The latest medical research on Intensive Care Medicine

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about intensive care medicine gathered by our medical AI research bot.

The selection below is filtered by medical specialty. Registered users get access to the Plexa Intelligent Filtering System that personalises your dashboard to display only content that is relevant to you.

Want more personalised results?

Request Access

Antimicrobial de-escalation in critically ill patients: a position statement from a task force of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) and European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) Critically Ill Patients Study Group (ESGCIP).

Intensive Care Medicine

Antimicrobial de-escalation (ADE) is a strategy of antimicrobial stewardship, aiming at preventing the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by decreasing the exposure to broad-spectrum antimicrobials. There is no high-quality research on ADE and its effects on AMR. Its definition varies and there is little evidence-based guidance for clinicians to use ADE in the intensive care unit (ICU).

A task force of 16 international experts was formed in November 2016 to provide with guidelines for clinical practice to develop questions targeted at defining ADE, its effects on the ICU population and to provide clinical guidance. Groups of 2 experts were assigned 1-2 questions each within their field of expertise to provide draft statements and rationale. A Delphi method, with 3 rounds and an agreement threshold of 70% was required to reach consensus.

We present a comprehensive document with 13 statements, reviewing the evidence on the definition of ADE, its effects in the ICU population and providing guidance for clinicians in subsets of clinical scenarios where ADE may be considered.

ADE remains a topic of controversy due to the complexity of clinical scenarios where it may be applied and the absence of evidence to the effects it may have on antimicrobial resistance.

'Intermittent' versus 'continuous' ScvO2 monitoring in children with septic shock: a randomised, non-inferiority trial.

Intensive Care Medicine

To compare the effect of 'intermittent' central venous oxygen saturation (ScvO2) monitoring with 'continuous' ScvO2 monitoring on shock resolution and mortality in children with septic shock.

Primary outcome was the achievement of therapeutic goals or shock resolution in the first 6 h. We randomly assigned children < 17 years' age with septic shock to 'intermittent ScvO2' or 'continuous ScvO2' groups. All children were subjected to subclavian/internal jugular line insertion and managed as per Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines. To guide resuscitation, we used ScvO2 estimated at other clinical and laboratory parameters were monitored similarly in both groups.

We enrolled 75 and 77 children [median (IQR) age: 6 (1.5-10) years] in the 'intermittent' and 'continuous' groups, respectively. Baseline characteristics were comparable between the groups. When compared to the 'continuous' group, fewer children in the 'intermittent' group achieved shock resolution within first 6 h [19% vs. 36%; relative risk (RR) 0.51; 95% CI 0.29-0.89; risk difference - 18.0%; 95% CI - 32.0 to - 4.0]. The lower bound of confidence interval, however, crossed the pre-specified non-inferiority margin. There was no difference in the proportion of children attaining shock resolution within 24 h (63% vs. 69%; RR 0.86; 95% CI 0.68-1.08) or risk of mortality between the groups (47% vs. 43%; RR 1.06; 95% CI 0.74-1.51).

Given that a greater proportion of children attained therapeutic end points in the first 6 h, continuous monitoring of ScvO2 should preferably be used to titrate therapy in the first few hours in children with septic shock. In the absence of such facility, intermittent monitoring of ScvO2 can be used to titrate therapy in these children, given the lack of difference in the proportion of patients achieving shock resolution at 24 h or in risk of mortality between the intermittent and continuous groups.

The contribution of frailty, cognition, activity of daily life and comorbidities on outcome in acutely admitted patients over 80 years in European ICUs: the VIP2 study.

Intensive Care Medicine

Premorbid conditions affect prognosis of acutely-ill aged patients. Several lines of evidence suggest geriatric syndromes need to be assessed but little is known on their relative effect on the 30-day survival after ICU admission. The primary aim of this study was to describe the prevalence of frailty, cognition decline and activity of daily life in addition to the presence of comorbidity and polypharmacy and to assess their influence on 30-day survival.

Prospective cohort study with 242 ICUs from 22 countries. Patients 80 years or above acutely admitted over a six months period to an ICU between May 2018 and May 2019 were included. In addition to common patients' characteristics and disease severity, we collected information on specific geriatric syndromes as potential predictive factors for 30-day survival, frailty (Clinical Frailty scale) with a CFS > 4 defining frail patients, cognitive impairment (informant questionnaire on cognitive decline in the elderly (IQCODE) with IQCODE ≥ 3.5 defining cognitive decline, and disability (measured the activity of daily life with the Katz index) with ADL ≤ 4 defining disability. A Principal Component Analysis to identify co-linearity between geriatric syndromes was performed and from this a multivariable model was built with all geriatric information or only one: CFS, IQCODE or ADL. Akaike's information criterion across imputations was used to evaluate the goodness of fit of our models.

We included 3920 patients with a median age of 84 years (IQR: 81-87), 53.3% males). 80% received at least one organ support. The median ICU length of stay was 3.88 days (IQR: 1.83-8). The ICU and 30-day survival were 72.5% and 61.2% respectively. The geriatric conditions were median (IQR): CFS: 4 (3-6); IQCODE: 3.19 (3-3.69); ADL: 6 (4-6); Comorbidity and Polypharmacy score (CPS): 10 (7-14). CFS, ADL and IQCODE were closely correlated. The multivariable analysis identified predictors of 1-month mortality (HR; 95% CI): Age (per 1 year increase): 1.02 (1.-1.03, p = 0.01), ICU admission diagnosis, sequential organ failure assessment score (SOFA) (per point): 1.15 (1.14-1.17, p < 0.0001) and CFS (per point): 1.1 (1.05-1.15, p < 0.001). CFS remained an independent factor after inclusion of life-sustaining treatment limitation in the model.

We confirm that frailty assessment using the CFS is able to predict short-term mortality in elderly patients admitted to ICU. Other geriatric syndromes do not add improvement to the prediction model. Since CFS is easy to measure, it should be routinely collected for all elderly ICU patients in particular in connection to advance care plans, and should be used in decision making.

Outcome and prognostic factors of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia in immunocompromised adults: a prospective observational study.

Annals of Intensive Care

Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) remains a severe disease associated with high rates of invasive mechanical ventilation (MV) and mortality. The objectives of this study were to assess early risk factors for severe PJP and 90-day mortality, including the broncho-alveolar lavage fluid cytology profiles at diagnosis.

We prospectively enrolled all patients meeting pre-defined diagnostic criteria for PJP admitted at Nantes university hospital, France, from January 2012 to January 2017. Diagnostic criteria for PJP were typical clinical features with microbiological confirmation of P. jirovecii cysts by direct examination or a positive specific quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. Severe PJP was defined as hypoxemic acute respiratory failure requiring high-flow nasal oxygen with at least 50% FiO2, non-invasive ventilation, or MV.

Of 2446 respiratory samples investigated during the study period, 514 from 430 patients were positive for P. jirovecii. Of these 430 patients, 107 met criteria for PJP and were included in the study, 53 (49.5%) patients had severe PJP, including 30 who required MV. All patients were immunocompromised with haematological malignancy ranking first (n = 37, 35%), followed by solid organ transplantation (n = 27, 25%), HIV-infection (n = 21, 20%), systemic diseases (n = 13, 12%), solid tumors (n = 12, 11%) and primary immunodeficiency (n = 6, 8%). By multivariate analysis, factors independently associated with severity were older age (OR, 3.36; 95% CI 1.4-8.5; p < 0.05), a P. jirovecii microscopy-positive result from bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) (OR, 1.3; 95% CI 1.54-9.3; p < 0.05); and absence of a BAL fluid alveolitis profile (OR, 3.2; 95% CI 1.27-8.8; p < 0.04). The 90-day mortality rate was 27%, increasing to 50% in the severe PJP group. Factors independently associated with 90-day mortality were worse SOFA score on day 1 (OR, 1.05; 95% CI 1.02-1.09; p < 0.001) whereas alveolitis at BAL was protective (OR, 0.79; 95% CI 0.65-0.96; p < 0.05). In the subgroup of HIV-negative patients, similar findings were obtained, then viral co-infection were independently associated with higher 90-day mortality (OR, 1.25; 95% CI 1.02-1.55; p < 0.05).

Older age and P. jirovecii oocysts at microscopic examination of BAL were independently associated with severe PJP. Both initial PJP severity as evaluated by the SOFA score and viral co-infection predicted 90-day mortality. Alveolitis at BAL examination was associated with less severe PJP. The pathophysiological mechanism underlying this observation deserves further investigation.

Survey of non-resuscitation fluids administered during septic shock: a multicenter prospective observational study.

Annals of Intensive Care

The indication, composition and timing of administration of non-resuscitation fluid in septic shock have so far received little attention and accordingly the potential to reduce this source of fluid is unknown. The objective of the study was to quantify and characterize non-resuscitation fluid administered to patients with septic shock.

This prospective observational study was performed in eight intensive care units in Sweden and Canada during 4 months in 2018. Adult patients with septic shock within 24 h of admission to the intensive care unit were eligible for inclusion. Non-resuscitation fluids were defined as fluids other than colloids, blood products and crystalloids at a rate ≥ 5 ml/kg/h. Indication, volume and type of fluid were recorded during the first 5 days after admission. A maximum of 30 patients could be included per centre. To estimate the potential to reduce administration of non-resuscitation fluid, a pragmatic "restrictive" protocol for administration of non-resuscitation fluids was devised based on the most restrictive practice already in place for non-resuscitation fluids at any of the participating centres. Data are presented as median (interquartile range [IQR]).

