December 19, 2016

The standard treatment for patients with obstructive left main coronary artery disease has typically been coronary-artery bypass grafting (CABG), however some newer trials have suggested that maybe drug-eluting stents may be an acceptable alternative to CABG in select patients. In this episode we will be reviewing the two most recent publications on this topic:
  1. The EXCEL Trial
  2. The NOBLE Trial

October 24, 2016

Background: Syncope is a very frustrating chief complaint for many in the medical field.  There is no gold standard test and no validated decision instrument. It represents about 3 – 5% of ED visits, 1 – 6% of hospital admissions, and in patients over the age of 65 years it is the 6th most common cause of hospitalization [2][3]. Additionally, both ED and inpatient work ups are notoriously low yield for finding significant pathology. Pulmonary embolism is one of the myriad of diagnoses included in the differential diagnosis of syncope, but there is little information looking at its prevalence amongst hospitalized patients. Fast forward to Oct. 20th, 2016 and there is now some evidence just published in the NEJM: The PESIT Trial.

October 10, 2016

Every few years we get updates in the guidelines based on new evidence. Guidelines give us a framework to work with in the treatment of disease processes, such as pneumonia. The last Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) guidelines update on the treatment of pneumonia came from 2005, but recently, the new 2016 guidelines were just published. This was a massive 51 page summary that starts off by saying:

“It is important to realize that guidelines cannot always account for individual variation among patients.  They are not intended to supplant physician judgment with respect to particular patients or special clinical situations.  IDSA considers adherence to these guidelines to be VOLUNTARY, with the ultimate determination regarding their application to be made by the physician in the light of each patient’s individual circumstances.”

September 5, 2016

Background: Welcome back to the September 2016 REBEL Cast. We are back with another episode and I am super excited about this episode because we are going to talk about two papers just published in the Resuscitation Journal on management of refractory ventricular fibrillation. It is a well known fact that the cornerstones for survival from Out-Of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) have always been early, high quality CPR and early defibrillation in patients with shockable rhythms (i.e. Ventricular Fibrillation/Ventricular Tachycardia). Some patients with shockable rhythms may be refractory to standard defibrillation therapy (i.e. refractory VF). Even more frustrating, there is truly a dearth of data on what to do with these patients. One strategy that has been reported more and more in the literature is double sequential defibrillation (DSD). Another issue in cardiac arrest patients is we frequently give boluses of 1mg epinephrine every 3 – 5 minutes as is outlined in the ACLS guidelines.  When patients have minimal cardiac output, the buildup of catecholamines may potentially cause refractory ventricular fibrillation (RVF).  This could be due to an increase myocardial oxygen consumption causing an increase in myocardial ischemia, and ultimately more difficulty in successful defibrillation.  But maybe by blocking the beta-adrenergic receptors in the myocardium, we can block the beta effects of the catecholamines and potentially increase the chances of successful sustained ROSC.

August 15, 2016

Background: In the ACLS guidelines stable Ventricular Tachycardia (VT) can be treated with either IV amiodarone or IV procainamide, as the drugs of choice. This has been given a class II recommendation, but there has not been a controlled prospective trial to base the use of one drug over the other in the clinical setting. Despite both medications having a class II recommendation, both clinically and anecdotally it appears that amiodarone is the preferred agent in clinical practice.