The “Lung News” page seeks to update viewers about current events / research / developments etc. about disease of the lungs. The news snippets and articles have been carefully chosen to be of relevance and benefit all viewers (medical and nonmedical) of this web page.
3rd October 2020.
The results of use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in severe COVID 19 infection have been recently published in the journal – Lancet and hold out a beacon of hope
28th September 2020.
AI is proving to be almost as good as a Radiologist in correctly interpreting chest CT scans in COVID 19 patients according to a recently published article in the journal Nature. They may be useful in remote locations where there are resource crunches for radiologists in these difficult days as the COVID 19 pademic rages across the world
21st September 2020.
Injury to the brain is a significant source of morbidity and mortality for both adult pediatric patients treated with Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO). According to Dr. Lakshmi Raman and her team at UT Southwestern, AI can now be used to predict which patients are more prone to neurological injury after institution of ECMO. Raman and her colleagues studied 174 patients and entered the data into a machine learning algorithm – neural network which is specifically designed to identify patterns in data sets. The program analyzed over 35,000 clinical hours of ECMO treatment and 1.4 million data points across 35 variables. The tool had a surprisingly good 73 percent sensitivity rate of predicting brain injury after ECMO and also an 80 percent specificity rate. This was better than the prediction power of clinicians, who had predicted brain injury in 61 patients, with a sensitivity of 39 percent and a specificity of 69 percent.
15th September 2020.
Vaping is known to be less harmful than actual cigarette smoking. It is however not entirely harmless as well. E-Cigarette and Vaping Associated Lung Injury (EVALI) is slowly being recognised as a distinct clinical entity. A Vitamin E related oil may be responsible for the lung damage. Here is an update on EVALI
9th September 2020.
Could the microbes in the intestine influence inflammatory lung disease? Research scientists at the Mayo Clinic are working to find out if alterations of intestinal microflora could have an effect on lung disease. Microbes in the gut may be recognized by host’s immune cells, and cause a systemic cytokine release.The link between intestinal fungal dysbiosis and asthma could result in some ground breaking changes in the management of asthma in the near future.
2nd September 2020.
A recent study authored by S. Verma and M. Dhanak published in the Journal, Physics of Fluids (American Institute of Physics) concluded that face shields and masks with exhalation valves are inferior to cloth masks, surgical masks and N95 masks in preventing aerosol and droplet spread. This conclusion has huge ramifications for policy making for the prevention of spread of COVID 19. Face shields are not good substitutes for face masks. A mask with an exhalation valve may protect the wearer but not others who may be in close contact.
20th August 2020.
Honey is better than usual care (including antibiotics often prescribed by GPs) for relieving the symptoms of upper respiratory infections, especially cough finds recently published research conducted at the University of Oxford. The findings could help slow the spread of antibiotic resistance. The study, published recently, in BMJ Evidence Based Medicine, was a systematic review and meta-analysis. of 14 studies looking at the effectiveness of honey for URTIs.
August 16th 2020.
According to a recent study done in elderly mice with potential to be replicated in humans, nitrate supplementation could improve the functioning of the diaphragm (the main respiratory muscle) in the elderly.
8th August 2020.
Blood thinners (anticoagulants) are a group of drugs that inhibit normal the normal clotting (coagulation) process. These drugs are extremely useful in situations like pulmonary embolism, during the conduct of cardiopulmonary bypass, extra corporeal membranne oxygenation etc. All current anticoagulants also have an inherent risk of inducing bleeding as they inhibit the normal coagulation process. A new synthetic anticoagulant (factor XIIa inhibitor) has been discovered. This new molecule inhibits coagulation with virtually no bleeding risk.
5th August 2020.
The response to immunotherapy for various malignancies varies considerably. A new test which quantifies the amount of DNA from tumor fragments circulating in the blood could predict which individual is most likely to respond to immuno therapy. This could potentially apply to all cancers including lung cancers as well.
1st August 2020.
Mesothelioma (malignancy of the pleura) is best treated by radical surgery (radical pleuropneumonectomy) if detected early. If detected late, palliative chemotherapy is advised. Chemotherapy can have debilitating side effects. These side effects can be substantially reduced if the chemotherapeutic agent is given intra-arterially through the Internal Thoracic Artery and the Intercostal Arteries according to a recent study.
26th July 2020.
Pneumonia is a common complication in the elderly who are admitted to hospital after sustaining a long bone fracture secondary to osteoporosis (an age related degeneration of the bones which makes them brittle). According to a recent study, Biphosphonates which are a group of drugs commonly used to treat osteoporosis also seem to have a protective effect on the lungs (due to their immuno modulatory effect) that makes the lungs less prone to pneumonia.
19th July 2020.
Guidelines for safe Bronchoscopy during the COVID 19. A useful podcast.
15th July 2020.
The latest recommendations of the British Thoracic Society on the management of Bronchiectasis in adults.
1st July 2020.
Intravenous vitamin C has been recently shown to hasten recovery in severe COVID 19 pneumonia patients especially those having a severe cytokine storm by virtue of its anti-inflammatory properties which help to blunt the systemic inflammatory response syndrome in severe COVID 19 patients.