This is an updated guideline for the diagnosis and management of asthma, developed by the Saudi Initiative for Asthma (SINA) group, a subsidiary of the Saudi Thoracic Society. The main objective of SINA is to have guidelines that are up to date, simple to understand and easy to use by nonasthma specialists, including primary care and general practice physicians. SINA approach is mainly based on symptom control and assessment of risk as it is the ultimate goal of treatment. The new SINA guidelines include updates of acute and chronic asthma management, with more emphasis on the use of asthma control in the management of asthma in adults and children, inclusion of a new medication appendix, and keeping consistency on the management at different age groups. The section on asthma in children is rewritten and expanded where the approach is stratiied based on the age. The guidelines are constructed based on the available evidence, local literature, and the current situation in Saudi Arabia. There is also an emphasis on patient-doctor partnership in the management that also includes a self-management plan.
Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Saudi Arabia is a host to millions of pilgrims who travel annually from all over the world for Umrah and the Hajj pilgrimages and are at risk of developing pneumococcal pneumonia or invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). There is also the risk of transmission of S. pneumoniae including antibiotic resistant strains between pilgrims and their potential global spread upon their return. The country also has unique challenges posed by susceptible population to IPD due to people with hemoglobinopathies, younger age groups with chronic conditions, and growing problem of antibiotic resistance. Since the epidemiology of pneumococcal disease is constantly changing, with an increase in nonvaccine pneumococcal serotypes, vaccination policies on the effectiveness and usefulness of vaccines require regular revision. As part of the Saudi Thoracic Society (STS) commitment to promote the best practices in the field of respiratory diseases, we conducted a review of S. pneumoniae infections and the best evidence base available in the literature. The aim of the present study is to develop the STS pneumococcal vaccination guidelines for healthcare workers in Saudi Arabia. We recommend vaccination against pneumococcal infections for all children 5 years old, adults >= 50 years old, and people >= 6 years old with certain risk factors. These recommendations are based on the presence of a large number of comorbidities in Saudi Arabia population 50 years of age, many of whom have risk factors for contracting pneumococcal infections. A section for pneumococcal vaccination before the Umrah and Hajj pilgrimages is included as well.
INTRODUCTION: Treatment-emergent central sleep apnea (TECSA) is the appearance of central apneas and hypopneas after significant resolution of the obstructive events has been attained using positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy. The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of TECSA and to understand what factors are associated with its development. METHODS: PubMed, MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science and Cochran Library databases were searched with Mesh headings to locate studies linking TECSA and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). RESULTS: Nine studies were identified that reported the prevalence of TECSA ranging from 5.0% to 20.3%. Prevalence of TECSA for studies using only full night titration was between 5.0% and 12.1% where as it was between 6.5% and 20.3% for studies using split-night polysomnogram. The mean effective continuous PAP (CPAP) setting varied between 7.5 cm and 15.2 cm of water for patients in TECSA group and between 7.4 cm and 13.6 cm of water for the group without TECSA. CONCLUSIONS: The aggregate point prevalence of TECSA is about 8% with the estimated range varying from 5% to 20% in patients with untreated OSA. The prevalence tends to be higher for split-night studies compared to full night titration studies. TECSA can occur at any CPAP setting although extremely high CPAP settings could increase the likelihood. Male gender, higher baseline apnea-hypopnea index, and central apnea index at the time of diagnostic study could be associated with the development of TECSA at a subsequent titration study.
Predicting successful liberation of patients from mechanical ventilation has been a focus of interest to clinicians practicing in intensive care. Various weaning indices have been investigated to identify an optimal weaning window. Among them, the rapid shallow breathing index (RSBI) has gained wide use due to its simple technique and avoidance of calculation of complex pulmonary mechanics. Since its first description, several modifications have been suggested, such as the serial measurements and the rate of change of RSBI, to further improve its predictive value. The objective of this paper is to review the utility of RSBI in predicting weaning success. In addition, the use of RSBI in specific patient populations and the reported modifications of RSBI technique that attempt to improve the utility of RSBI are also reviewed.
BACKGROUND: Majority of our computed tomography-pulmonary angiography (CTPA) scans report negative findings. We hypothesized that suboptimal reliance on diagnostic algorithms contributes to apparent overuse of this test. METHODS: A retrospective review was performed on 2031 CTPA cases in a large hospital system. Investigators retrospectively calculated pretest probability (PTP). Use of CTPA was considered as inappropriate when it was ordered for patients with low PTP without checking D-dimer (DD) or following negative DD. RESULTS: Among the 2031 cases, pulmonary embolism (PE) was found in 7.4% (151 cases). About 1784 patients (88%) were considered "PE unlikely" based on Wells score. Out of those patients, 1084 cases (61%) did not have DD test prior to CTPA. In addition, 78 patients with negative DD underwent unnecessary CTPA; none of them had PE. CONCLUSIONS: The suboptimal implementation of PTP assessment tools can result in the overuse of CTPA, contributing to ineffective utilization of hospital resources, increased cost, and potential harm to patients.
Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Saudi Arabia is a host to millions of pilgrims who travel annually from all over the world for Umrah and the Hajj pilgrimages and are at risk of developing pneumococcal pneumonia or invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). There is also the risk of transmission of S. pneumoniae including antibiotic resistant strains between pilgrims and their potential global spread upon their return. The country also has unique challenges posed by susceptible population to IPD due to people with hemoglobinopathies, younger age groups with chronic conditions, and growing problem of antibiotic resistance. Since the epidemiology of pneumococcal disease is constantly changing, with an increase in nonvaccine pneumococcal serotypes, vaccination policies on the effectiveness and usefulness of vaccines require regular revision. As part of the Saudi Thoracic Society (STS) commitment to promote the best practices in the field of respiratory diseases, we conducted a review of S. pneumoniae infections and the best evidence base available in the literature. The aim of the present study is to develop the STS pneumococcal vaccination guidelines for healthcare workers in Saudi Arabia. We recommend vaccination against pneumococcal infections for all children 50 years old, and people >6 years old with certain risk factors. These recommendations are based on the presence of a large number of comorbidities in Saudi Arabia population < 50 years of age, many of whom have risk factors for contracting pneumococcal infections. A section for pneumococcal vaccination before the Umrah and Hajj pilgrimages is included as well.
Background: In April 2014, a surge in cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection was seen in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The aim of this study is to describe the demographic and clinical features, laboratory and radiological findings of MERS-CoV patients identified during this outbreak in a single tertiary hospital. Methods: All laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV cases who presented to King Faisal Specialist Hospital from March 1, 2014, to May 30, 2014, were identified. Patients' charts were reviewed for demographic information, comorbidities, clinical presentations, and outcomes. Results: A total of 39 patients with confirmed MERS-CoV infection were identified. Twenty-one were male (54%), aged 40 19 years and included 3 (8%) pediatric patients (18-year-old). 16 (41%) patients were health care workers. Twenty-one (53%) patients were previously healthy whereas eighteen (47%) had at least one comorbidity. The predominant comorbidities included hypertension (31%), diabetes (26%), respiratory (23%), and renal disease (18%). Thirty patients (81%) were symptomatic at presentation, fever (69%) being the most common complaint. The overall mortality rate was 28%. In univariate analysis, older age, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease were associated with mortality. Conclusions: MERS-CoV presentation varies from asymptomatic infection to severe respiratory disease causing death. Future studies to identify the risk factors for worse outcome are needed.
BACKGROUND: There is a lack of consensus regarding second-line therapy in children with acute asthma who fail to the standard therapy. Ketamine had bronchodilator property and may be useful in the treatment of acute asthma. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of ketamine as compared to aminophylline in children with acute asthma who respond poorly to the standard therapy. METHODS: This randomized controlled trial included patients with acute asthma having Pediatric Respiratory Assessment Measure (PRAM) score >= 5 at 2 h of standard therapy. The enrolled patients received either intravenous (IV) ketamine or IV aminophylline. Primary outcome measure was change in PRAM score at the end of intervention. Secondary outcome measures included adverse effects, change in PO2 and PCO2, need for mechanical ventilation, and duration of hospital stay. RESULTS: The trial included 24 patients each in ketamine and aminophylline groups. The baseline parameters were similar between the groups. The primary outcome was similar in both the groups with a change in PRAM score of 4.00 +/- 1.25 and 4.17 +/- 1.68 (P = 0.699) in ketamine and aminophylline groups, respectively. The secondary outcomes were not different between the groups. CONCLUSION: Ketamine and aminophylline were equally effective for children with acute asthma who responded poorly to the standard therapy.
