[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A CUTE EXACERBATIONS OF chronic obstructive pulmo-nary disease (COPD) are a risk factor for disease dete-rioration, 1 and patients with frequent exacerbations have increased mortal-ity. 2 In the general practitioner–based Swiss COPD cohort, approximately 23% to 25% of patients with COPD ex-perienced exacerbations requiring phar-macological treatment within 1 year. 3,4 International guidelines and system-atic reviews advocate systemic gluco-corticoid therapy in the management of acute exacerbations of COPD (eg, 30-40 mg of oral prednisolone for 10-14 days). 5-7 Randomized clinical trials have shown that glucocorticoid therapy benefits clinical outcome, 8-11
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 06/2013; · 29.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE International guidelines advocate a 7- to 14-day course of systemic glucocorticoid therapy in acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, the optimal dose and duration are unknown. OBJECTIVE To investigate whether a short-term (5 days) systemic glucocorticoid treatment in patients with COPD exacerbation is noninferior to conventional (14 days) treatment in clinical outcome and whether it decreases the exposure to steroids. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PATIENTS REDUCE (Reduction in the Use of Corticosteroids in Exacerbated COPD), a randomized, noninferiority multicenter trial in 5 Swiss teaching hospitals, enrolling 314 patients presenting to the emergency department with acute COPD exacerbation, past or present smokers (≥20 pack-years) without a history of asthma, from March 2006 through February 2011. INTERVENTIONS Treatment with 40 mg of prednisone daily for either 5 or 14 days in a placebo-controlled, double-blind fashion. The predefined noninferiority criterion was an absolute increase in exacerbations of at most 15%, translating to a critical hazard ratio of 1.515 for a reference event rate of 50%. MAIN OUTCOME AND MEASURE Time to next exacerbation within 180 days. RESULTS Of 314 randomized patients, 289 (92%) of whom were admitted to the hospital, 311 were included in the intention-to-treat analysis and 296 in the per-protocol analysis. Hazard ratios for the short-term vs conventional treatment group were 0.95 (90% CI, 0.70 to 1.29; P = .006 for noninferiority) in the intention-to-treat analysis and 0.93 (90% CI, 0.68 to 1.26; P = .005 for noninferiority) in the per-protocol analysis, meeting our noninferiority criterion. In the short-term group, 56 patients (35.9%) reached the primary end point; 57 (36.8%) in the conventional group. Estimates of reexacerbation rates within 180 days were 37.2% (95% CI, 29.5% to 44.9%) in the short-term; 38.4% (95% CI, 30.6% to 46.3%) in the conventional, with a difference of -1.2% (95% CI, -12.2% to 9.8%) between the short-term and the conventional. Among patients with a reexacerbation, the median time to event was 43.5 days (interquartile range [IQR], 13 to 118) in the short-term and 29 days (IQR, 16 to 85) in the conventional. There was no difference between groups in time to death, the combined end point of exacerbation, death, or both and recovery of lung function. In the conventional group, mean cumulative prednisone dose was significantly higher (793 mg [95% CI, 710 to 876 mg] vs 379 mg [95% CI, 311 to 446 mg], P < .001), but treatment-associated adverse reactions, including hyperglycemia and hypertension, did not occur more frequently. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE In patients presenting to the emergency department with acute exacerbations of COPD, 5-day treatment with systemic glucocorticoids was noninferior to 14-day treatment with regard to reexacerbation within 6 months of follow-up but significantly reduced glucocorticoid exposure. These findings support the use of a 5-day glucocorticoid treatment in acute exacerbations of COPD. TRIAL REGISTRATION isrctn.org Identifier:ISRCTN19646069.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 05/2013; · 29.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: Sleep problems are a potential risk factor for work injuries but the extent of the risk is unclear. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to quantify the effect of sleep problems on work injuries. METHODS: A systematic literature search using several databases was performed. Sleep problems of any duration or frequency as well as work injuries of any severity were of interest. The effect estimates of the individual studies were pooled and relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated through random effects models. Additionally, the population attributable risk was estimated. RESULTS: In total, 27 observational studies (n = 268,332 participants) that provided 54 relative risk estimates were included. The findings of the meta-analysis suggested that workers with sleep problems had a 1.62 times higher risk of being injured than workers without sleep problems (RR: 1.62, 95% CI: 1.43-1.84). Approximately 13% of work injuries could be attributed to sleep problems. CONCLUSION: This systematic review confirmed the association between sleep problems and work injuries and, for the first time, quantified its magnitude. As sleep problems are of growing concern in the population, these findings are of interest for both sleep researchers and occupational physicians.
