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Bassetti M.,University of Santa Maria in Ecuador | Righi E.,University of Santa Maria in Ecuador | De Pascale G.,University Cattolica Policlinico Universitario Agemelli | De Gaudio R.,University of Florence | And 6 more authors.
Critical Care | Year: 2014

Invasive aspergillosis has been mainly reported among immunocompromised patients during prolonged periods of neutropenia. Recently, however, non-neutropenic patients in the ICU population have shown an increasing risk profile for aspergillosis. Associations with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and corticosteroid therapy have been frequently documented in this cohort. Difficulties in achieving a timely diagnosis of aspergillosis in non-neutropenic patients is related to the non-specificity of symptoms and to lower yields with microbiological tests compared to neutropenic patients. Since high mortality rates are typical of invasive aspergillosis in critically ill patients, a high level of suspicion and prompt initiation of adequate antifungal treatment are mandatory. Epidemiology, risk factors, diagnostic algorithms, and different approaches in antifungal therapy for invasive aspergillosis in non-neutropenic patients are reviewed. © 2014 Bassetti et al., licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Castillo J.J.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Bibas M.,Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases | Miranda R.N.,University of Houston
Blood | Year: 2015

Plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL) is an aggressive lymphoma commonly associated with HIV infection. However, PBL can also be seen in patients with other immunodeficiencies as well as in immunocompetent individuals. Because of its distinct clinical and pathological features, such as lack of expression of CD20, plasmablastic morphology, and clinical course characterized by early relapses and subsequent chemotherapy resistance, PBL can represent a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge for pathologists and clinicians alike. Despite the recent advances in the therapy of HIV-associated and aggressive lymphomas, patients with PBL for the most part have poor outcomes. The objectives of this review are to summarize the current knowledge on the epidemiology, biology, clinical and pathological characteristics, differential diagnosis, therapy, prognostic factors, outcomes, and potential novel therapeutic approaches in patients with PBL and also to increase the awareness toward PBL in the medical community. © 2015 by The American Society of Hematology. Source

Castillo J.J.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Bower M.,Chelsea and Westminster Hospital | Bruhlmann J.,University of Bern | Novak U.,University of Bern | And 17 more authors.
Cancer | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND: The treatment and outcomes of patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) continue to evolve. The International Prognostic Score (IPS) is used to predict the survival of patients with advanced-stage HL, but it has not been validated in patients with HIV infection. METHODS: This was a multi-institutional, retrospective study of 229 patients with HIV-associated, advanced-stage, classical HL who received doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (ABVD) plus combination antiretroviral therapy. Their clinical characteristics were presented descriptively, and multivariate analyses were performed to identify the factors that were predictive of response and prognostic of progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). RESULTS: The overall and complete response rates to ABVD in patients with HIV-associated HL were 91% and 83%, respectively. After a median follow-up of 5 years, the 5-year PFS and OS rates were 69% and 78%, respectively. In multivariate analyses, there was a trend toward an IPS score >3 as an adverse factor for PFS (hazard ratio [HR], 1.49; P=.15) and OS (HR, 1.84; P=.06). A cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4)-positive (T-helper) cell count <200 cells/μL was associated independently with both PFS (HR, 2.60; P=.002) and OS (HR, 2.04; P=.04). The CD4-positive cell count was associated with an increased incidence of death from other causes (HR, 2.64; P=.04) but not with death from HL-related causes (HR, 1.55; P=.32). CONCLUSIONS: The current results indicate excellent response and survival rates in patients with HIV-associated, advanced-stage, classical HL who receive ABVD and combination antiretroviral therapy as well as the prognostic value of the CD4-positive cell count at the time of lymphoma diagnosis for PFS and OS. © 2014 American Cancer Society. Source

Uyeki T.M.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Mehta A.K.,Emory University | Davey R.T.,National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases | Liddell A.M.,Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas | And 13 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2016

