Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine

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2008 | December | Volume 12 | Issue 4

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Krishna M. Sundar, Karl A. Ludwig, William T. Alward, Michael J. Pearce, Clark T. Bishop, Roy C. Hammond, David R. Hillyard, Steven W. Freestone, Anne Ozment, Barbara C. Cahill

Clinical course and spectrum of intensive care unit patients reactivating herpes simplex-1 virus: A retrospective analysis

[Year:2008] [Month:December] [Volume:12] [Number:4] [Pages:8] [Pages No:145 - 152]

Keywords: Herpes simplex-1 virus, pneumonia, viral, ventilator associated

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.45073  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Background: Herpes simplex-1 virus (HSV-1) reactivation in the respiratory tract is common in intensive care unit (ICU) patients. However, susceptible ICU populations are poorly defined. Clinical recognition of HSV infection of the respiratory tract is difficult and the impact of such reactivation is not understood. Materials and Methods: A retrospective analysis of HSV-1 positive patients encountered over a 5-year period at a multispecialty ICU was carried out. HSV-1 was identified in respiratory secretions using a qualitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique. Patient charts were reviewed for clinical features that would typify HSV-1 respiratory involvement, and the morbidity and mortality risks found with HSV-1 respiratory involvement. Results: A review of 48 HSV-1 positive ICU patients showed that patients reactivating HSV in the respiratory tract fell into one of the three categories: (1) septic elderly patients with and without ARDS, (2) immunosuppressed patients, especially those receiving high-dose steroids, and (3) post-thoracotomy patients. Abnormalities suggestive of HSV-1 reactivation in the respiratory tract included, haemorrhagic or excessive respiratory secretions, concomitant orofacial herpes (42%), and bronchoscopic abnormalities (hemorrhagic ulcers and mucosal friability) (83%). Twenty eight percent of the HSV-1 infected patients experienced postextubation stridor. HSV-1 reactivation was associated with extended ventilator stays, significant mortality (42%), and ventilator-associated pneumonias (52%). Conclusions: Identification of susceptible populations and definition of clinical features of HSV-1 related respiratory disease can enable diagnosis of HSV-1 infection in ICU patients. Although detection by a PCR technique can rapidly diagnose HSV-1 reactivation, prospective studies are required to clarify HSV disease versus mere shedding, and understand the impact of HSV-1 reactivation in hospitalized patients.



Ayanava Majumdar, Purnendu Sekhar Das

Safety and efficacy of polymyxin B in multidrug resistant gram-negative severe sepsis and septic shock

[Year:2008] [Month:December] [Volume:12] [Number:4] [Pages:5] [Pages No:153 - 157]

Keywords: Acute renal failure, Gram-negative organisms, multidrug resistant, polymyxin B, severe sepsis and septic shock

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.45074  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Background and Aims: The emergence of multidrug resistant strains of Gram-negative bacteria, especially the lactose nonfermenters like Pseudomonas and Acinetobacter, in the intensive care units have prompted renewed worldwide interest in the polymyxins. However, perceived nephrotoxicity has been a major vexation limiting their early and regular use in severe sepsis. This study was conducted to assess the safety and efficacy of polymyxin B in patients with severe sepsis and septic shock. Materials and Methods: Forty-five patients with sepsis admitted in our medical-surgical intensive care units were identified from pharmacy records to have received polymyxin B. We retrospectively reviewed the clinical and microbiologic outcomes as well as occurrence of renal failure temporally related to the use of intravenous polymyxin B. Results: polymyxin B was used in severe sepsis and septic shock with the isolated organism being resistant to other available antimicrobials or clinical deterioration despite carbapenem use. Overall mortality was 52% and among patients who received at least eight days of intravenous polymyxin B, 67% patients with initial septic shock and 62% with severe sepsis survived. The target multidrug resistant organism was cleared in 88% of subjects evaluated by repeat microbiologic testing. Acute renal failure developed in only two patients (4%). Conclusions: Polymyxin B has acceptable effectiveness against nosocomial multidrug resistant Gram-negative sepsis. The associated nephrotoxicity has been found to be significantly lower than previously reported even in patients with background renal impairment and established risk factors of renal failure.