INTRODUCTION: Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a serious cardiovascular and pulmonary complication worldwide. We aimed to assess the implications of different computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) parameters in patients with acute PE. METHODS: A retrospective observational study to include patients presented with clinical suspicious of PE who underwent CTPA was conducted. Patients' demographics, clinical presentation, risk factors, laboratory investigations, management, and outcome were analyzed. Computed tomography findings included clot burden (Qanadli score [QS]) and right ventricular dysfunction (RVD) parameters. RESULTS: A total of 45 patients with radiologically confirmed diagnosis of PE were included in the study; of these patients, 8 (17.8%) died during the hospital course. Patients who died were 13 years older than those who survived, and the mortality rate was significantly higher in patients with cancer. The two groups were comparable for cardiovascular parameters. The mean clot burden (QS) was 19.5 +/- 11.3 points and 53% of patients had QS > 18 points. Obesity (52.4% vs. 12.5%; P = 0.01), hypertension (54.4% vs. 23.8%; P = 0.03), and median D-dimer levels (7.8 vs. 3.4; P = 0.03) were significantly higher in patients with QS > 18. Among right ventricular (RV) dysfunction parameters, only higher RV/left ventricular (LV) ratio (P = 0.001) and bowing of interventricular septum (P = 0.001) were associated with higher QS. A significant positive correlation was found between RV short axis (r = 0.499, P = 0.001), RV/LV ratio (r = 0.592, P = 0.001), and pulmonary artery (PA) diameter (r = 0.301, P = 0.04) with the PA clot burden. Receiver operating characteristic curve for clot burden showed a cutoff value of 17.5 points to accurately predict RV dysfunction. CONCLUSIONS: Clot burden > 18 is associated with RV dysfunction in patients with acute PE. Echocardiography and RVD parameters showed no correlation with in-hospital deaths. CTPA has clinicoradiological implications for risk stratification in PE patients. As the sample size is small, our findings warrant further larger prospective studies.
BACKGROUND: Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgical decortication (VATSD) is widely applicable in fibrinopurulent Stage II empyema. While, more chronic thick walled Stage III empyema (organizing stage) needs conversion to open thoracotomy, and existing reports reveal a lacuna in the realm of late stage empyema patient's management through VATS utilization, particularly Stage III empyema. We prospectively evaluated the application of VATSD regardless of the stage of pleural empyema for the effective management of late stage empyema in comparison to open decortications (ODs) to minimize the adverse effects of the disease. METHODS: All patients with pyogenic pleural empyema (Stage II and Stage III) in King Khalid University Hospital (KKUH) (admitted from January 2009 to December 2013) who did not respond to chest tube/pigtail drainage and/or antibiotic therapy were treated with VATSD and/or open thoracotomy. Prospective evaluation was carried out, and the effect of this technique on perioperative outcomes was appraised to evaluate our technical learning with the passage of time and experience with VATS for late stage empyema management. RESULTS: Out of total 63 patients, 26 had Stage II empyema and 37 had Stage III empyema. VATSD was employed on all empyema patients admitted in the KKUH. VATSD was successful in all patients with Stage II empyema. Twenty-five patients (67.6%) with Stage III empyema completed VATSD successfully. However, only 12 cases (32.4%) required conversions to open (thoracotomy) drainage (OD). The median hospital stay for Stage III VATSD required 9.65 +/- 4.1 days. Whereas, patients who underwent open thoracotomy took longer time (21.82 +/- 16.35 days). Similarly, Stage III VATSD and Stage III open surgery cases showed significance difference among chest tube duration (7.84 +/- 3.33 days for VATS and 15.92 +/- 8.2 days for open thoracotomy). Significantly, lower postoperative complications were detected in patients treated with VATSD in terms of atelectasis, prolonged air leak, wound infection, etc. CONCLUSION: VATSD facilitates the management of fibrinopurulent, organized pyogenic pleural empyema with less postoperative discomfort, reduced hospitalization, and have fewer postoperative complications. VATSD can be an effective, safe first option for patients with Stage II pleural empyema, and feasible in most patients with Stage III pleural empyema.
AIM: The aim of this study was to investigate the alterations of pulmonary function tests (PFTs) and their relationship with disease activity in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). METHODS: Sixty-four IBD patients (31 Crohn's disease [CD] and 33 ulcerative colitis [UC]) and thirty healthy individuals (controls) were studied with regard to the following parameters of PFTs: Forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), their ratio, mid-forced expiratory flow of 25-75% (FEF 25-75), residual volume, total lung capacity, and diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO). The disease activity was calculated using the Crohn's Disease Activity Index for CD and Mayo Clinic Score for UC. Correlation analysis was performed between disease activity and sputum cytology and PFTs. RESULTS: Nineteen of the 31 CD patients (61.29%) and 17 of the 33 UC patients (51.52%) but none of the controls showed at least one abnormal PFTs (P < 0.05). Compared with controls, both CD and UC patients exhibited a significant reduction in FEV1 (P < 0.05), FVC (P < 0.05), FEF 25-75 (P < 0.05), and DLCO (P < 0.05). The majority with decreased measurements of PFTs were in the active phase of diseases (P < 0.05). IBD activity scores correlated negatively with some parameters of PFTs and positively with lymphocytosis and eosinophilia of sputum (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Pulmonary function disorders are significantly common in IBD patients. The impairment in active disease is significantly greater than in remission.