Background Available data on the characteristics of patients with Ebola virus disease (EVD) and clinical management of EVD in settings outside West Africa, as well as the complications observed in those patients, are limited. METHODS We reviewed available clinical, laboratory, and virologic data from all patients with laboratory-confirmed Ebola virus infection who received care in U.S. and European hospitals from August 2014 through December 2015. RESULTS A total of 27 patients (median age, 36 years [range, 25 to 75]) with EVD received care; 19 patients (70%) were male, 9 of 26 patients (35%) had coexisting conditions, and 22 (81%) were health care personnel. Of the 27 patients, 24 (89%) were medically evacuated from West Africa or were exposed to and infected with Ebola virus in West Africa and had onset of illness and laboratory confirmation of Ebola virus infection in Europe or the United States, and 3 (11%) acquired EVD in the United States or Europe. At the onset of illness, the most common signs and symptoms were fatigue (20 patients [80%]) and fever or feverishness (17 patients [68%]). During the clinical course, the predominant findings included diarrhea, hypoalbuminemia, hyponatremia, hypokalemia, hypocalcemia, and hypomagnesemia; 14 patients (52%) had hypoxemia, and 9 (33%) had oliguria, of whom 5 had anuria. Aminotransferase levels peaked at a median of 9 days after the onset of illness. Nearly all the patients received intravenous fluids and electrolyte supplementation; 9 (33%) received noninvasive or invasive mechanical ventilation; 5 (19%) received continuous renalreplacement therapy; 22 (81%) received empirical antibiotics; and 23 (85%) received investigational therapies (19 [70%] received at least two experimental interventions). Ebola viral RNA levels in blood peaked at a median of 7 days after the onset of illness, and the median time from the onset of symptoms to clearance of viremia was 17.5 days. A total of 5 patients died, including 3 who had respiratory and renal failure, for a mortality of 18.5%. CONCLUSIONS Among the patients with EVD who were cared for in the United States or Europe, close monitoring and aggressive supportive care that included intravenous fluid hydration, correction of electrolyte abnormalities, nutritional support, and critical care management for respiratory and renal failure were needed; 81.5% of these patients who received this care survived. © 2016 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved. Source

Bassetti M.,University of Santa Maria in Ecuador | De Gaudio R.,University of Florence | Mazzei T.,University of Florence | Morace G.,University of Milan | And 5 more authors.
Critical Care | Year: 2012

Introduction: An online survey was conducted to characterize current infection management practices in Italian intensive care units (ICUs), including the antibacterial and antifungal drug regimens prescribed for various types of infections.Methods: During February and March 2011, all 450 ICUs in public hospitals in Italy were invited to take part in an online survey. The questionnaire focused on ICU characteristics, methods used to prevent, diagnose, and treat infections, and antimicrobials prescribing policies. The frequency of each reported practice was calculated as a percentage of the total number of units answering the question. The overall response rate to the questionnaire was 38.8% (175 of the 450 ICUs contacted) with homogeneous distribution across the country and in terms of unit type.Results: Eighty-eight percent of the responding facilities performed periodical surveillance cultures on all patients. In 71% of patients, cultures were also collected on admission. Endotracheal/bronchial aspirates were the most frequently cultured specimens at both time points. Two-thirds of the responding units had never performed screening cultures for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Around 67% of the ICUs reported the use of antimicrobial de-escalation strategies during the treatment phase. In general, the use of empirical antimicrobial drug regimens was appropriate. Although the rationale for the choice was not always clearly documented, the use of a combination therapy was preferred over antibiotic monotherapy. The preferred first-line agents for invasive candidiasis were fluconazole and an echinocandin (64% and 25%, respectively). Two-thirds of the ICUs monitored vancomycin serum levels and administered it by continuous infusion in 86% of cases. For certain antibiotics, reported doses were too low to ensure effective treatment of severe infections in critically ill patients; conversely, inappropriately high doses were administered for certain antifungal drugs.Conclusions: Although infection control policies and management practices are generally appropriate in Italian ICUs, certain aspects, such as the extensive use of multidrug empirical regimens and the inappropriate antimicrobial dosing, deserve careful management and closer investigation. © 2012 Bassetti et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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