László Lorenzovici, Andrea Székely, Szabolcs Farkas-Ráduly, Ciprian Jitaru and Marcell Csanádi
Background: Ferric carboxymaltose (FCM) treatment in case of iron deficient (ID) patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) has shown great promise according to the findings of recent studies in improvement of symptoms and quality of life, New York Heart Association (NYHA) classification, and exercise capacity.
Aim of the study: The purpose of the current study is to assess the budget impact of treating CHF patients with FCM in a sample of Romanian hospitals.
Material and methods: Calculations have been based on the budget impact model developed by Theidel et al. The assumptions and clinical outcomes of the current study were based on a multivariate statistical approach used in the same German study. The predicted outcomes were based on data pooled from four double-blind randomized controlled trials. The time horizon of the model was 1 year. Budget impact calculations were performed from the public payer perspective. Two scenarios have been handled: one without applying the Clawback tax and one with applying the tax to the cost of medication.
Results: The yearly budget impact of FCM vs. no iron-replacement treatment without applying the tax ranged between €678,383 and €641,588 for 1,000 patients, resulting in €37 of additional costs per patient per year. The yearly budget impact of FCM vs. no iron-replacement treatment with applying the tax ranged between €616,934 and €641,588 for 1,000 patients, resulting in €9 of cost reduction per patient per year. Key cost drivers included the cost of outpatient visits and the cost of hospitalization due to HF worsening. Sensitivity analysis for both scenarios proved the robustness of the results.
Conclusions: The FCM treatment of CHF patients has a moderate budget impact. Moreover, this budget impact/saving translates into a reduction of the rate and length of hospitalization stay and a better symptomatic profile of the patients.
Introduction: Acute upper extremity ischemia is an uncommon vascular emergency due to a relatively rich collateral network and low workload of the upper limb. Its consequences depend on the site and etiology of the arterial occlusion.
Case presentation: Aiming to emphasize the emerging role of Doppler ultrasound in the diagnosis of acute upper limb ischemia, we report the case of a 70-year-old female, with severe left arm resting pain and digital cyanosis. Due to the patient’s age and the presence of cardiovascular risk factors, cardioembolic or thrombotic arterial occlusion would have been the most likely diagnosis in this case, but the color Doppler ultrasound revealed severe left axillary arterial stenosis with hypoechoic wall swelling, being highly suggestive for arteritis. Temporal artery biopsy was performed, which confirmed giant cell arteritis. An excellent clinical response was obtained after initiation of treatment.
Conclusion: In acute upper limb ischemia, color duplex ultrasound provides quick information about the etiology and localization of arterial lesions, offering characteristic findings in case of large-vessel giant cell arteritis.
Hypertensive emergencies (HE) represent critical conditions in which extremely high blood pressure values are accompanied by acute hypertension-mediated organ damage. In this clinical setting, the main therapeutic goal is represented by the immediate reduction of blood pressure, in order to limit the extension or promote the regression of target organ damage. At present, HE are classified according to the condition or target organ involved, into: (1) malignant hypertension with or without thrombotic microangiopathy; (2) coronary ischemia or acute cardiogenic pulmonary edema; (3) acute stroke or hypertensive encephalopathy; (4) acute aortic dissection or aneurysm; and (5) eclampsia or severe preeclampsia/HELLP syndrome. The management of these conditions is different in relation to the complex pathophysiology involved in each of these types. This mini-review presents the main characteristics and management strategy for different forms of HE, revealing the particularities of management strategy for each of them.
Daniela Toma, Liliana Gozar, Carmen Corina Șuteu, Amalia Făgărășan and Rodica Togănel
Background: Acute myocarditis, a primary inflammatory cardiac disease commonly caused by viral infection, is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in children. Data obtained from forensic studies found an incidence of 15–33% for acute myocarditis in sudden deaths in the pediatric age group. Currently, there is a lack of data regarding the incidence and factors associated with short-term outcomes in pediatric patients admitted for acute myocarditis.
The aim of the study was to identify predictors for in-hospital mortality in a pediatric population admitted with acute myocarditis.
Material and methods: We conducted a retrospective observational cohort study that included 21 patients admitted for acute myocarditis. Clinical, laboratory, ECG, and imaging data acquired via 2D transthoracic echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging were collected from the medical charts of each included patient. The primary end-point of the study was all-cause mortality occurring during hospitalization (period ranging from 10 to 14 days). The study population was divided into 2 groups according to the occurrence of the primary end-point.
Results: The mean age of the study population was 99.62 ± 77.25 months, and 61.90% (n = 13) of the patients were males. The in-hospital mortality rate was 23.9% (n = 5). Patients in the deceased group were significantly younger than the survivors (55.60 ± 56.18 months vs. 113.4 ± 78.50 months, p = 0.039). Patients that had deceased presented a significantly higher level of LDH (365 ± 21.38 U/L vs. 234.4 ± 63.30 U/L, p = 0.0002) and a significantly higher rate of ventricular extrasystolic dysrhythmias (60% vs. 6.25%, p = 0.02, OR: 22.5, 95% CI: 1.5–335) compared to survivors. The 2D echocardiography showed that patients that had deceased presented more frequently an impaired left ventricular ejection fraction (<30%) (p = 0.001) and a significantly higher rate of severe mitral regurgitation (p = 0.001) compared to survivors.
