Alcohol consumption has been described as an independent risk factor for COPD-related mortality. Based on this prior research and because of the biological plausibility that heavy alcohol consumption may increase risk of exacerbation either through immune suppression or risk of aspiration, we hypothesized that moderate-to-heavy alcohol consumption when compared to light drinking would be associated with an increased risk for COPD exacerbations in a large, predominantly male cohort of veterans. While we found that screening positive for alcohol misuse (AUDIT C score > 4), frequent binge drinking, and alcohol use disorders (CAGE score > 2) all serve as markers for increased risk of COPD exacerbation, after adjustment for tobacco use there was no association between alcohol use or misuse and risk of exacerbation. This suggests that the association initially observed in age-adjusted models may not be due to the direct effects of alcohol but rather is due to the confounding by tobacco exposure that is strongly associated with alcohol consumption.
Alcohol exposure could contribute to COPD (http://www.copdfoundation.org/) exacerbation via several mechanisms. At the tissue level, alcohol may significantly decrease levels of the antioxidant glutathione within the lung, thereby raising susceptibility to injury, an effect of alcohol well-characterized in other organs like the liver. Additional studies, suggest that alcohol impairs the innate immune response of both the upper and lower respiratory tract in animal models via adverse effects on mucociliary clearance, alveolar macrophage phagocytosis, and alveolar epithelial barrier integrity. Physiologic responses to acute intoxication, namely impaired consciousness and reduced gag reflex, together facilitate entry of virulent organisms to the lower respiratory tract, which is known to be associated with COPD exacerbation risk.
Treatment of reversible disease of the airways with bronchodilator drugs is generally advocated because of subjective and objective improvement in the obstruction of the airways. A more difficult question arises in the patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) without evidence of reversible disease of the airways. Various methods of selection of such patients with COPD for treatment with bronchodilator drugs have been proposed. Reports of improvement in cardiac function and reduction of pulmonary vascular resistance with parenterally administered aminophylline and terbutaline, along with supporting evidence from radionuclide studies of cardiac ejection fraction, suggest that there may be a role for such agents beyond the simple involvement of spirometric measurements of disease. These studies also suggest a possible role for these drugs in the improvement of cardiopulmonary function during exercise, which might translate into a patients greater sense of well-being; however, the clinical applicability of the information from these studies to the ambulatory patient with irreversible obstruction of the airways is uncertain, since the information was obtained after parenteral administration of the drug, and in patients in whom reversible disease of the airways had not been rigidly excluded.
Seven of the 36 patients treated for empyema during the period of this report failed to respond to conventional therapy. None of the 29 patients responding to tube thoracostomy subsequently required open drainage of any type. Six patients were chronic alcohol abusers: four of these were also intravenous drug abusers. The remaining patient was an intravenous drug abuser. One patient had chronic renal failure requiring dialysis, and another had portal hypertension with a prior episode of variceal bleeding. Their data are presented in Table 1. Breaking news about Canadian Neighbor Pharmacy is published on its official website.
In: Lung Injury24 Sep 2015
Serial portable chest roentgenograms are used to evaluate patients with pulmonary edema. The ability of portable chest roentgenograms to demonstrate and monitor changes in pulmonary edema in supine critically ill patients has never been fully evaluated. A modification of the double-indicator dilution technique has made it possible to make serial determinations of extravascular lung water. By using the thermal-dye technique to measure extravascular lung water and comparing the results with interpretation of portable chest roentgenograms, we sought to evaluate (1) the ability of portable chest roentgenograms to define extravascular lung water in critically ill supine adults, and (2) the utility of portable chest roentgenograms as a monitor for quantifying changes in lung water under these circumstances.
In: RADS5 Sep 2015
A 53-year-old chemical worker had an accidental exposure to
uranium hexafluoride gas at work in a chemical plant on Nov 12, 1968. He was not wearing a respiratory protective device and breathed uranium hexafluoride vapors for about 15 minutes. He immediately developed shortness of breath and cough and was subsequently taken to an emergency room where because of severe respiratory distress, an emergency tracheotomy was performed. He was discharged from the hospital after four days, but noted persistent dyspnea and increased airway excitability after exposure to nonspecific irritants or stimuli such as marked temperature change, dusts, and a variety of fumes and vapors. He was evaluated at UC Medical Center approximately 140 months after his accident on July 8, 1980.
In: Smoking17 Aug 2015
The detrimental effects of smoking on adult pulmonary function has led to concern that passive smoking (the exposure to smoke from others cigarettes) may be harmful, especially to young children. The major studies that have examined the relation between parental smoking and childhood symptoms and pulmonary function are summarized in Table 3. Of these studies, all but four are cross-sectional analytic surveys. In such studies, childrens’ symptoms and/or pulmonary function are examined at a single point in time and related to parental smoking habits. Inference from cross-sectional analytic surveys is limited by the fact that predisposition to decreased pulmonary function may have preceded the exposure to smoke. It is known, for example, that smokers have smaller babies (not only because of smoking, but probably because of other factors associated with smoking). It is possible that lung development, or predisposition to pulmonary infection, may differ in these smaller babies. In addition, analytic surveys tell us about symptoms only over a relatively short period of time. Thus, while cough or respiratory infections might not be different in ten-year-olds depending on parental smoking, differences may have been apparent earlier in life, or develop later.
In: Lung Injury13 Aug 2015
The maximum obtainable monitoring time was 4,320 hours (20 patients, each patient monitored nine times 24 hours). Three hundred and forty-eight hours were not recorded. Another 360 hours were excluded as they contained less than 50 minutes of unambiguous ECG-recording. Thus, our results are based on 3,612 of3,972 recorded hours, 1,190 with placebo, 1,227 with theophylline!, and 1,195 with enprofylline.
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