Ratan Gupta, V. Deviprasad Hegde, G. N. Kumarswamy, Narayana Swamy Moola, K. P. Suresh

Impact of preoperative mild renal dysfunction on short term outcome in isolated coronary artery bypass (CABG) patients

[Year:2008] [Month:December] [Volume:12] [Number:4] [Pages:5] [Pages No:158 - 162]

Keywords: CABG-coronary arteries bypass graft, CPB-cardiopulmonary bypass, GFR-glomerular filtration rate, Mild renal dysfunction

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.45075  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Background and Aim: It is well known that dialysis dependent renal failure increases the likelihood of poor outcome following cardiac surgery. But the results of CABG in patients with mild renal dysfunction are not clearly established. The aim of the study is to analyze the risk of preoperative mild renal dysfunction on outcome after isolated coronary surgery. Materials and Methods: We reviewed prospectively collected data between June 2006-Nov 2006 in 488 patients who underwent isolated CABG. We separated the data into two groups. Control group having normal renal function and study group having mild renal dysfunction (serum creatinine 1.4 mg-2.2 mg%). Among 488 patients, 412 patients were in control group and 76 patients were in the study group. Results: Analysis of data showed significant postoperative complications in the mild renal dysfunction group, like increased operative mortality (7.5% vs 1.6%), increased requirement of postoperative renal replacement therapy (10% vs 1.2%), increased incidence of new onset atrial fibrillation (20% vs 4.2%) and prolonged duration of ICU stay. Multivariate analysis adjusting for known risk factors confirmed preoperative mild renal dysfunction (S.creat.1.4-2.2 mg/dl) is an independent risk factor for postoperative morbidity and mortality. (Adj. OR: 4.47; 95% CI: 1.41-14.16; P=0.010). Conclusion: Mild renal dysfunction is an important independent predictor of outcome in terms of in-hospital mortality and morbidity in patients undergoing CABG.



Vijai Kumar, Laurent Brochard, U. S. Sidhu, Shruti Nagarkar, Rajesh Chawla

Noninvasive ventilation: A survey of practice patterns of its use in India

[Year:2008] [Month:December] [Volume:12] [Number:4] [Pages:7] [Pages No:163 - 169]

Keywords: Noninvasive ventilation, questionnaire-based study, survey

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.45076  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Background and Aims: To understand the practice patterns of noninvasive ventilation (NIV) use by Indian physicians. Subjects and Methods: Around three thousand physicians from all over India were mailed a questionnaire that could capture the practice patterns of NIV use. Results: Completed responses were received from 648 physicians (21.6%). Majority (n = 469, 72.4%, age 40 ± 9 years, M:F 409:60) use NIV in their clinical practice. NIV was most exclusively being used in the ICU setting (68.4%) and the commonest indication for its use was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (71.4%). A significant number did not report use of a conventional ventilator for NIV support (62%). Oronasal mask was the overwhelming favorite among the sampled physicians (68.2%). In most of the cases, the treating physician initiated NIV (60.8%) and a baseline blood gas analysis was performed in only 71.1% of the cases (315/443). Nasal bridge pressure sores was the commonest complication (64.2%). Conclusions: NIV is being widely used in clinical practice in India for various indications. COPD is the most common indication for its deployment. There seems to be a marked variability in the patterns relating to actual deployment of NIV, including the site of initiation, protocols for initiation followed, and monitoring of patients.



Farhad N. Kapadia, Nidhi Hans

Effects of mobile phone use on specific intensive care unit devices

[Year:2008] [Month:December] [Volume:12] [Number:4] [Pages:4] [Pages No:170 - 173]

Keywords: Electromagnetic interference, mobile phone and infusion pumps, mobile phone and ventilator, mobile phones in ICU setting

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.45077  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Background and Aims: To observe the effects of mobile phone use in the vicinity of medical devices used in a critical care setting. Subjects and Methods: Electromagnetic interference (EMI) was tested by using two types of mobile phones - GSM and CDMA. Mobile phones were placed at a distance of one foot from three medical devices - syringe pump, mechanical ventilator, and the bedside monitor - in switch off, standby, and talking modes of the phone. Medical devices were observed for any interference caused by the electromagnetic radiations (EMR) from the mobile phones. Results: Out of the three medical devices that were tested, EMI occurred while using the mobile phone in the vicinity of the syringe pump, in the ′talk mode.′ The mean variation observed in the calculated and delivered volume of the syringe pump was 2.66 ml. Mechanical ventilator did not show any specific adverse effects with mobile phone use in the one-foot vicinity. No other adverse effects or unexplained malfunctions or shutdown of the syringe pump, mechanical ventilator, or the bedside monitor was noted during the study period of 36 hours. Conclusion: EMI from mobile phones have an adverse effect on the medical devices used in critical care setup. They should be used at least one foot away from the diameter of the syringe pump.