Sleep Medicine Reviews 05/2013; · 8.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to assess airway hyperresponsiveness to eucapnic voluntary hyperventilation and dry powder mannitol challenge in athletes aiming to participate at the Paralympic Games 2008 in Beijing, especially in athletes with spinal cord injury.
Forty-four athletes with a disability (27 with paraplegia (group 1), 3 with tetraplegia (group 2) and 14 with other disabilities such as blindness or single limb amputations (group 3) performed spirometry, skin prick testing, measurement of exhaled nitric oxide, eucapnic voluntary hyperventilation challenge test (EVH) and mannitol challenge test (MCT). A fall in FEV1 of >=10% in either challenge test was deemed positive for exercise-induced bronchoconstriction.
Fourteen (32%) athletes were atopic and 7 (16%) had a history of physician-diagnosed asthma. Absolute lung function values were significantly lower in patients of group 1 and 2 compared to group 3. Nine (20%) athletes were positive to EVH (8 paraplegics, 1 tetraplegic), and 8 (18%) athletes were positive to MCT (7 paraplegics, 1 tetraplegic). Fourteen (22.7%) subjects were positive to at least one challenge; only three athletes were positive to both tests. None of the athletes in group 3 had a positive test. Both challenge tests showed a significant association with physician-diagnosed asthma status (p = 0.0001). The positive and negative predictive value to diagnose physician-diagnosed asthma was 89% and 91% for EHV, and 75% and 86% for MCT, respectively.
EVH and MCT can be used to identify, but especially exclude asthma in Paralympic athletes.
BMC sports science, medicine and rehabilitation. 04/2013; 5(1):7.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT BACKGROUND:Use of inhaled corticosteroids in mild to moderate COPD is controversial. The aim of this study was to determine whether airway hyperresponsiveness to mannitol might identify patients who are likely to respond to add-on inhaled corticosteroids. METHODS:Ninety subjects with mild to moderate COPD were recruited and 68 subsequently randomised in a double-blind manner to receive inhaled budesonide (1600 mcg/day, n= 31) or placebo (n= 37) for 3 months. Thirty-eight subjects had airway hyperresponsiveness to mannitol (17 received budesonide, 21 placebo). All subjects received tiotropium throughout the study including 4 weeks before randomisation. Spirometry, quality of life (St George Respiratory Questionnaire), degree of dyspnoea, airway responsiveness to mannitol and exhaled nitric oxide were assessed at week 0 (recruitment), week 4 (baseline prior to randomisation) and week 16 (posttreatment). RESULTS:Compared to placebo, budesonide was associated with improved quality of life in subjects showing airway hyperresponsiveness to mannitol (difference of changes in quality of life score between randomisation and study completion: -9.1, 95% CI [-15.8; -2.3] p< 0.01). Treatment with inhaled budesonide also led to a reduction in airway responsiveness to mannitol compared with the placebo group (difference in log response-dose-ratio change: -0.3 95% CI [-0.6;-0.04] p< 0.01). However, post - randomisation changes in FEV(1) % predicted, quality of life and nitric oxide showed no difference between budesonide and placebo. CONCLUSIONS:In subjects with mild to moderate COPD and airway hyperresponsiveness to mannitol, quality of life and airway responsiveness improved after treatment with inhaled corticosteroids added to long-acting bronchodilator therapy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transcutaneous measurement of carbon dioxide is routinely done at the earlobe site. In patients receiving non invasive ventilation or in the intensive care setting with necklines, an alternate measurement site would be useful. We started to use the infraclavicular site for transcutaneous measurements of carbon dioxide using a new digital sensor.
Comparison of transcutaneous carbon dioxide with arterial carbon dioxide at the infraclavicular site.