A total of 200 patients were included in the study and the 30-day mortality was 35%. Patients received a total of 7870 (4060-12,340) ml of non-resuscitation fluids and 2820 (1430-4580) of resuscitation fluids during the observation period. Median volumes of non-resuscitation and resuscitation fluids were similar at day 1 (1620 [710-2320] and 1590 [520-3000]) ml, respectively) and non-resuscitation fluids represented the largest source of fluid from day 2 and onwards after admission to the ICU. Vehicles for drugs such as vasoactive drugs and antibiotics constituted the largest fraction of non-resuscitation fluids (2400 [1270-4030] ml) during the 5-day observation period. Modelling suggested that volume of non-resuscitation fluids could be reduced by 2840 (1270-4900) ml during the first 5 days of admission to the ICU, mainly through reducing maintenance fluids.

Non-resuscitation fluids constitute the major fraction of fluids administered in the ICU to patients suffering from septic shock and may represent the largest modifiable target to reduce fluid overload.

Epidemiology, clinical features, and management of severe hypercalcemia in critically ill patients.

Annals of Intensive Care

Severe hypercalcemia (HCM) is a common reason for admission in intensive-care unit (ICU). This case series aims to describe the clinical and biological features, etiologies, treatments, and outcome associated with severe HCM. This study included all patients with a total calcemia above 12 mg/dL (3 mmol/L) admitted in two ICUs from January 2007 to February 2017.

131 patients with HCM were included. HCM was related to hematologic malignancy in 58 (44.3%), solid tumors in 29 (22.1%), endocrinopathies in 16 (12.2%), and other causes in 28 (21.3%) patients. 108 (82.4%) patients fulfilled acute kidney injury (AKI) criteria. Among them, 25 (19%) patients required renal replacement therapy (RRT). 51 (38.9%) patients presented with neurological symptoms, 73 (55.7%) patients had cardiovascular manifestations, and 50 (38.1%) patients had digestive manifestations. The use of bisphosphonates (HR, 0.42; 95% CI, 0.27-0.67; P < 0.001) was the only treatment significantly associated with a decrease of total calcemia below 12 mg/dL (3 mmol/L) at day 5. ICU and Hospital mortality rates were, respectively, 9.9% and 21.3%. Simplified Acute Physiologic Score (SAPS II) (OR, 1.05; 95% CI 1.01-1.1; P = 0.03) and an underlying solid tumor (OR, 13.83; 95% CI 2.24-141.25; P = 0.01) were two independent factors associated with hospital mortality in multivariate analysis.

HCM is associated with high mortality rates, mainly due to underlying malignancies. The course of HCM may be complicated by organ failures which are most of the time reversible with early ICU management. Early ICU admission and prompt HCM management are crucial, especially in patients with an underlying solid tumor presenting with neurological symptoms.

"I had the feeling that I was trapped": a bedside qualitative study of cognitive and affective attitudes toward noninvasive ventilation in patients with acute respiratory failure.

Annals of Intensive Care

Noninvasive ventilation (NIV) is the application of mechanical ventilation through a mask. It is used to treat certain forms of acute respiratory failure in intensive care units (ICU). NIV has clinical benefits but can be anxiogenic for the patients. This study aimed at describing cognitive and affective attitudes toward NIV among patients experiencing NIV for the first time in the context of an ICU stay.

Semi-structured interviews were conducted in 10 patients during their ICU stay and soon after their first NIV experience. None of the patients had ever received NIV previously. Evaluative assertion analysis and thematic analysis were used to investigate cognitive and affective attitudes toward NIV before, during, and after the first NIV experience, as well as patient attitudes toward caregivers and relatives.

Before their first NIV session, the cognitive attitudes of the patients were generally positive. They became less so and more ambiguous during and after NIV, as the patients discovered the actual barriers associated with NIV. Affective attitudes during NIV were more negative than affective attitudes before and after NIV, with reports of dyspnea, anxiety, fear, claustrophobic feelings, and reactivation of past traumatic experiences. The patients had more positive attitudes toward the presence of a caregiver during NIV, compared to the presence of a family member.

This study corroborates the possibly negative-or even traumatic-nature of the NIV experience, with emphasis on the role of affective attitudes. This is a rationale for evaluating the impact of NIV-targeted psychological interventions in ICU patients with acute respiratory failure.

Cubital vein transposition for a distal radiocephalic fistula complicated by outflow obstruction.

J Vasc Access

Outflow stenosis is a frequent complication of vascular access for hemodialysis. It may cause increased pressure within the angioaccess along with reduced blood flow. Elective treatment is percutaneous transluminal angioplasty; however, when a long occlusion (>2 cm) occurs, success and mid-term patency of endovascular treatment are uncertain. We describe a case series of patients with long occlusion of elbow outflow complicating an otherwise excellent forearm arteriovenous fistula, treated by a bypass across the elbow through cubital vein transposition.