BACKGROUND: Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a common and potentially life-threatening disorder. Patients with PE often have nonspecific symptoms, and the diagnosis is often delayed. AIM: The aim of our study was to investigate the role of signal peptide-complement C1r/C1s, Uegf, and Bmp1-epidermal growth factor domain-containing protein 1 (SCUBE1) used in the diagnosis of PE. METHODS: The study was designed prospectively. A total of 57 patients who were admitted to emergency service with clinically suspected PE were included in the study. The patients diagnosed with PE were defined as PE group (n = 32), and the patients with undetectable embolism on computerized tomographic pulmonary angiography were defined as non-PE group (n = 25). Twenty-five age-and sex-matched healthy cases were chosen for the study. Routine biochemical analysis, complete blood count, D-dimer, SCUBE1, and arterial blood gas analysis were performed early after admission. RESULTS: Mean SCUBE1 levels were higher in the PE group (0.90 ng/mL) than in the non-PE (0.38 ng/mL) and control groups (0.47 ng/mL) (P < 0.01). A cutoff point of 0.49 ng/mL for SCUBE1 indicated 100% sensitivity and 64% specificity in patients with PE. Mean D-dimer levels were not different between PE and non-PE groups (P = 0.591). A multivariable logistic regression analysis (with dichotomous PE groups as the response variable; age, gender, chest pain, syncope, diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, D-dimer, neutrophil-lymphocytes ratio, and SCUBE1 variables as predictors) showed that the significant and independent predictors of PE diagnosis were SCUBE1 and chest pain. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that serum SCUBE1 measurement might be used as a diagnostic biomarker in PE.
While tuberculous vertebral osteomyelitis is an ancient scourge, multi-drug resistant-tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a modern major public health concern. The objective of this study was to review and summarize the data available on MDR-TB spondylitis. An extensive search of the PubMed database was conducted for articles in English relevant to MDR-TB spondylitis by December 2015. Tuberculous spondylitis accounts for 0.5-1% of all TB cases, and it is estimated that there are probably 5000 MDR-TB spondylitis cases each year worldwide. The diagnosis of MDR-TB spondylitis requires a high index of suspicion based on epidemiologic, clinical, and radiologic features. Cultures and susceptibility testing remain the gold standard for the diagnosis of MDR-TB, but this can take several weeks to obtain. Medical treatment is the mainstay of therapy, and ideally, it should be based on drug susceptibility testing. If empiric treatment is necessary, it should be based on drug exposure history, contact history, epidemiology, and local drug resistance data, if available. The total duration of treatment should not be <18-24 months. Clinical, radiographic, and if possible, bacteriologic improvement should be used to assess the treatment success. Surgery should be reserved for neurologic deterioration, significant kyphosis, spinal instability, severe pain, and failure of medical management.
BACKGROUND: Medical thoracoscopy (MT) or pleuroscopy is a procedure performed to diagnose and treat malignant and benign pleural diseases. Totally 2752 pleuroscopies executed in 1984-2013 in our center were considered in this study. METHODS: A retrospective observational study was performed. Observational time was divided into six series of 5 years. We calculated MT diagnostic yield and analyzed trends of main diseases diagnosed along the time. RESULTS: Along the 30 years population became progressively older. Number of pleuroscopies firstly increased, then stabilized and decreased in the last 5 years. The overall diagnostic yield of MT was 71%, increasing from 57% to 79%. The diagnostic yield was significantly higher in the presence of monolateral pleural effusion. Cancer represented more than half of diagnosis; tuberculosis was the most common nonneoplastic disease. The frequency of all cancers, mesothelioma, and lung cancer increased through the time; tuberculosis first decreased and then increased. All specimens resulted appropriate during the last 25 years. CONCLUSION: MT has a great diagnostic yield that can be improved by practice, permitting to achieve a specific histological diagnosis in about 80% of patients. Our experience demonstrates that the accurate selection of the patients undergoing to MT is very important to reach these results.
