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1/25. Age-related changes in the epiglottis causing failure of nasal continuous positive airway pressure therapy.

    At 65 years of age, a former coal miner, now 72-years-old, developed a progressive loss of concentration with daytime sleepiness and sleep disturbances. work-up in pneumological and medical sleep centres resulted in diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), borderline obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome and, later, upper airway resistance syndrome. In addition, there was evidence of reduced efficiency of sleep. Neither the initial administration of theophylline nor the later use at night of hyperbaric respiration led to improvement in the patient's symptoms. Instead, the patient developed loud snoring, as well as the inability to sleep while in a lying position. At age 71 years, otorhinolaryngological examination resulted in findings of age-related changes in the epiglottis, that completely blocked the hypopharynx upon inspiration. polysomnography, which was possible only in a half-seated position, revealed reduction in deep sleep, with a maximum oxygen saturation of 77 per cent at an apnoea-hypopnoea index (AHI) of 4.8. Partial resection of the epiglottis with laser surgery resulted in complete improvement of diurnal drowsiness and reduced stamina. Sleeping in a supine position again became possible. polysomnography revealed normalization of sleep architecture, but unchanged, low efficiency of sleep. This case underscores the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to the treatment of sleep-related breathing disorders.
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2/25. Successful treatments of lung injury and skin burn due to hydrofluoric acid exposure.

    Recent growth in the electronics and chemical industries has brought about a progressive increase in the use of hydrofluoric acid (HF), along with the concomitant risk of acute poisoning among HF workers. We report severe cases of inhalation exposure and skin injury which were successfully treated by administering a 5% calcium gluconate solution with a nebulizer and applying 2.5% calcium gluconate jelly, respectively. Case 1: A 52-year old worker used HF for surface treatment after welding stainless steel, and was hospitalized with rapid onset of severe dyspnea. On admission to the critical care medical center he had widespread wheezing and crackles in his lungs. Chest radiograph showed a fine diffuse veiling over both lower pulmonary fields. Severe hypocalcemia with high concentrations of F in serum and urine were disclosed. He was immediately given 5% calcium gluconate solution by intermittent positive-pressure breathing (IPPB), utilizing a nebulizer. On the 21st hospital day, chest film and CT scan did not demonstrate any abnormality. He was discharged very much improved on the 22nd hospital day. Case 2: A 35-year old worker at an electronics factory was admitted to his local hospital with severe skin burn on his face and neck after exposure to 100% HF. Treatment began with immediate copious washing with water for 20 min. calcium gluconate 2.5% gel (HF burn jelly) was applied to the area as a first-aid measure. Persistent high concentrations of serum and urinary F were disclosed for 2 weeks. After treatment with applications of HF burn jelly, he was confirmed as being completely recovered. The present cases and a review of published data suggest that an adequate method of emergency treatment for accidental HF poisoning is necessary.
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3/25. Does sildenafil also improve breathing?

    Sildenafil is being used by a number of patients with erectile dysfunction. Some of these patients also may have concomitant COPD. The effect of sildenafil on lung function is not known. Two patients with severe COPD and erectile dysfunction reported that their dyspnea improved when they took oral sildenafil for erectile dysfunction. Spirometry performed in these patients revealed an improvement in FEV(1) by 24% and 12%. This suggests that, in COPD patients, oral sildenafil does not have any deleterious effect on pulmonary function, and in some patients it may produce a modest improvement in FEV(1).
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4/25. Care of a patient with breathing difficulties.

    Use of the Roper model of nursing care enabled the patient's physical, social and psychological needs to be met. Identification of actual and potential problems in each activity of daily living enabled goals to be set and care plans to be implemented to alleviate the problems. It is important that nursing care addresses not only the physical side of nursing, but also the psychological needs of the patient and the patient's family. By identifying the patient's fears in each activity of daily living, we could offer practical help and reassurance which greatly facilitated her return to independent living.
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5/25. Absence of a hemidiaphragm: mechanical implications.

    respiratory system mechanics were evaluated in a 22-year-old asymptomatic man with absence of the left hemidiaphragm. We described changes in esophageal pressure (Pes), gastric pressure (Pga), chest wall configuration, and mediastinal motion during tidal breathing, breaths to total lung capacity (TLC), and Mueller maneuvers in the upright and supine position. We predicted that contraction of the single hemidiaphragm would drive the abdominal contents caudal on the side with the intact hemidiaphragm and displace the abdominal contents cephalad on the other side. This would drive the mediastinum toward the side with the intact diaphragm, thereby reducing its effectiveness in expanding the lung on that side. When upright, this effect would be minimized to the extent that the rib cage muscles lower pleural pressure in the thorax without the diaphragm. We found that (vital capacity) VC and TLC were greater upright than supine and that Pga deflections were almost as strongly negative as Pes deflections during upright quiet breathing and breaths to TLC. Thus the rib cage muscles enhanced the inspiratory action of the right hemidiaphragm in the upright position. In the supine position, Pes became negative without change of Pga during breaths to TLC and quiet inspirations. Here, contraction of the hemidiaphragm was the dominant mechanism generating the inspiratory pressure. During maximal Mueller efforts, the mediastinum shifted toward the side with the intact diaphragm in both positions and the maximum inspiratory pressures were low. These pressures were likely to have been limited by both the finite impedance to rotation of the thoracoabdominal contents or mediastinum and a mechanical disadvantage of the remaining hemidiaphragm. We conclude that the effectiveness of the single hemidiaphragm as an inspiratory pump requires passive impedance of the abdominal viscera and mediastinum and is enhanced in the upright position by the action of the rib cage muscles.
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6/25. Cyclic haemodynamic and arterial blood gas changes during Cheyne-Stokes breathing.