We retrospectively compared transcutaneous carbon dioxide at the infraclavicular site with arterial carbon dioxide in 50 samples. The Sentec Digital Monitoring System (Sentec AG, Therwil, Switzerland) was used. The V-Sign digital sensor was placed on the infraclavicular site at the medial two third and one third point from the sternoclavicular joint and acromioclavicular joint.
When comparing P(c)CO(2) with P(a)CO(2) values, the Bland-Altman analysis revealed a bias of 0.02 kPa (95% CI: [- 0.1; 0.14]) with a precision of 0.42 kPa. Linear regression analysis describes the relationship between the two methods. The slope of the linear model was 0.85 ± 0.04 and the intercept was 0.77 ± 0.21 (RSE = 0.37, R(2) = 0.91).
The measurement of transcutaneous carbon dioxide at the infraclavicular site is feasible with a digital sensor and has a good correlation with the carbon dioxide values obtained from the arterial blood gas. The findings of the current study form the basis for further clinical studies for its regular application in clinical use.
Scandinavian journal of clinical and laboratory investigation 03/2012; 72(4):340-2. · 1.38 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines aim to optimise chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) diagnosis and treatment. However, little is known about the extent to which general practitioners' (GP) adherence to GOLD guidelines improves patient outcomes.
In this questionnaire-based study, COPD patients were screened and enrolled; exacerbation history was recorded, and demographic, spirometric and management data were collected for 12 months. Spirometry was performed at least every 6 months according to American Thoracic Society guidelines. Based on these data, patients were grouped into GOLD COPD severity classifications. Data were expressed as the difference between baseline and month 12.
Among 139 GPs, 454 patients were analysed regarding baseline and 12 month data. There was no significant change in distribution of GOLD COPD severity grades, lung function or guideline adherence. Chronic cough and sputum production were significantly reduced (p <0.001; p <0.020), as was exacerbation rate (p = 0.041). Factors associated with exacerbations were male sex, asthma and cerebrovascular insult as a co-morbidity. Exacerbation rate was significantly reduced in patients treated with combination therapy (long-acting β2-agonist (LABA)+ inhaled corticosteroids (ICS); p = 0.0178) and long-acting anticholinergics (LAAC; p = 0.0011). Patients treated per guidelines had no advantage in lung function, estimation of symptom prevalence or, most importantly, exacerbation rate.
While there was no improvement in adherence to GOLD guidelines, disease severity was not affected detrimentally, suggesting that guideline adherence does not seem to impact symptom prevalence, exacerbation rate or lung function decline after one year of follow up.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Roflumilast is a selective phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor which has been licensed in the European Union since 2010 and in Switzerland since November 2011 as an add-on treatment for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in GOLD (Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease) stages 3 and 4 (FEV(1) <50% predicted after bronchodilatation) and frequent exacerbations despite correctly-dosed therapy with a long-acting bronchodilator. Roflumilast is designed to target both the systemic and pulmonary inflammation associated with COPD. In this review roflumilast's chemistry, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, clinical efficacy, safety and tolerability and the current ongoing clinical trials involving roflumilast are outlined. Information has been sourced from the Swiss and US product information monographs, peer-reviewed published literature (identified from a PubMed MEDLINE search 1966 - March 2012 using the term "roflumilast"), the COPD GOLD international guidelines for the management of COPD (Revised 2011) and an independent analysis of phase 3 clinical trial data by FDA staff physicians. Clinical efficacy in terms of a modest gain in FEV(1)% and a reduction in exacerbation rate has been demonstrated in phase 3 clinical trials and roflumilast has been recently incorporated into international treatment guidelines. However data examining roflumilast as add-on therapy to long-acting bronchodilators and ICS (standard therapy) is currently awaited and phase 4 post-marketing studies are required to determine the incidence and severity of adverse events and the long-term beneficial effects of roflumilast as a maintenance therapy for COPD in every-day clinical practice.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is conflicting evidence about resting carbon dioxide levels in asthmatic individuals. We wanted to determine if transcutaneously measured carbon dioxide levels prior and during bronchial provocation testing differ according to asthma status reflecting dysfunctional breathing.
