Podcast # 460: Hunting for PE in Syncope

Author:  Michael Hunt, MD

Educational Pearls:

 

  • Most causes of syncope are benign
  • Pulmonary embolism can result in syncope and is life threatening
  • A recent study of Canadian and US ED patients with syncope showed that 0.4% of patients had a PE at 30 day follow-up
  • PE should always be considered in cases of syncope but overall is a rare cause

 

Editor’s note: this study puts to rest a previous study from 2016 that reported a rate of PE in syncope as high as 1 in 6 in patients admitted to syncope – which was met with much skepticism based on clinical practice.

References

Roncon L, Zuin M, Casazza F, Becattini C, Bilato C, Zonzin P. Impact of syncope and pre-syncope on short-term mortality in patients with acute pulmonary embolism. Eur J Intern Med. 2018 Aug;54:27-33. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2018.04.004. Epub 2018 Apr 11. PubMed PMID: 29655808.

Summarized by Will Dewispelaere, MS3 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD

Podcast # 458: A Tylenol a Day Keeps the Delirium Away?

Author: Nick Hatch, MD

Educational Pearls:

 

  • A recent study investigated the effect of scheduled IV acetaminophen on the incidence of delirium in post-CABG patients in the ICU
  • The use of scheduled IV acetaminophen reduced the rate of delirium in these patients compared to placebo
  • This may be due to the analgesic effect of acetaminophen and/or less requirement on other deliriogenic medications (opiates)

 

References

Subramaniam B, Shankar P, Shaefi S, Mueller A, O’Gara B, Banner-Goodspeed V, Gallagher J, Gasangwa D, Patxot M, Packiasabapathy S, Mathur P, Eikermann M, Talmor D, Marcantonio ER. Effect of Intravenous Acetaminophen vs Placebo Combined With Propofol or Dexmedetomidine on Postoperative Delirium Among Older Patients Following Cardiac Surgery: The DEXACET Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2019 Feb 19;321(7):686-696. doi: 10.1001/jama.2019.0234. PubMed PMID: 30778597.

Summarized by Will Dewispelaere, MS3 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD

Podcast # 457: Stroke Scores

Author: Jared Scott, MD

Educational Pearls:

 

  • Modified Rankin Score:  measure of disability often used to qualify outcomes following stroke  = no disability, 6=dead, 0-1 indicate good outcome)
    • 0-6 Scale
    • 0-1 indicative of good outcome
  • ASPECT score: uses CT to quantify the extent of changes in the brain due to ischemia
    • 0-10 Scale
    • 10 areas are assessed on non-contrast CT to assess for early stroke changes
    • -1 for each area with these findings
    • 8-10 is indicative of better outcomes

 

References

Aviv RI, Mandelcorn J, Chakraborty S, Gladstone D, Malham S, Tomlinson G, Fox AJ, Symons S. Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Scoring of CT perfusion in early stroke visualization and assessment. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2007 Nov-Dec;28(10):1975-80. Epub 2007 Oct 5. PubMed PMID: 17921237.

https://manual.jointcommission.org/releases/TJC2018A/DataElem0569.html

Summarized by Will Dewispelaere, MS3 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD

Podcast # 453:  Headache Triggers

Author: Sam Killian, MD

Educational Pearls:

 

  • Headache is a common complaint in the ED. It’s plausible that headaches could be correlated with environmental factors
  • A 2015 study ED visits for headache found that temperature was associated with an increase visits, while higher humidity led to fewer
  • A retrospective study looking over a 10-year period for headache found that there was an increase headache presentations during days with high air pollution

 

References:

Yilmaz M, Gurger M, Atescelik M, Yildiz M, Gurbuz S. Meteorologic parameters and migraine headache: ED study. Am J Emerg Med. 2015 Mar;33(3):409-13. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2014.12.056. Epub 2014 Dec 31. PubMed PMID: 25601162.

Szyszkowicz M, Stieb DM, Rowe BH. Air pollution and daily ED visits for migraine and headache in Edmonton, Canada. Am J Emerg Med. 2009 May;27(4):391-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2008.03.013. PubMed PMID: 19555607.

Summarized by Will Dewispelaere, MS3 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD

Podcast # 452: CADASIL

Author: Sam Killian, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) occurs in 1:100000 individuals
  • The disease is caused by a defect in the NOTCH3 gene on chromosome 19
  • It is an important cause of stroke in young patients
  • Features include ischemia, cognitive deficits, migraines, psychiatric disease, coma, and seizure, all of which is worse with pregnancy
  • Migraine with aura is often the first presenting symptom with onset by age 30
  • Strokes typically can occur by age 50
  • Diagnosis is with MRI for characteristic lesions
  • Unfortunately there is no cure, and treatment is focused on stroke prevention with aspirin and statins

References:

Chabriat H, Joutel A, Dichgans M, Tournier-Lasserve E, Bousser MG. Cadasil. Lancet Neurol. 2009 Jul;8(7):643-53. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(09)70127-9. Review. PubMed PMID: 19539236.