INTRODUCTION: Pediatric lung abscesses can be primary or secondary, and there is limited data regarding response to treatments and patient outcomes. OBJECTIVES: To assess the clinical and microbiologic profile of pediatric patients with lung abscess and assess the differences in outcomes for patients treated with medical therapy or medical plus surgical therapy. METHODS: A retrospective review of all pediatric patients <= 18 years of age that were treated as an inpatient for lung abscess between the dates of August 2004 and August 2014 was conducted. Patients were divided into two subgroups based on the need for surgical intervention. RESULTS: A total of 39 patients with lung abscess (30 treated with medical therapy alone, 9 also required surgical interventions) were included. Fever, cough, and emesis were the most common presenting symptoms, and most of the patients had underlying respiratory (31%) or neurologic disorders (15%). Staphylococcus aureus was the most common organism in those that had culture results available, and ceftriaxone with clindamycin was the most common combination of antibiotics used for treatment. Comparison of medical and surgical subgroups identified the duration of fever and abscess size as risk factors for surgical intervention. CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric lung abscesses can be managed with medical therapy alone in most cases. Presence of prolonged duration of fever and larger abscess size may be predictive of the need for surgical intervention. Good clinical response to prolonged therapy with ceftriaxone and clindamycin was noted.
Dasatinib is a drug for treatment of oncogene fusion protein BCR-ABL-positive chronic myeloid leukemia and Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia resistant/ intolerant to imatinib. Pleural effusion (PE) is a common adverse effect, and in this context, we present four cases seen due to this cause. One of them is a chylothorax. The PE grade is variable, and the physiopathology is not well established, although a block in T-lymphocyte function or inhibition of platelet-derived growth factor receptor-beta is suggested being involved. The PE is generally a lymphocyte-predominant exudate, but can also present as chylothorax. Several factors have been associated with its appearance, particularly the administration in two daily doses. Low grade (1-2) PEs usually respond well to interrupt the treatment while those of higher grade may also require therapeutic thoracentesis and corticosteroids. There are currently no firm guidelines that establish when to resort to one form of treatment or another.
Background: Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) programs proven to be one of the most effective treatment options for respiratory diseases; yet, they are not well-established in hospitals in Saudi Arabia. Aim: To determine the main barriers for setting up PR programs in Saudi Arabia. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Health care providers involved in treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients were recruited from 22 general government hospitals. Data were collected using questionnaires: Full version if they had heard about PR before the study, and a short version if they had not heard about PR before. Results: A total of 123 health care providers were recruited (physicians [n = 44], nurses [n = 49], and respiratory therapists/technicians [n = 30]). Only 3.2% of the recruited health care providers had heard about PR programs before. According to the health care providers, the main barriers for setting up PR programs were a lack of (1) hospital capacity (75.6%), (2) trained health care providers (72.4%), and (3) funds (48.0%). There were significant differences in barriers reported by the health care providers. Compared to physicians, nurses were more likely to nominate the PR costs as a barrier (18.0% vs. 38.8%; P 0.05). Conclusion: There is a worrisome lack of knowledge regarding content and benefits of PR programs among Saudi health care providers treating COPD patients. These findings imply that improving awareness and increasing education of the health care providers regarding PR will be required before PR can be more widely implemented as an integral treatment modality for patients with COPD in Saudi Arabia.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the bacterial colonization and associated risk factors in patients with bronchiectasis. METHODS: A total of 121 patients followed at the Bronchiectasis Unit, between 1996 and 2013 and diagnosed as having noncystic fibrosis bronchiectasis with high resolution computed tomography or multi-slice computed tomography were included in this retrospective study. The following definition of colonization was used for study purposes: Detection of at least two isolates of an organism separated by at least 3 months in a year. RESULTS: Of these 121 patients, 65 (54%) were female and 56 (46%) were male. Mean age was 50.6 +/- 16.1 years. Mean duration of illness was 20.3 +/- 15.5 years. 43 (35.5%) cases had colonization. The major pathogens responsible for colonization were Pseudomonas aeruginosa (n = 25; 20.6%) and Haemophilus influenzae (n = 14, 11.5%). The stepwise logistic regression analysis showed a significant association between colonization and a low percentage of forced vital capacity (FVC%) and the presence of cystic bronchiectasis (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: The following factors have been found to be associated with colonization in patients with bronchiectasis: Low FVC% and the presence of cystic bronchiectasis.
The respiratory care (RC) profession in Saudi Arabia is over 40-year-old. Although there have been major advancements in the profession, no history and enough information are available about its development and evolvement at current. This paper describes the history and development of the field of RC and future prospects for the profession in Saudi Arabia. A comprehensive review and assessment were conducted through direct contact, interviews, and a review of existing documents in the Medical Services Division of the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Health, The Ministry of Civil Services, representative hospitals, academic institutions, and other relevant texts. The data obtained were evaluated for its relevance and grouped on a thematic basis. This is currently the first paper about the history and development of the RC profession in Saudi Arabia over the last 45 years.