We investigated active firefighters and policemen by means of a validated questionnaire on respiratory symptoms, spirometry, bronchial challenge testing with methacholine (MCT) and measurement of transcutaneous blood carbon dioxide partial pressure (PtcCO(2)) at rest prior performing spirometry, one minute and five minutes after termination of MCT. A respiratory physician blinded to the PtcCO(2) results assigned a diagnosis of asthma after reviewing the available study data and the files of the workers medical screening program.
The study sample consisted of 128 male and 10 female individuals. Fifteen individuals (11%) had physician-diagnosed asthma. There was no clinically important difference in median PtcCO(2) at rest, one and five minutes after recovery from MCT in asthmatics compared to non-asthmatics (35.6 vs 35.7 mmHg, p = 0.466; 34.7 vs 33.4 mmHg, p = 0.245 and 37.4 vs 36.4 mmHg, p = 0.732). The median drop in PtcCO(2) during MCT and the increase after MCT was lower in asthmatics compared to non-asthmatics (0.1 vs 3.2 mmHg, p = 0.014 and 1.9 vs 2.9 mmHg, p = 0.025).
PtcCO(2) levels at rest prior and during recovery after MCT do not differ in individuals with or without physician diagnosed asthma. The fall and subsequent increase in PtcCO(2) levels are higher in non-asthmatics than in asthmatics and seems to be related with increased number of respiratory maneuvers during MCT.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(3):e32464. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can produce troublesome nasal symptoms (i.e. congestion, rhinorrhea) that may reduce the compliance of CPAP. Topical nasal steroids are often prescribed to reduce these side effects, although scientific data are scarce supporting any benefits of this treatment for CPAP-induced nasal side effects.
To study whether a topical nasal steroid can reduce CPAP-induced nasal symptoms and improve CPAP adherence during the initial phase of OSA treatment.
A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study with fluticasone propionate 100 μg/nasal cavity twice daily Treatment was started 10 days prior to and continued throughout the first 4 weeks of CPAP. 63 patients who were selected for CPAP treatment participated. Nasal symptoms were recorded, nasal patency was assessed and lung function was measured with a peak flow meter. The patients' adherence to CPAP was recorded by the CPAP device.
Total nasal symptoms increased from baseline to 4 wks after CPAP use for both nasal treatments (p < 0.05). No differences in total nasal symptoms between treatments were seen (p = 1), and no differences in nasal peak flow values after treatment were seen (p = 0.11). Moreover, there were no differences in CPAP use between the treatments.
Fluticasone propionate as a nasal topical steroid does not reduce CPAP-induced unwanted nasal side effects, and has no beneficial effect on CPAP compliance during the first four weeks of treatment in unselected patients with OSAS.
Respiratory medicine 02/2011; 105(2):310-5. · 2.33 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Assess the diagnostic yield of real-time bronchoscopic ultrasound transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS TBNA) in conventional TBNA-negative mediastinal lymphadenopathy and hilar lymphadenopathy.
Sixty-two patients having either conventional TBNA-negative mediastinal lymphadenopathy or hilar lymphadenopathy underwent real-time EBUS TBNA.
EBUS TBNA was performed on 72 lymph nodes (mediastinal = 48; and hilar = 24). 31 of the 72 (43%) lymph node samples were positive for malignancy (29) or benign diagnosis (2), and 17 of the 72 (24%) lymph nodes were true negative at EBUS TBNA confirmed at surgery. Out of 48 mediastinal lymph nodes EBUS TBNA was diagnostic for malignancy in 19 (40%) and negative in 14 of which 12 (86%) were surgically confirmed true negative and 2 (14%) false negative. In 10 of the 24 (42%) hilar lymph nodes, EBUS TBNA was diagnostic for malignancy while 5 were true negative and 1 false negative. All false-negative lymph nodes were PET positive. Adequacy of EBUS TBNA based on positive aspiration and surgically confirmed true negative was 67% and in patients suspected for malignancy was 77%.
EBUS TBNA has a good diagnostic yield in hilar lymphadenopathy and in conventional TBNA-negative mediastinal lymphadenopathy.
