May 6, 2020

There continues to be a slew of publications coming out on a near daily basis in regard to COVID-19.  Some publications will deserve their own posts and others can really be summarized in one or two paragraphs.  In this post I will summarize 5 papers published in the past week, that I found interesting and each has a unique, but important message.  None of these papers are very long, but there are some important aspects of each I felt tied into each other from a cardiovascular standpoint.

May 3, 2020

The Novel Coronavirus 2019, was first reported on in Wuhan, China in late December 2019.  The outbreak was declared a public health emergency of international concern in January 2020 and on March 11th, 2020, the outbreak was declared a global pandemic. The spread of this virus is now global with lots of media attention.  The virus has been named SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes has become known as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).  This post will serve as a summary of emerging available evidence in regard to neurologic manifestations associated with COVID-19.

May 1, 2020

Background: Over the past few weeks there has been a shift in the management of critically ill COVID-19 patients.  Many seem to have moved away from an intubate early strategy to the use of high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) and noninvasive ventilation (NIV).  HFNC and NIV may obviate the need for endotracheal intubation in patients with acute respiratory failure.  Mechanical ventilation is not a benign intervention as it has a number of associated complications including ventilator associated pneumonia, excessive sedation, delirium, ICU acquired weakness, as well as ventilator induced lung injury (VILI). NIV can cause lung injury from excessive negative pressure forces.  However, mechanical ventilation can cause VILI from excessive positive pressure forces.  There is a fine balance of when to use which modality, and when to transition from one modality to another that requires frequent bedside monitoring.  NIV has been used successfully for COPD exacerbations and cardiogenic pulmonary edema, but its use in acute hypoxemic respiratory failure is still rather controversial.  One of the issues with NIV through a mask device is that higher levels of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP), which are often needed in hypoxemic conditions, may lead to mask intolerance and air leaks around the sides of the mask.  Helmet NIV may have several advantages over face masks including better tolerability and less air leaks.  There is a dearth of evidence comparing these to NIV modalities.

April 30, 2020

Background: Currently, there are no approved medications for the treatment of COVID-19, but,  there are many investigational agents that have shown antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro.  Unfortunately in vitro studies do not always extrapolate to clinical care  In vitro studies of remdesivir demonstrate inhibition of  human and animal coronaviruses tested including SARS-CoV-2.  However, the clinical and antiviral efficacy of remdesivir in COVID-19 remains to be established. The title of this post is, "two more trials just published on Remdesivir," but in reality it is 1.5 trials as we don't have the full release of the 2nd trial (see discussion).

April 28, 2020

Early reports have shown that COVID-19 is most likely causing a hypercoagulable state, however the prevalence of acute VTE and exactly how to treat it is an evolving area.  Limited data suggest pulmonary microvascular thrombosis may play a role in progressive respiratory failure.  However, most evidence is limited to small retrospective trials.  As we wait for more evidence, clinical decisions have to made at the bedside and decisions about pharmacological prophylaxis are starting to emerge.  In this episode I sit down with a special guest that is new to REBEL Cast to talk about the dilemmas involving COVID-19 and thrombosis.
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