Jose Chacko

Renal replacement therapy in the intensive care unit

[Year:2008] [Month:December] [Volume:12] [Number:4] [Pages:7] [Pages No:174 - 180]

Keywords: Acute renal failure, renal replacement therapy

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.45078  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Acute renal failure is a frequent complication in critically ill patients that carries with it considerable morbidity and mortality. The management of renal failure in patients with multi-organ failure is different from that of renal failure that presents as a single organ failure. Intermittent haemodialysis, done in the conventional manner may not be tolerated by most critically ill patients. Continuous renal replacement therapy is physiologically superior; however, there is lack of strong evidence to prove a clinical benefit. Hybrid therapies that combine the benefits of intermittent haemodialysis and continuous therapies have emerged in the past few years. These are simpler to carry out, provide more flexibility and may be cost effective and need to be studied in a systematic manner.


Educational Forum

Annil Mahajan, Rashmi Sharma, Chaman Lal Sharma

Biological agents targeting beyond TNF-alpha

[Year:2008] [Month:December] [Volume:12] [Number:4] [Pages:9] [Pages No:181 - 189]

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.45079  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Biological agents represent an important addition to the therapies for immuno-inflammatory conditions and have a great impact on the disease course and quality of life of these patients. However, recent reports of serious infections like tuberculosis, demyelinating and neurodegenerative diseases, pancytopenia, cardiovascular diseases, etc. after anti-TNF therapy raised questions on their safety. Hence, focus is shifted towards drugs targeting cytokine checkpoints in the inflammatory cascades beyond TNF-a. Existing therapeutic targets include the biological agents acting as antagonists of various inflammatory cytokines (Anakinra, Tocilizumab, Atlizumab) and modulators of CD80 or CD86-CD28 co-stimulatory signal (Abatacept), CD2 receptors on T-cells (Alefacept), CD11a, subunit of leukocyte function-associated antigen 1 (Efalizumab), vitronectin receptor and CD20 antigen on pre-B, immature and mature B cells (Rituximab). With the introduction of these novel molecules the future for immunomodulatory intervention in rheumatology, asthma, crohn′s disease, septic shock etc. looks very promising. These novel therapeutic agents could truly give a new hope to the clinician to modify the disease and achieve tangible improvements in the lives of the patients.



Supradip Ghosh

Calcium channel blocker overdose: Experience with amlodipine

[Year:2008] [Month:December] [Volume:12] [Number:4] [Pages:4] [Pages No:190 - 193]

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.45080  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Amlodipine overdose is only scarcely reported from India. We report two cases of near fatal Amlodipine overdose managed in our ICU with fluid, vasopressors, calcium infusion and Glucagon. Literature is reviewed and other treatment modalities discussed.



Sajal De, Sarmishtha De

Post intubation tracheal stenosis

[Year:2008] [Month:December] [Volume:12] [Number:4] [Pages:4] [Pages No:194 - 197]

Keywords: Balloon bronchoplasty, post intubation tracheal injury, web like stenosis

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.45081  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Tracheal stenosis following prolonged intubation is a relatively rare but a serious problem. However, some degree of airway injury is common following intubation, no matter whether it is prolonged or of short duration. Here, we are reporting a fifty six year old male patient who developed multiple web like tracheal stenosis following intubation with high volume low pressure cuff endotracheal tube. Subsequently, the stenosis was successfully dilated by balloon bronchoplasty.



Gowrishankar , S. Manimala Rao

Indoxacarb poisoning: An unusual presentation as methemoglobinemia

[Year:2008] [Month:December] [Volume:12] [Number:4] [Pages:3] [Pages No:198 - 200]

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.45082  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


We describe the management of a case of methemoglobinemia secondary to ingestion of indoxacarb, an oxadiazine insecticide.



Supradip Ghosh, Himanshu Dewan

A rare malposition of the thoracic venous catheter introduced via the left internal jugular vein

[Year:2008] [Month:December] [Volume:12] [Number:4] [Pages:3] [Pages No:201 - 203]

Keywords: Catheter malposition, left internal jugular vein catheterization, superior intercostal vein cannulation

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.45083  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


A rare malposition of central venous catheter in the left superior intercostal vein is described. The diagnostic features and the possible ways to prevent this complication are discussed.



Prithwis Bhattacharya, Suman Sarkar

Cerebral malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax in adult subjects

[Year:2008] [Month:December] [Volume:12] [Number:4] [Pages:2] [Pages No:204 - 205]

Keywords: Cerebral malaria, meningoencephalitis, Plasmodium vivax

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.45084  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Cerebral malaria is a diffuse encephalopathy associated with seizures and status epilepticus which can occur in up to one-third of patients with severe malaria, particularly that caused by Plasmodium falciparum. In this article, we report three cases of Plasmodium vivax malaria (all adult male patients) complicated by seizures and symptoms of diffuse meningoencephalitis. Two patients had predominantly meningeal signs, while in the third patient the features were purely of encephalitis All cases were treated with artesunate. Usually, cerebral malaria is caused by P. falciparum, and rarely, cerebral malaria is a presenting complication or occurs during the course of P. vivax infection.


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