Journal of cancer research and therapeutics 01/2011; 7(2):148-51. · 0.83 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently, the use of systemic biomarkers to monitor and assess the clinical evolution of respiratory disease has gained interest. We investigated whether midregional proatrial natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP) predicts survival in patients with COPD when they are admitted to the hospital for exacerbation.
One hundred sixty-seven patients (mean age 70 years old, 75 men) admitted to the hospital for exacerbation were followed up for 2 years. MR-proANP was measured on admission, after 14 days, and at 6 months. The predictive value of clinical, functional, and laboratory parameters on admission were assessed by Cox regression analyses. The time to death was analyzed by Kaplan-Meier survival curves.
MR-proANP level was significantly higher on admission for exacerbation, compared with recovery and stable state (P = .004 for the comparison among all time points). MR-proANP correlated with the Charlson condition and age-related score (P < .0001), left ventricular ejection fraction (P < .0001), C-reactive protein (P = .037), and FEV(1)% predicted (P = .004). MR-proANP levels were similar in patients requiring ICU treatment and in those treated in the medical ward (P = .086). Thirty-seven patients (22%) died within 2 years. MR-proANP levels were higher in nonsurvivors compared with survivors (median [interquartile range] 185 pmol/L [110-286] vs 92 pmol/L [56-158], P < .001). Mortality was higher across MR-proANP quartiles (log rank P < .0001). Charlson condition and age-related score (P = .001), Paco(2) (P < .0001), and MR-proANP (P = .001) predicted mortality in the univariate Cox-regression model. Both MR-proANP and Paco(2) were independent predictors of mortality in the multivariate Cox regression model.
MR-proANP at exacerbation is associated with 2-year long-term survival in patients with exacerbation of COPD.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the prevalence and predictors of airflow limitation among smokers aged > or =40 years visiting primary care practices in Switzerland, and the correlation between airflow limitation and patient-reported symptoms.
General practitioners (GPs) were invited to participate in the study via letter. Airflow limitation was measured using an EasyOne spirometer without administration of a bronchodilator, and patient-reported symptoms were evaluated using an interviewer-administered questionnaire.
15,084 subjects recruited by 440 GPs had acceptable quality spirometry traces; 8,031 of these (53%) had symptom data available and were included in this analysis. Only 18.5% of the GP consultations were for respiratory reasons. In total, 29% of individuals had pre-bronchodilator airflow limitation suggesting chronic obstructive pulmonary disease according to the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD)/Hardie interpretation. The interviewer-administered questionnaire indicated that 58% of individuals had at least one current symptom - cough, sputum production, or dyspnoea. There were no differences in lung function for patients answering yes or no to symptom questions.
Pre-bronchodilator airflow limitation and patient-reported respiratory symptoms are frequent among smokers, but short dichotomous questions about symptoms are not useful for identifying patients with airflow limitation. Spirometry can identify patients with early airflow limitation in general practice. However, poor quality of spirometry, even with an automated feedback and quality control spirometer, remains an issue.
Primary care respiratory journal: journal of the General Practice Airways Group 06/2010; 19(2):163-9.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inadequate adherence to therapy is not an uncommon problem in the management of chronic asthma. Insufficient information, unmet expectations and medication side effects are all important factors that contribute to poor adherence to therapy. In addition to optimal patient education, the use of asthma action plans (and thereby the transfer of responsibility of disease management to the patients themselves), it is important to devise an individually-tailored asthma-treatment programme which is independent of disease severity and level of control. Depending on the patient's expectation and abilities, as simple a treatment plan as possible should be devised and applied. Regular medical follow up should then focus on patient expectation, understanding of their condition and inhalation technique so that appropriate action can be taken and therapy adjustments made. Ultimately this translates into successful and cost effective asthma management.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the effect of a training program for smoking cessation combined with chart stickers on resident's (physicians-in-training) practice of counselling smoking patients.
A single centre prospective observational study at the Basel University Hospital Medical Outpatient Department.
456 consecutive outpatients were contacted by phone within 24 hours of their initial consultation. Information concerning questions asked about smoking and/or cessation advice provided by the resident to patients was collected and compared with a historical pre-interventional cohort using the identical questionnaire and study design.
