Synopsis: A retrospective review was done of pharmacy prescription files at two tertiary care medical centers that did not have pharmacy-guided vancomycin programs. Patients were divided into cohorts based on their body mass index: underweight (<18.5 kg/sqm) normal weight (18.5-24.9 kg/sqm) overweight (25.0-29.9 kg/sqm) and obese (>29.9 kg/sqm). Each class was studied for rates of adequate vancomycin dosing which was defined as >10 mg/kg/dose. A total of 421 patients were included. There were no other dissimilar baseline characteristics. Total daily dose was similar for all groups with adequate initial dosing achieved in 100%, 99.0%, 93.9% and 27.7% for underweight, normal weight, overweight and obese patients, respectively.
Bottom line: Use weight-based dosing of vancomycin to limit the possibility of under-dosing in obese patients.
Citation: Hall RG, Payne KD, Bain AB, et al. Multicenter evaluation of vancomycin dosing: emphasis on obesity. Am J of Med. 2008;121:515-518.
What is the rate of adverse events with short-term antipsychotic therapy in elderly demented patients?
Study design: Population-based retrospective cohort study.
Setting: Community-dwelling cohort and nursing home cohort.
Synopsis: A cohort of patients from Ontario age 66 and older with the diagnosis of dementia and a prescription for an anti-psychotic drug between April 1, 1997, and March 31, 2004, were divided into two groups by where they lived (community or nursing home). Each cohort was further divided into three groups based on antipsychotic exposure of none, atypical, or conventional.
All serious adverse events (defined as extra-pyramidal symptoms (EPS), cerebrovascular events, and acute care hospital admission or death) were evaluated within 30 days of initiating therapy. In the community group, individuals who received conventional antipsychotic therapy were 3.8 times more likely to have an adverse event compared with the group taking no antipsychotics. The patients prescribed an atypical antipsychotic medicine were 3.2 times more likely to experience an adverse event. In the nursing home group, patients who received conventional and atypical antipsychotic therapy were 2.4 and 1.9 times more likely to have a serious adverse event, respectively.
Bottom line: Serious events are frequent following the short-term use of antipsychotic therapy in older adults with dementia. Serious adverse events were more common among those who received a prescription for conventional rather than atypical antipsychotic drugs.
Citation: Rochon PA, Normand SL, Gomes T, et al. Antipsychotic therapy and short-term serious events in older adults with dementia. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(10):1090-1096
What is the association between troponin levels and adverse events in hospitalized patients with acute decompensated heart failure?
Background: There were more than 1 million hospitalizations for heart failure in 2007, making it the most costly medical condition based on diagnosis and treatment. Evidence suggests an initial risk stratification process allows for earlier implementation of aggressive therapy, which can affect hospital utilization.
Study design: Retrospective analysis of Acute Decompensated Heart Failure National Registry (ADHERE).
Setting: Hospitalization records from 274 hospitals from October 2001 to January 2004.
Synopsis: Evaluation of the data from ADHERE for outcomes associated with elevated troponin levels in patients with acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF). Patients who had a creatinine level above 2.0 mg per deciliter were excluded.
Cardiac troponin I was measured in 61,379 patients and cardiac troponin T in 7880 patients. Overall, 4,240 patients (6.2%) had an elevated troponin level. Troponin positive patients had a higher rate of in-hospital mortality than troponin negative patients (8.0% vs. 2.7%, P<0.001). The adjusted odds ratio for death among patients with a positive troponin test was 2.55. Ischemic heart failure was present in 53% of the troponin positive patients and was not a useful predictor of troponin status or mortality.