Category: Diagnostics

The Utility of the Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio

The complete blood count is one of the more commonly ordered test, along with the basic metabolic profile. The CBC gives you a ton of useful information when it comes to the etiology of anemia (not just from the hemoglobin/hematocrit, but also the mean corpuscular volume, red cell distribution width, etc), coagulation, and inflammation. The

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The Semi-Procalcitonin in Bacteremia

Trying to figure out if a febrile patient showing up to the ED is having a bacterial infection is a conundrum. The main concern is bacteremia, since it confers higher mortality depending on the type of bacteremia a patient has. Inflammatory markers such as CRP and the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio are relatively useful surrogates that may

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Straight from the Horse’s Lung: Rhodococcus Equi

Originally described as a pathogen in 1923, Corynebacterium equi was isolated from the lungs of ten foals (aka a young horse) who had pneumonia (1). Its name was later changed to rhodococcus (aka red coccus), and can be mistaken for mycobacterium spp due to its sometimes acid-fast appearance (2). It is known to infect horses,

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Lines on lines on lines: CLABSI, CRBSI, and Line Infections

Central lines are cool, for the most part. Except for when they’re infected. The pathophysiology behind these is explained in this diagram (1): Microorganisms gain access to the extraluminal or intraluminal surface of the device. Both skin and hub may be the important entry point of organisms, with the development of biofilm contributing to their

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Basics of Pulmonary Valley Fever

Coccidioides (from now on, called Cocci) is an endemic fungi that exists in two forms, yeast and mold, that is endemic to the southeastern United States (1). It is related to both Histoplasma and Blastomyces with two species known to infect humans. C. immitis and C. posadasii. Arthroconidia can be transported in soil or fomites,

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One PET, Two PET – Endocarditis and Positron Emission Tomography

PETs. We all love them. I have two of those, if the pictures in my “about me” page are any indication as well as the main pic of this post. This post will not cover our beloved (and sometimes only) friends. No, we will be talking about positron emission tomography, an imaging modality we usually

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Echo? Who, what, when, how? Role of echo modality in Staph aureus bacteremia.

I absolutely love this song. I tried to learn how to play it on guitar, but I think you may need 7 strings for it, at least when I checked back in the day. This week we are adding to last week’s topic and talking about when and what type of echo to get. There

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Query: A Journey from Ruminants to Heart Valves

Last post was all about dogs and their mouths. This time, is about cow placentas. At least to a certain extent. Coxiella burnetii is a gram negative organism that is known to cause a variety of diseases, however it is most commonly associated with culture-negative endocarditis. While it is generally a “wimpy” organism and not

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Candida Score – The Forgotten (Child of) Scoring System(s)

Disseminated candida infections kill. It shouldn’t be terribly surprising. In the ICU, ongoing fevers despite antibiotic therapy is usually taken as a sign of invasive candidiasis and is the impetus for antifungal therapy. Risk stratifying patients for candidal infections can be difficult, given the myriad of comorbid conditions that are associated with these infections. Despite

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