Of 272 patients included, 106 (39%) were current smokers, 123 (45%) had never smoked, and 43 (16%) were former smokers. The mean age was 43 +/- 11 (range 16-87) years and 49% were male. Equal proportions of participants were in the pre-contemplation (40%) and contemplation stages (42%), 16% were preparing to quit and 2% had stopped in the previous 6 months. Results related to smoking cessation advice were compared to those obtained during an identical survey one year earlier performed prior to the intervention (pre-interventional). Residents questioned 82% (pre-interventional 81%) of the patients about smoking and inquired about smoking duration in 71% (pre-interventional 44%) of the patients. 46% (pre-interventional 28%) of the patients received information on smoking-related risks, whereas cessation was discussed with 32% (pre-interventional 10%) and offered to 23% (pre-interventional 9%) of the patients.
Compared with a historical pre-interventional cohort, the rates of patients receiving appropriate counselling approximately doubled following the introduction of systematic training on smoking cessation and chart labels. Extended regular training for physicians on smoking-related issues may have a potentially beneficial effect in improving counselling of smokers and meeting the global tobacco challenge.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Breathing dry, cold air may cause bronchoconstriction in asthmatics working with self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). Air delivered by SCBA is cooler than ambient air. It is unclear whether a bronchial challenge test using mannitol (BCTM) can predict a fall in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV(1)) during exercise with SCBA.
A prospective study of army recruits assigned to work with SCBA was carried out. Participants completed self-administered questionnaires on respiratory symptoms, BCTM, and measurement of exhaled nitric oxide. A subgroup of participants with a positive BCTM (BTCM+) and with negative BCTM underwent exercise test on bicycle ergometer (ET) while using SCBA.
One hundred and six recruits participated in this study. One hundred and two underwent BCTM and 28 ET. Nineteen out of 97 participants had a positive BCTM and 6 out of 27 had a positive ET. Seventeen out of 19 participants with a positive BCTM had current respiratory symptoms such as wheeze, cough, chest tightness, or dyspnea. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value for a positive ET under SCBA were 100%, 64%, 43%, and 100% for the BCTM, respectively. BCTM-positive participants with respiratory symptoms had more physician consultations during MBT compared to BCTM-negative participants.
Despite medical evaluation and exclusion of asthmatics by a physician during conscription, a high proportion of recruits assigned to work with SCBA smoke, have respiratory symptoms, and have a positive BCTM suggesting current asthma. BCTM has a high sensitivity to predict a significant fall in FEV(1) after exercise with SCBA and participants with a positive BCTM tend to use more health care resources during basic military training. Recruits should be counseled about smoking cessation prior and during basic military training.
Journal of Asthma 03/2010; 47(2):178-84. · 1.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: International guidelines advocate a 10 to 14-day course of systemic glucocorticoid therapy in the management of COPD exacerbations. The optimal duration of therapy is unknown and glucocorticoids have serious adverse effects. The aim of this trial is to demonstrate non-inferiority of a five-day compared to a 14-day course of systemic glucocorticoids with respect to COPD outcome, thereby significantly reducing steroid exposure and side effects in patients with COPD exacerbations.
This is a randomised, placebo-controlled, non-inferiority multicentre trial. Patients with acute COPD exacerbation are randomised to receive 40 mg of prednisone-equivalent daily for 14 days (conventional arm) or glucocorticoid treatment for 5 days, followed by placebo for another 9 days (intervention arm). Follow-up is 180 days. The primary endpoint is time to next exacerbation. Secondary endpoints include cumulative glucocorticoid dose, time to open-label glucocorticoid therapy, glucocorticoid-associated side effects and complications, duration of hospital stay, death, change in FEV1, need for assisted ventilation, clinical outcome assessed by standardised questionnaires, and suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.
Mean age (± SD) of patients who finished the study was 70 ± 11 years. 12% had mild or moderate disease, whereas severe and very severe stages were found in 30 and 58%, respectively. At the time of inclusion, 20% of patients were under treatment with systemic glucocorticoids.
