May 13 – 19, 2013
In this section, we will highlight the some of the recent high-impact studies, updates, and analyses published in the past week.
Reminiscent of past SARS or H1N1 epidemics, a new rapidly progressing lower respiratory tract infection leading to ARDS and with high mortality was identified in eastern China near Shanghai in March 2013. Using samples obtained from three patients, a novel influenza (N7N9) virus was identified and sequenced to show reassortment of genes from multiple avian-origin viral strains, suggesting direct avian transmission.
In two similar studies, sofosuvir (a new nucleotide polymerase inhibitor) and ribavarin was studied for the treatment of chronic Hepatitis C infection. In the first study of patients with chronic HCV (genotype 2 or 3) infection not eligible for peginterferon, a twelve week course of sofosbuvir -ribavarin had a greater sustained virologic response compared to placebo (78% vs. 0%). In the second study, a head to head comparison of sofosuvir-ribavarin with peginterferon-ribavarin had similar rates of response (67%) however with fewer side effects in the sofosuvir-ribavarin arm. In both trials, there was a better response in patients with genotype 2 than genotype 3 HCVs.
Although previous studies have shown supplementation with vitamin C and E, beta carotene, and zinc decreases the progression of age related macular degeneration, this mlticenter RCT showed there was no benefit to adding either lutein, zeaxanthin, or omega-3 fatty acids to the regimen.
A retrospective analysis of Medicare claims data failed to show a difference in 1-year hospitalization rate (43.9% vs. 44.8%) and mortality (9.9% vs. 9.8%) between patients with single chamber vs. dual chamber ICDs placed for primary prevention. There was a statistically significant lower rate of complication with single chamber ICDs compared to dual chamber ICDs (3.5% vs. 4.7%).
By David Ouyang