Summarized by Will Dewispelaere, MS3 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD

Podcast # 437 : Myasthenia Gravis

 

Podcast # 437 : Myasthenia Gravis

Author: Gretchen Hinson, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an antibody mediated autoimmune disorder against the acetylcholine receptors at the neuromuscular junctions.
  • Bimodal age distribution (20’s-30’s: women; 60’s-70’s: men)
  • Presents with fluctuating muscle weakness typically worse at the end of the day with upper extremities affected more than lower and typically involving facial muscles.
  • Myasthenia crisis occurs when muscle fatigue begins to cause respiratory depression
  • MG was historically diagnosed with the Tensilon test but now often by EMG
  • Treatment of MG crisis involves plasma exchange and IVIG. Those in crisis often require intubation and ICU admission

References:

Gilhus NE. Myasthenia Gravis. N Engl J Med. 2016 Dec 29;375(26):2570-2581. doi: 10.1056/NEJMra1602678. Review. PubMed PMID: 28029925.

Roper J, Fleming ME, Long B, Koyfman A. Myasthenia Gravis and Crisis: Evaluation and Management in the Emergency Department. J Emerg Med. 2017 Dec;53(6):843-853. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2017.06.009. Epub 2017 Sep 12. PubMed PMID: 28916122.

Summarized by Travis Barlock, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD

Podcast # 434 : TIA

Author: Peter Bakes, MD

Educational Pearl:

 

  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA) is defined as neurologic symptoms that resolve in 24 hours with no new changes on head imaging
  • Mimics include complex migraine, carotid dissection, seizure (Todd’s paralysis)
  • Typical presentation is with sudden onset of negative symptoms such as numbness, weakness, etc. 
  • Mimics tend to have positive symptoms such as photophobia, pain, etc.

 

References:

Kernan WN, Ovbiagele B, Black HR, et al. Guidelines for the prevention of stroke in patients with stroke and transient ischemic attack: a guideline for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke 2014; 45:2160.

Simmons B, et al. Transient Ischemic Attack: Part I. Diagnosis and Evaluation. American Family Physician 2012; 86(6):521-526.

Summarized by Travis Barlock, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD

Podcast # 418: Vertebral Artery Dissection

Author: Don Stader, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Vertebral artery dissection (VAD) contributes to just 2% of strokes overall but ~25% of strokes for patients < 30
  • VAD is associated with minor trauma (chiropractic manipulation, yoga), typically with neck extension and rotation.
  • VAD can cause posterior stroke symptoms (vertigo, diplopia, Horner’s Syndrome, Wallenberg Syndrome)
  • Overall a good prognosis with around 50% of patients recovering without lasting neurologic deficits.

References:

Debette S, Leys D. Cervical-artery dissections: predisposing factors, diagnosis, and outcome. Lancet Neurol. 2009 Jul;8(7):668-78. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(09)70084-5. Review. PubMed PMID: 19539238.

Gottesman RF, Sharma P, Robinson KA, et al. Clinical characteristics of symptomatic vertebral artery dissection: a systematic review. Neurologist. 2012;18(5):245-54.

Schievink WI. Spontaneous dissection of the carotid and vertebral arteries. N Engl J Med. 2001 Mar 22;344(12):898-906. Review. PubMed PMID: 11259724.

 

Summarized by Travis Barlock, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD

 

Check out this episode!

Podcast #412: tPa Mission Creep

Author: Aaron Lessen, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Patients with “minor” strokes with NIHSS 0 to 5  can still end up having poor long-term outcomes
  • Recent study compared use of alteplase vs. aspirin for these patients and saw no difference in regards to favorable neurologic outcome at 90 days
  • Study was ended early due to patient recruitment difficulties

Editor’s note: though ended early, it is debatable whether even if appropriately powered there would have been an identifiable benefit

 

References:

Khatri P, Kleindorfer DO, Devlin T, Sawyer RN Jr, Starr M, Mejilla J, Broderick J, Chatterjee A, Jauch EC, Levine SR, Romano JG, Saver JL, Vagal A, Purdon B, Devenport J, Pavlov A, Yeatts SD; PRISMS Investigators. Effect of Alteplase vs Aspirin on Functional Outcome for Patients With Acute Ischemic Stroke and Minor Nondisabling Neurologic Deficits: The PRISMS Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2018 Jul 10;320(2):156-166. doi: 10.1001/jama.2018.8496. PubMed PMID: 29998337.

Summary by Travis Barlock, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD

Podcast # 361: Vertiginous Dizziness

Author: Peter Bakes, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Important to find out if patients mean dysequilibrium, lightheadedness, or vertigo when patients say they are “dizzy.”
  • Differentiate central vs. peripheral vertigo
  • Central vertigo typically present with bulbar syndromes (difficulty swallowing, facial nerve palsy) and cerebellar symptoms (ataxia).
  • Peripheral vertigo typically present with sudden onset vertigo with nausea and vomiting in the absence of bulbar symptoms.
  • Episodic? BPPV or Meniere’s Disease. BPPV has not auditory symptoms and is associated with head position; Meniere’s has hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear fullness.
  • Constant? Neuronitis has no auditory symptoms, while labyrinthitis has associated hearing loss/tinnitus and is associated with a recent infection (OM).

References

Baloh RW. Differentiating between peripheral and central causes of vertigo. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1998; 119:55.

Chase M, Goldstein JN, Selim MH, et al. A prospective pilot study of predictors of acute stroke in emergency department patients with dizziness. Mayo Clin Proc 2014; 89:173.

Kerber KA, Brown DL, Lisabeth LD, et al. Stroke among patients with dizziness, vertigo, and imbalance in the emergency department: a population-based study. Stroke 2006; 37:2484.