Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Marijuana for glaucoma

From a recent review:

Marijuana has been shown to lower intraocular pressure (IOP) but with limited duration of action and numerous adverse effects. Use of marijuana to lower IOP as a means of glaucoma treatment would require frequent use throughout the day, leading to significant adverse effects, possible progression toward Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD), and/or withdrawal symptoms. The treatment of glaucoma based on the cannabis plant or drugs based on the cannabinoid molecule should be considered carefully before being prescribed. Considerations should include the adverse physical and psychological adverse effects, including substance abuse. Currently, the deleterious effects of marijuana outweigh the benefits of its IOP-lowering capacity in most glaucoma patients.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Magnesium levels in hospitalized patients: hyper may be worse than hypo

From a recent huge Mayo Clinic database:

Patients and Methods

All admissions to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, from January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2013 (288,120 patients), were screened. Admission Mg from each unique patient and relevant clinical data were extracted from the institutional electronic database.


After excluding patients aged less than 18 years, those without Mg measurement, and readmission episodes, a total of 65,974 patients were studied. Magnesium levels of 2.1 mg/dL or higher were found in 20,777 patients (31.5%), and levels less than 1.7 mg/dL were noted in 13,320 (20.2%). Hypomagnesemia was common in patients with hematologic/oncological disorders, and hypermagnesemia was common in those with cardiovascular disease. The lowest hospital mortality, assessed by restricted cubic spline and percentage death, occurred in patients with Mg levels between 1.7 and 1.89 mg/dL. An Mg level of less than 1.7 mg/dL was independently associated with an increased risk of hospital mortality after adjusting for all variables except the admission diagnosis; risk for longer hospital stay and being discharged to a care facility were increased in the fully adjusted model. An elevated Mg level of 2.3 mg/dL or higher was a predictor for all adverse outcomes. The magnitude of Mg elevations in patients with levels of 2.3 mg/dL or higher (N=7908) was associated with worse hospital mortality in a dose-response manner. In patients with cardiovascular diseases, Mg levels of 1.5 to 1.69 mg/dL and 2.3 mg/dL or higher both independently predicted poor outcomes including hospital mortality.


Dysmagnesemia in hospitalized patients is common, with hypermagnesemia being most prevalent. Compared with hypomagnesemia, hypermagnesemia is a stronger predictor for poor outcomes. Magnesium supplementation for patients without Mg deficiency should be avoided in the absence of randomized controlled trials documenting a benefit.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Friday, February 05, 2016

Laboratory interference after lipid rescue

 Here's another report on this topic:


A 43-year-old female was admitted to the hospital after an unwitnessed ingestion of propranolol, tramadol, zolpidem, and alprazolam. She was intubated and treated with intravenous normal saline, insulin/glucose, and norepinephrine infusions due to hypotension. Two bolus doses and one maintenance dose of 20 % ILE were administered. Beginning approximately 2 h after ILE administration, laboratory assays were unable to be performed due to the presence of lipemia. The patient developed refractory hypotension and was transferred to a tertiary care center. Upon admission to the ICU, the patient received one additional bolus of 20 % ILE. Laboratory assays were again attempted but were unable to be adequately performed due to a pinkish-white discoloration of the patient's blood. Percutaneous femoral extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) was initiated, but laboratory interference noted with the arterial blood gas analyzer prevented the analysis of oxygenation. The patient's hemodynamic condition did not improve; she expired 31 h after initial admission.


In one previous report, centrifugation was effective in removing more than 90 % of glycerol-banked triglycerides, thus minimizing lipid interference with laboratory assays. We noted persistent laboratory interference for more than 20 h after ILE administration, despite ultracentrifugation of specimens.


Clinicians should be aware that ILE administration may cause significant and prolonged interference with laboratory assays, which may affect the monitoring of critically ill patients.

Background here.