Tag: Diagnostics

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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Rheumatism Mimic – Getting to know Chronic Chikungunya

Topics dealing with tropical medicine are difficult to tackle, as I am never quite sure where to begin. Do I talk about their epidemiology or the clinical presentation? I’ll never recognize one and even if I did, I could offer no therapy outside of “supportive management.” Chikungunya is one of these diseases. This is a

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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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Urine Dipstick, Urinary Tract Infections, and How It Should Be Used.

I have a love-hate relationship with the urinalysis. It is one of the cheapest and quickest way to get a good idea of what is going on in the kidney, from its less used specific gravity, to the more well known microscopic examination that may involve the presence of casts, it is a widely available

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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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Infective Endocarditis: A Journey Through Definitions

At any rate, at approximately one-quarter to twelve that night, I remember distinctly getting up from my chair and from the table, where my books lay, and taking off my suit coat. No sooner had I removed the left arm of my coat, than there was on the ventral aspect of my left wrist a

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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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