WAKE-UP Time for Thrombolysis in Acute Stroke?

By Martina McGrath, MD
October 30, 2018

MRI thrombolysis for stroke of unknown time of onset

Current clinical guidelines recommend thrombolysis in acute stroke where patients present within 4.5 hours of onset of symptoms. However, for up to a quarter of patients, the time of symptom onset is unknown as they wake from sleep with neurological deficits.1 Such patients frequently do not meet criteria for therapies such as thrombolysis or mechanical thrombectomy.

Prior studies have suggested a particular pattern may be seen on an MRI of the brain in the early hours following stroke onset; a visible ischemic lesion on diffusion-weighted imaging along with the lack of a hyperintense signal in the same area on fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR). The benefit of aggressive stroke intervention in patients with the combination of unknown time of symptom onset and this particular signal mismatch on MRI brain scans is unknown. Continue reading “WAKE-UP Time for Thrombolysis in Acute Stroke?”

Epinephrine in Out-Of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest: Increased Survival but at What Cost?

By Martina McGrath, MD
August 8, 2018

It is estimated that 1 in every 7.5 people in the US will die of sudden cardiac death.1 Survival following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest has increased in recent years, from 10.2% in 2006, to 12.4% in 2015.1 However, only 9% of those surviving to hospital discharge were classified as having good functional status. Therefore, significant long-term neurologic impairment is a common outcome of cardiac arrest. Continue reading “Epinephrine in Out-Of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest: Increased Survival but at What Cost?”

Procalcitonin-Guided Antibiotic Therapy in Lower Respiratory Tract Infection: Is It Safe?

By Martina McGrath, MD
June 5, 2018

Pulmonary infection is one of the most common reasons for hospitalization in the US. Overprescription of antibiotics, due either to inappropriate initiation or excessive treatment duration, is an important contributor to antibiotic resistance and complications of therapy.1.2 Continue reading “Procalcitonin-Guided Antibiotic Therapy in Lower Respiratory Tract Infection: Is It Safe?”

Mortality Prediction in Community-Acquired Pneumonia: The end of the road for SIRS?

By Martina McGrath, MD
December 19, 2017

In 2016, new consensus guidelines were issued for the clinical criteria for sepsis.1 The qSOFA score, incorporating tachypnea, low blood pressure and altered mental status, was proposed as a rapid, bedside assessment, and an alternative to SIRS criteria, to identify patients at high risk of adverse outcomes. Continue reading “Mortality Prediction in Community-Acquired Pneumonia: The end of the road for SIRS?”

Oxygen in Acute MI: Lack of Benefit and Possible Risk?

By Martina McGrath, MD
November 3, 2017

Acute myocardial infarction occurs where there is insufficient supply of oxygenated blood to an area of the heart, leading to myocardial injury and cell death. For decades, clinical guidelines have recommended the administration of supplemental oxygen as a first-line therapy for all patients experiencing myocardial ischemia, regardless of oxygen saturation.1 Continue reading “Oxygen in Acute MI: Lack of Benefit and Possible Risk?”

Sodium Restriction in Patients with Reduced GFR: Blood Pressure Benefits

By Martina McGrath, MD
October 18, 2017

The typical US diet is comprised of 3.4g of sodium per day on average, whereas current recommendations suggest that sodium intake should be limited to <2g/day for the general population1 and possibly lower for those with hypertension or cardiovascular disease.2 Continue reading “Sodium Restriction in Patients with Reduced GFR: Blood Pressure Benefits”

Increased Risk of Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes after Recovery from Acute Kidney Injury

By Martina McGrath, MD
September 26, 2017

Women with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) have long been known to be at increased risk of complications in pregnancy including preeclampsia, pre-term birth, small-for-dates offspring, and progression of underlying CKD following pregnancy.1 However, several recent studies have highlighted a less obvious connection between earlier stages of renal disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes.2,3 Continue reading “Increased Risk of Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes after Recovery from Acute Kidney Injury”

Taking Personalized Medicine to a New Level: CAR-T Cell Therapy

By Martina McGrath, MD
September 13, 2017

Each individual is estimated to have around 4 x 1011 T cells, comprising many millions of T cell clones,1 each randomly produced in the thymus with a unique T cell receptor (TCR) specific for a given antigen. This massive diversity in T cell repertoire gives our immune systems the capacity to protect against the incredible array of bacteria, viruses and fungi that assail us on a constant basis. Continue reading “Taking Personalized Medicine to a New Level: CAR-T Cell Therapy”

Vitamin D Supplementation and Reduced Risk of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

By Martina M. McGrath, MD
August 30, 2017

As the cooler weather descends and the school year starts, we are again entering the season of viruses, colds, flu, and miscellaneous sniffles. Aside from vaccination and good hand hygiene, what else can we recommend to our patients to reduce their risk of upper respiratory tract infection?

A large meta-analysis of 25 randomized controlled trials of vitamin D supplementation and respiratory tract infections was published in the BMJ earlier this year.1 The researchers accessed patient-level data on 10,933 trial participants treated with supplemental vitamin D versus placebo. The trials included all age ranges, from birth to adults in their 70s , and had varied dosing regimens for vitamin D supplementation. Continue reading “Vitamin D Supplementation and Reduced Risk of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections”