours diuresis, GFR and creatinine clearance. The groups are significantly different when compared in the light of NGAL values and GFR values. We obtained a statistically significant correlation between NGAL value and 24 hour diuresis. No other significant correlations were encountered between the studied items.
Conclusions: NGAL values are increased in patients with high intraabdominal pressure which may suggest its utility as a cut off marker for patients with increased intraabdominal pressure. There is a significant decreased GFR in patient with elevated intraabdominal pressure, observation which can help in early detection of renal injury in patients due to high intraabdominal pressure. No correlation was found between creatinine clearance and increased intraabdominal pressure.
Anemia in patients admitted to an intensive care unit is common and affects almost all critically ill patients. The intensivist is faced with the challenge of treating multifactorial etiologies, mainly bleeding and blood loss due to phlebotomy and decreased erythropoiesis. Red cell transfusion, the most common treatment for anemia, comes with associated risks, which may further reduce the chance of survival of these patients. The best evidence suggests the practice of restrictive RBC transfusion (transfusion at Hb<7 g/dl).
In this article, the etiopathogenesis of the anemia in critically ill is reviewed, and current opinion on the pros and cons of various management strategies are discussed with emphasize on restrictive transfusion policy.