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Signa Vitae

Journal of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine

Serum Irisin Levels in Patients with Acute Atrial Fibrillation


Objective: The purpose of this research was to investigate whether changes in serum irisin levels can represent a marker of altered energy requirements in patients with acute atrial fibrillation (AF) undergoing cardioversion (CV).

Methods: The research was planned as a randomized, prospective case-control study. Patients presenting to the emergency medicine and cardiology departments of a university hospital due to acute AF were included in the study. Irisin levels were measured from serum specimens collected 24 and 72 hours (h) following restoration of sinus rhythm with CV in patients in AF rhythm. The values obtained were then compared using statistical analysis.

Results: Thirty-one patients undergoing CV due to acute AF were enrolled. Mean irisin levels were studied from serum specimens collected 24 and 72 h following restoration of sinus rhythm with CV, and were then compared. No statistically significant difference was determined at comparison of patients’ basal to 24 h, basal to 72 h, and 24 to 72 h mean irisin values (p0.734, p0.958, and p0.643, respectively). Negative correlation was determined between basal serum irisin levels and LDL (r= -0.519, p= 0.002), but no significant correlation was observed with epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) thickness.

Conclusion: We determined no change in serum irisin levels studied 24 h and 72 h following return of normal sinus rhythm after CV from basal serum irisin levels in patients with acute AF. No correlation also was determined between serum irisin levels and EAT thickness.

Key words: Atrial fibrillation, Irisin, Epicardial adipose tissue, Cardioversion

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Vasoactive-inotropic score as a predictor of in-hospital mortality in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest


Background: The Vasoactive-Inotropic Score (VIS) is an objective clinical tool used to quantify the need for cardiovascular support in children and adolescents after surgery and to predict prognosis of pediatric septic shock. Considering the post-cardiac arrest syndrome (PCAS) is a sepsis-like syndrome, we aimed to investigate the correlation between VIS and in-hospital mortality in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients who achieved a sustained return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU).

Methods: A retrospective chart review of 504 OHCA patients who were admitted to the emergency room with OHCA from Jan 2015 to Dec 2016 was done. VIS was calculated with the recorded administration rate of the drugs on electronic medical record at the same time during the first 24 hours in ICU. The highest value of VIS in 24 hours (24hr-peak VIS) was used for investigating the correlation between VIS and in-hospital mortality.

Results: Among 504 OHCA patients, 166 patients were admitted to the intensive care unit and 116 patients died during hospital stay. The probability of in-hospital mortality was significantly higher when 24hr-peak VIS was higher than 33.3 [Odds ratio (OR) = 3.18, 95% CI = 1.22 – 8.29, p value = 0.018].

Conclusion: 24hr-Peak VIS could be a good scoring system for predicting in-hospital mortality in OHCA patients who admitted to ICU. The AUC was 0.762 (95% CI = 0.690 to 0.825) and the optimal cut-off values were 33.3 (sensitivity 0.764, specificity 0.610).

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Atypical Cerebral Infarction in a Patient Suspected Ingestion of Synthetic Cannabinoids


Background: Synthetic cannabinoids are recreational street drugs with many known adverse effects.

Case presentation: Here we present the case of an atypical cerebral infarction in a patient with a suspected ingestion of synthetic cannabinoids.

Conclusion: Although synthetic cannabinoids use is not conventionally associated with stroke, some case reports describe cerebral infarction and myocardial infarction with significant synthetic cannabinoids intake. Emergency physicians should know the association of synthetic cannabinoids with seizures, myocardial infarction, and now possibly ischemic stroke.

Key words: stroke, cannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoids, case report

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Misleading presentation of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm and the role of point-of-care ultrasound for diagnosis


If not recognized and treated early enough, the rupture of abdominal aortic aneurysm (rAAA) embodies a devastating medical emergency. It is associated with high morbidity and mortality which can reach up to 100 % in untreated individuals. Patients are usually hypotensive, shocked, complain of pain in the abdomen or back, and can have a palpable pulsatile abdominal mass. rAAA can be misdiagnosed due to patient’s comorbidities, site of rupture, or unusual presentations. Unusual clinical presentations include transient lower limb paralysis, right hypochondrial pain, groin pain, testicular pain, iliofemoral venous thrombosis, and others. When ruptured abdominal aneurysm is suspected an emergency ultrasound should be performed. In this article we are going to present a patient with unusual presentation of ruptured abdominal aneurysm and the importance of point-of-care ultrasound in similar cases.

Key words: abdominal aortic aneurysm, rupture, point-of-care ultrasound

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