If the strategy of significantly reducing cumulative exposure to glucocorticoids while taking advantage of their beneficial short-term effects proves to be successful, it will warrant a change in common glucocorticoid prescription practice, thereby improving the management of COPD.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There are no data regarding the factors influencing the choice of therapeutic bronchoscopic modality in the management of malignant airway stenoses.
To assess the choice of therapeutic bronchoscopy modality and analyze factors influencing survival in patients with malignant central airway obstruction.
We performed 167 procedures in 130 consecutive patients, for malignant central airway obstruction, over six years.
Laser was used either alone or in combination with stent insertion in 76% procedures. Laser only was used in 53% procedures for lesions below the main bronchi. Stents alone were used for extrinsic compression or stump insufficiency. Combined laser and stent insertion was most frequently used for lesions involving the trachea plus both main bronchi or only the main bronchi. The Dumon stent was preferred in lesions of the trachea and the right bronchial tree, the Ultraflex stent for lesions on the left side and stenoses below the main bronchi. Survival was better in patients with lung cancer, lesions restricted to one lung and when laser alone was used compared to esophageal cancer, metastases and tracheal involvement.
The choice of different airway stents can be made based on the nature and site of the lesion. Dumon stents are suited for lesions in trachea and right main bronchus and the Ultraflex stents on the left side and stenoses beyond the main bronchi. Survival can be estimated based on the diagnosis, site of the lesion and treatment modality used.
Journal of cancer research and therapeutics 01/2010; 6(2):204-9. · 0.83 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cutaneous carbon dioxide tension (PcCO(2)) is a promising non-invasive surrogate measure of arterial partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PaCO(2)). Objectives: To compare values of PcCO(2) and oxygen saturation (SpO(2)) with arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis.
SpO(2) and PcCO(2) were measured with a v-Sign-sensor (Sentec AG, Therwil, Switzerland) and the values compared with simultaneously obtained SaO(2) and PaCO(2) obtained from ABG analysis (ABL 725, Radiometer, Copenhagen, Denmark) in 275 adult patients referred to the lung function laboratory.
Median of the PcCO(2) was 4.7 kPa (interquartile range [IQR] 0.9 kPa). Median of the SpO(2) was 97% (IQR 3%). Bland-Altman analysis for comparison of PcCO(2) with PaCO(2) showed a bias of -0.1 kPa with a precision of +/- 0.9 kPa with 3.7% outlying values. Bland-Altman analysis for the comparison of SpO(2) and SaO(2) showed a bias of 20.1 % with a precision of +/- 3.5%. There were no complications.
There is a good agreement between combined cutaneous capnography and oximetry values with ABG analysis. Due to the excellent safety profile and the short time to get a continuous measurement, this technique should be examined in settings where it can complement repeated ABG analysis when ventilatory disturbances are suspected or non-invasive monitoring of ventilation is needed.
Scandinavian journal of clinical and laboratory investigation 12/2009; 70(1):60-4. · 1.38 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Asthma is not adequately controlled in many patients. A new approach in asthma treatment, known as Budesonide/Formoterol Maintenance and Reliever Therapy has shown improvement in asthma control compared to conventional therapy regimens. As Switzerland was the first European country to formally approve budesonide/formoterol maintenance and reliever therapy, a patient follow-up programme was commenced in January 2006 to investigate its efficacy and safety in a "real-life" environment.
A non randomized uncontrolled post-marketing survey involving 420 physicians in all language regions in Switzerland was carried out. 2035 patients with asthma were enrolled. Data on current asthma treatment, asthma control and unscheduled visits due to worsening asthma were recorded. Asthma control was assessed subjectively by both the patients and the physicians as well as by means of the validated 5-item Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ5). An ACQ score of 0.75 or less indicates well-controlled asthma.
Data from 2006 out of 2035 patients were analysed (mean age 44.9 +/- 19.6 years, 50.5% female). With budesonide/formoterol maintenance and reliever therapy the mean ACQ5 score improved by more than 3-fold the defined minimal important difference (MID). The percentage of patients with an ACQ score < or =0.75 increased from 4.8% at baseline to 58.0% at the end of the follow-up programme. Patient satisfaction with budesonide/formoterol for both maintenance and relief was high.
Budesonide/formoterol maintenance and reliever therapy improves asthma control in a non randomised real-life setting.