    A 74-year-old patient presented with congestive heart failure and continuous periodic breathing. Left ventricular ejection fraction was 20% and the lung-to-brain circulation time was prolonged to 35 s. We report on the phasic changes of the patient's arterial blood gas tensions and on the periodic fluctuations of pulmonary artery pressures and cardiac output that we observed during Swan-Ganz catheterisation.
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7/25. Serial physiologic studies of a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patient in acute respiratory failure: clues for weaning?

    A patient with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was studied during acute respiratory failure. On the day of intubation his respiratory rate was 42, the tidal volume 295 ml, and the maximal inspiratory pressure 8 cm H2O. These parameters improved with rest by mechanical ventilation to 16, 620 ml, and 30 cm H2O, respectively, on the day of successful weaning. Daily tidal volumes correlated significantly with maximal inspiratory muscle pressures (r = 0.936; p less than 0.001). respiratory system compliances and resistances were measured by the inflation, the end-inspiratory occlusion, and the interrupter methods. In general, inflation compliance and occlusion compliance were comparable and significantly smaller than the interrupter compliance (p less than 0.002 and p less than 0.003, respectively), whereas inflation resistance and occlusion maximal resistance were also comparable but significantly smaller than the interrupter resistance (p less than 0.0008 and p less than 0.0006, respectively). The former was due to increased hysteresis of the pressure volume curves and the latter due to expiratory compression of airways. The compliance was low, and the resistance was high on the day of intubation and became much higher and lower, respectively, on the day of successful extubation. These physiological changes were associated with weaning difficulty. We conclude that respiratory failure and weaning are complex physiologic events under the influence of muscle strength, lung mechanics, gas exchange, and control of breathing. Therefore, prediction of weaning success based upon one or two measured parameters as has been done is probably inadequate in difficult patients.
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8/25. Differential lung function in an infant with the Swyer-James syndrome.

    A previously healthy two year old boy had an adenoviral infection at the age of 13 months and developed hyperlucency of the left lung, chronic respiratory distress, and failure to thrive. Bronchodilators and steroid treatment had no effect. Radionuclide lung scans using an intravenous bolus of xenon-133 both before and after treatment showed substantially reduced function on the hyperlucent side and modestly reduced function on the other side. Fibreoptic bronchoscopy showed no structural abnormalities. Partial forced expiratory flow volume (PEFV) curves, generated from end inspiration by rapid compression of the chest wall with an inflatable jacket, were obtained from the total respiratory system and from each lung separately by inflating a Fogarty catheter in the contralateral mainstem bronchus. Expiratory flow rates and volumes during both tidal breathing and PEFV manoeuvres were considerably decreased in the hyperlucent lung. PEFV curves from the "healthy" right lung and from the total respiratory system were similar in shape and showed a moderately obstructive pattern. The right lung ventilated about four times as much as the left when measured by bronchospirometry and about three times as much when measured by the radionuclide technique. The lung scans appeared to reflect adequately the functional abnormality in this infant with the Swyer-James syndrome.
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9/25. Postobstruction pulmonary edema.

    Several occurrences of pulmonary edema following relief of acute upper airway obstruction have been reported. The edema is associated with normal cardiac filling pressures and responds promptly to conservative therapy. Its origin may be attributed to the cardiopulmonary effects of the vigorous inspiratory effort that the spontaneously breathing patient generates to overcome respiratory obstruction (the Muller maneuver). A patient with postobstruction pulmonary edema complicated by hypovolemia and myocardial infarction is described. Prompt invasive hemodynamic monitoring in selected high-risk patients is suggested.
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10/25. Effects of alprazolam on respiratory drive, anxiety, and dyspnea in chronic airflow obstruction: a case study.

    alprazolam, an anxiolytic benzodiazepine, has a pharmacologic profile similar to that of diazepam. An intermediate half-life of 10-12 hours and a comparatively brief duration of activity relative to other anxiolytic benzodiazepines justified evaluation of a 0.5-mg test dose in an anxious patient with chronic obstructive lung disease. Subjective indexes, breath-by-breath respiratory drive response to hypercapnia, and blood alprazolam concentrations were determined before and after dosing. Subjective testing included a visual analog dyspnea scale, the state anxiety inventory, and subjective feelings visual analog scales (represented by alertness, calmness, and level of contentment). After dosing, the patient was better able to tolerate the rebreathing study technique. Statistically significant improvements in dyspnea (t - 10.20; p 0.0005), anxiety (t - 45.85; p less than 0.0001), alertness (t - 13.04; p less than 0.0001), cententedness (t - 12.27; p less than 0.0001), and calmness (t - 8.05; p less than 0.0001) occurred after alprazolam administration. drive to breathe, as determined by mouth occlusion pressure and minute ventilation, was not statistically different before and after dosing. No adverse effects were reported or observed. Further study is warranted.
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