Conclusions: The most powerful predictors for in-hospital mortality in pediatric patients admitted for acute myocarditis were the presence of ventricular extrasystolic dysrhythmias on the 24h Holter ECG monitoring, impaired left ventricular systolic function (LVEF <30%), the presence of severe mitral regurgitation, and confirmed infection with Mycoplasma pneumoniae.
Adnane Lahlou, Saïd Benlamkaddem, Mohamed Adnane Berdai and Mustapha Harandou
Levodopa is a dopamine precursor and a mainstay treatment in the management of Parkinson’s disease. Its side effects induce dyskinesia, nausea, vomiting, and orthostatic hypotension. Acute levodopa acute poisoning is uncommon, with only a few reported cases in the medical literature. Treatment of poisoning by levodopa is mainly supportive. The case of a child admitted to a hospital for acute levodopa poisoning is presented in this report.
Cristina Mănășturean, Cristiana Oprea, Dan Oțelea and Anca Meda Georgescu
As chronic HIV infection is prone to co-infections more than any other infectious condition, many severely immune-depressed patients require advanced diagnostic investigations and complex treatment.
The case of a 30-year-old severely immune-depressed patient with AIDS, who developed neurological impairment and was diagnosed with encephalitis is presented. Multiple diagnostic approaches had to be used in order to identify the etiologic agents responsible for the clinical, immunological and biological evolution. Despite using advanced laboratory investigations and complex treatment, the patient developed multiple organ dysfunction syndromes that led to a fatal outcome.
Establishing etiologic relations and treatment priorities in patients with severe immunodeficiency and co-infections can prove difficult, underlining the need of rapid syndromic testing.
Corina Pop Radu, Valentin Daniealopol, Ario Santini, Ruxandra Darie and Daniela Tatiana Sala
Hungry bone syndrome (HBS) refers to the rapid, profound, and prolonged hypocalcaemia associated with hypophosphatemia and hypomagnesaemia, and is exacerbated by suppressed parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels, which follows parathyroidectomy in patients with severe primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) and preoperative high bone turnover. 
This report concerns a dialysed patient who underwent surgical treatment for secondary refractory hyperparathyroidism. Haemodialysis was carried out pre-operatively, and subsequently, a total parathyroidectomy with auto-transplantation of parathyroid tissue in the sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM) was performed. Rapid and progressive hypocalcaemia symptoms developed during the second day postoperatively. Acute cardiac symptoms with tachyarrhythmia, haemodynamic instability and finally asystole occurred, which required cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The ionic calcium level was 2.2 mg/dL being consistent with a diagnosis of HBS. A second cardiac arrest unresponsive to CPR followed an initial period of normal sinus rhythm. Death ensued shortly after. Before death, the ionic calcium was 3.1 mg/dL.
HBS, after parathyroidectomy in patients with secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT), may be severe, prolonged and sometimes fatal. Generally, HBS symptomatology is that of a mild hypocalcaemia. It can, however, include heart rhythm disturbances with haemodynamic alterations requiring intensive care measurements and even cardiopulmonary resuscitation. A close clinical and laboratory post-parathyroidectomy monitoring of dialysed patients is of the utmost importance.
Maximilien Cappe, Philippe Hantson, Mina Komuta, Marie-Françoise Vincent, Pierre-François Laterre and Ismaïl Ould-Nana
The case is reported of a 39-year-old severely obese woman who developed acute metabolic disorders after the administration of a short course of intravenous amiodarone. The main biological features were hypertriglyceridemia, hypoglycaemia, hyperlactatemia and hyperammonemia; all were reversible after amiodarone discontinuation. There was an associated rise in liver enzymes. However, the influence of co-factors on these metabolic disorders, such as acquired carnitine deficiency, severe obesity, a long-term course of pancreatitis, and abdominal infections, could not be excluded.
Oana Antal, Elena Ștefănescu, Monica Mleșnițe, Andrei Mihai Bălan and Natalia Hagău
Fluid administration is considered a fundamental part of early sepsis treatment. Despite abundant research, fundamental questions about the amount of fluids to be given remain unanswered. Recently, the idea of adjusting the fluid load to the ideal body weight emerged, as obesity rates are increasing, and fluid overload was proven to increase mortality.
Aim of the study
The study aimed to determine whether advanced haemodynamic monitoring supports the adjustment of the initial fluid load to the ideal body weight (IBW).
Seventy-one patients with sepsis and septic shock were enrolled in the study. The initial fluid resuscitation was performed using local protocols. The haemodynamic status was assessed after the initial fluid load by transpulmonary thermos-dilution technique and the renal outcome recorded at twenty-four hours.
68.6% of the patients included in the study had weight disorders ranging from BMI+20% to morbid obesity. Before IBW adjustment, only 49.3% received the 30 ml/kg fluid load recommended by Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines (2016) (SSC). After IBW adjustment, 70.4% received the recommended fluid dose. The difference in fluid load/kg before and after the bodyweight adjustment was statistically significant (p<0.01). After the initial fluid load, the majority of the macro haemodynamic parameters were in the targeted range. There was no statistically significant difference between the urinary output outcome at 24 hours or the 28 days mortality rates between the patients resuscitated by the SSC and those who received less fluid.
Advanced haemodynamic monitoring was in favour of adjusting the initial fluid load to the IBW. There were no statistically significant differences either in the urinary output outcome at twenty-four hours, or in the twenty-eight-day mortality rates between the patients who received the 30 ml/kg IBW and those who received less than 30 ml/kg IBW.