Six consecutive patients have been treated between 2015 and 2017; all were referred because of either low flow, increased venous pressure, excessive bleeding time, or recirculation and were examined by duplex ultrasound. A total of 83% of patients showed associated thrombosis within the access. All procedures were performed under loco-regional anesthesia and preventive hemostasis. Surgical thrombectomy was also performed when needed.

Immediate success was obtained in all but two patients converted in veno-venous polytetrafluoroethylene bypass. Post-operative blood flow increased from 316 to 878 mL/min. All patients were dialyzed through the forearm access immediately the day after surgery, without the need for central vein catheter. Overall, 75% of patients needed a percutaneous transluminal angioplasty of the veno-venous anastomosis within 6 months. Primary and secondary patency at 12 and 24 months were 25%-0% and 100%-100%, respectively.

Outflow reconstruction through the elbow bypass by cubital vein transposition is a valuable resource to rescue radiocephalic arteriovenous fistula complicated by outflow obstruction, avoiding the use of an interim central vein catheter. Endovascular treatment is vital to maintain functional patency in the mid- and long term.

A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled pilot trial to evaluate safety and efficacy of vorapaxar on arteriovenous fistula maturation.

J Vasc Access

Protease-activated receptor-1 antagonism by vorapaxar could facilitate arteriovenous fistula maturation but may increase bleeding risk.

The primary objective of the Vorapaxar Study for Maturation of arteriovenous fistula for Hemodialysis Access (VorapAccess) was to determine if vorapaxar improves arteriovenous fistula functional maturation in patients with end-stage renal disease.

VorapAccess was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind pilot trial comparing 2.5 mg vorapaxar per day with placebo for twelve weeks starting on day two after arteriovenous fistula creation. The primary outcome was time to functional maturation defined as successful cannulation for six hemodialysis sessions within three weeks. The planned sample size was 50 participants. The study was terminated early after withdrawal of planned financial support. Given the small number of randomized patients, we performed descriptive analyses without inference testing.

A total of 13 participants were randomly allocated study drug (six vorapaxar and seven placebo). The median age was 56 years and seven participants (54%) were female. The median (minimum-maximum) days to functional maturation were 169 (77-287) days in the vorapaxar group and 145 (48-198) days in the placebo group. Six of the 13 (46%) participants had arteriovenous fistula functional maturation within 180 days; two of six (33%) in the vorapaxar group and four of seven (57%) in the placebo group. There was one bleeding event in the placebo group.

Fewer than half of participants had functional maturation within 180 days after surgery, suggesting a major need for agents or strategies that enhance arteriovenous fistula maturation.

Ultrasound-guided removal of organized thrombi using biopsy forceps in dialysis patients with arterio-venous access occlusion.

J Vasc Access

As a countermeasure against the organized thrombi frequently observed in vascular access occlusion, we devised a percutaneous excision method for organized thrombi under superficial ultrasound guidance using biopsy forceps. The Radial JawTM 3 (2 mm) biopsy forceps of Boston Scientific Corporation was used. The usefulness of this method was investigated.

The following protocol, which is suitable for endovascular treatment, was prepared and used: (1) all procedures were performed under ultrasound guidance and (2) use of the forceps was assisted via a long sheath in cases involving a complicated bloodstream.

Among 564 cases of arterio-venous access occlusion that received treatment at this hospital between May 2014 and April 2017, the subjects of this study were 468 cases who could be followed up. Thrombectomy of an organized thrombus using the biopsy forceps was performed 194 times in 138 cases. Biopsy forceps were used in the initial treatment in a total of 115 cases, including 71 cases of acute occlusion of an autologous vein, 3 cases of chronic occlusion of an autologous vein, and 41 cases of acute occlusion of a prosthetic vessel.

The initial success rate for all cases of occlusion was 97.2%. The initial success rate for cases in which biopsy forceps were used was 98.2%. For cases using biopsy forceps, the primary patency rates were 47.1% at 3 months, and the secondary patency rates (until occlusion) were 89.1% at 3 months.

This method was considered to be a valuable choice as a countermeasure against organized thrombi.

Ultrasound-based simulation for cannulation in outpatient hemodialysis units: An educational protocol.

J Vasc Access

Portable ultrasounds are often referred to as the "new stethoscope." Their portability and affordability have led to improved diagnostic capabiliti...

Patient selection, education, and cannulation of percutaneous arteriovenous fistulae: An ASDIN White Paper.

J Vasc Access

End-stage kidney disease patients who are candidates for surgical arteriovenous fistula creation commonly experience obstacles to a functional surg...