Anesthesia Progress Blog - Part 4

Hodgkin's diseaseSince the early 1920s the medical literature has been replete with reports of changes induced in normal and diseased tissues following radiation therapy for various malignancies. This is particularly so in Hodgkins disease of the thorax. The case presented here describes the development of dense calcifications in previously normal prestemal soft tissues following radiotherapy in a patient with Hodgkin’s disease of the mediastinum. To the authors knowledge, such radiation-induced changes have not been reported previously.

Case Report

A 32-year-old white woman was diagnosed at the age of 18 as having nodular sclerosing Hodgkins disease of the mediastinum, stage IIA. Following staging laparotomy and splenectomy, she underwent radiotherapy with 4,000 rads to the upper mantle and “in verted-Y” fields, along with splenic pedicle radiation. She also received six courses of MOPP chemotherapy (nitrogen mustard, Oncovin, procarbazine and prednisone). She tolerated therapy well and achieved complete remission; however, within six months she developed postradiation pericarditis. This was successfully treated with a partial pericardectomy via a left posterior thoracotomy. To get aquanted with such a notion as thoracotomy you may just make one step namely to check out Canadian health care mall.

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intragastric balloonThe intragastric balloon was successfully positioned in all patients. However, in one patient the balloon was removed a few days after placement because of gastric intolerance. Therefore, a total of 17 patients successfully completed the 6-month treatment protocol with the intragastric balloon. No significant complications were observed.

The clinical characteristics of the 17 morbidly obese patients before insertion of the intragastric balloon and after its removal are reported in Table 1. At baseline, all subjects were morbidly obese patients (BMI range, 46.0 to 82.0 kg/m2) with a substantial amount of visceral fat accumulation, as evidenced by the high values of the waist circumference and the sagittal abdominal diameter. Pulmonary function testing revealed restrictive ventilatory impairment with further significant reductions in oxygen saturation in the clinostatic position (p 20 events/h in all patients, and > 50 events/h in 13 of 17 patients (76.5%).

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Of 347 endomyocardial biopsies performed on 49 patients, 47 specimens demonstrated histologic evidence of acute rejection. In this study, acute rejection was characterized by the presence of interstitial edema with pyrinophilic lymphocytes, with or without myonecrosis. Simultaneous immune activation of peripheral blood lymphocytes occurred with 33 biopsy specimens positive for acute rejection (Table 1). Thus, the morphologic evaluation of lymphocytes demonstrated a 70 percent sensitivity in detecting an episode of acute cardiac rejection. The predictive value of a positive test (positive immune activation of lymphocytes) was 39 percent. Significant differences in absolute numbers of total lymphocytes, T-cell subsets (helper cells, cytotoxic-suppressor cells, cytotoxic cells, resetting T cells, mitogenic T cells) and helper/suppressor ratios analyzed via a Students t test revealed no consistent, statistically significant differences in absolute numbers of the above-described cell populations. During acute cardiac rejection, the helper/ suppressor ratio was variable, with high, low, and normal values noted. Read the rest of this entry »

Immunologic Monitoring of the Cardiac Transplant PatientAcute cardiac rejection may be difficult to diagnose in orthotopic cardiac transplant patients. The endomyocardial biopsy is the current gold standard for detection of acute rejection. This study examined the feasibility of morphologic evaluation of peripheral blood lymphocytes to provide a sensitive indicator of acute cardiac rejection.
Material and Methods
Peripheral blood lymphocytes of 49 orthotopic cardiac transplant patients were repeatedly examined over three years. Immunosuppressive therapy for these patients included preoperative antithymocyte globulin, followed by an intraoperative dose of methylpred-nisone and antithymocyte globulin. The postoperative regimen consisted of individualized doses of horse or rabbit antithymocyte globulin, cyclosporine A, prednisone and azathioprine. Rejection episodes were treated with methylprednisone; refractory acute rejection was rarely treated with the mouse monoclonal antibody OKT3. Read the rest of this entry »

Prospective Trial of Supranormal Values of Survivors as Therapeutic Goals in High-Risk Surgical Patients: ConclusionBlood pressure, heart rate, hematocrit, CVI? ECG, urine output, and blood gases are conventional measurements that are well recognized descriptors of acute crises as well as the end stages of circulatory failure. Although these variables should be monitored and corrected if abnormal, they are neither sensitive nor accurate descriptors of circulatory decompensation in the perioperative period. However, the use of PA catheters in surgical patients is considered to be highly controversial because of the lack of adequately controlled clinical trials. Recently, Robin has called attention to the fact that use of PA catheters has assumed epidemic proportions without clinical trials establishing improved outcome from their use. Moreover, hospitals and third-party payers view PA catheterization in the surgical patient as a potentially morbid and unnecessary expense. Read the rest of this entry »

The cardiac output, Do2 and Vo2 values were higher in the protocol patients than in the control patients, while the other monitored variables were not appreciably different, indicating that there was reasonable compliance with the protocol. The higher Cl and Do2 values are consistent with the concept that this pattern represents compensatory increases in circulatory function needed to meet the increased metabolic requirements reflected by Vo2. The present study suggests that this augmented circulatory response represents appropriate goals of therapy for the critically ill noncardiac surgical patient. However, the protocol, defined by median values of survivors may be overly aggressive for elderly patients with limited capacity for physiologic compensation and it may be unattainable or ineffective for overwhelming lethal disease. Read the rest of this entry »

Prospective Trial of Supranormal Values of Survivors as Therapeutic Goals in High-Risk Surgical Patients: Catheter ComplicationsComplications were observed less frequently in patients treated by the protocol in both series (Table 8). Both the proportion of patients who had complications and the average number of complications per patient were lowest in the PA-protocol group (p<0.05). There was a higher incidence of patients with multiple complications in the control group of both series. There were 17 patients (57 percent) in the CVP group who in the opinion of the primary service developed indications for PA catheterization for management in the postoperative period; seven (29 percent) of these patients subsequently died. Read the rest of this entry »

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Blog invites submissions of review articles, reports on clinical techniques, case reports, conference summaries, and articles of opinion pertinent to the control of pain and anxiety in dentistry.