Topic Review
Serotonin
Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) plays two important roles in humans—one central and the other peripheral—depending on the location of the 5-HT pools of on either side of the blood-brain barrier. In the central nervous system it acts as a neurotransmitter, controlling such brain functions as autonomic neural activity, stress response, body temperature, sleep, mood and appetite. This role is very important in intensive care, as in critically ill patients multiple serotoninergic agents like opioids, antiemetics and antidepressants are frequently used. High serotonin levels lead to altered mental status, deliria, rigidity and myoclonus, together recognized as serotonin syndrome. In its role as a peripheral hormone, serotonin is unique in controlling the functions of several organs. In the gastrointestinal tract it is important for regulating motor and secretory functions. Apart from intestinal motility, energy metabolism is regulated by both central and peripheral serotonin signaling. It also has fundamental effects on hemostasis, vascular tone, heart rate, respiratory drive, cell growth and immunity. Serotonin regulates almost all immune cells in response to inflammation, following the activation of platelets. 
  • 1420
  • 18 May 2021
Topic Review
Cannabis Sativa Revisited
Critically ill patients with sepsis require a multidisciplinary approach, as this situation implies multiorgan distress, with most of the bodily biochemical and cellular systems being affected by the condition. Moreover, sepsis is characterized by a multitude of biochemical interactions and by dynamic changes of the immune system. At the moment, there is a gap in our understanding of the cellular, genetic, and molecular mechanisms involved in sepsis. One of the systems intensely studied in recent years is the endocannabinoid signaling pathway, as light was shed over a series of important interactions of cannabinoid receptors with biochemical pathways, specifically for sepsis. Furthermore, a series of important implications on inflammation and the immune system that are induced by the activity of cannabinoid receptors stimulated by the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) have been noticed. One of the most important is their ability to reduce the biosynthesis of pro-inflammatory mediators and the modulation of immune mechanisms. Different studies have reported that cannabinoids can reduce oxidative stress at mitochondrial and cellular levels. In detail, the entry shows the important mechanisms modulated by the endocannabinoid signaling pathway, as well as of the molecular and cellular links it has with sepsis. At the same time, the possible implications of cannabinoids in the most important biological pathways involved in sepsis, such as inflammation, redox activity, immune system, and epigenetic expression will be presented.
  • 390
  • 04 Jul 2022
Topic Review
Free Flaps in Burn Care
Microsurgical free flap reconstruction in acute burn care offers the option of reconstructing even challenging defects in a single stage procedure. Due to altered rheological and hemodynamic conditions in severely burned patients, it bears the risk of a higher complication rate compared to microsurgical reconstruction in other patients. To avoid failure, appropriate indications for free flap reconstruction should be reviewed thoroughly. Several aspects concerning timing of the procedure, individual flap choice, selection and preparation of the recipient vessels, and perioperative measures must be considered.
  • 260
  • 28 Jul 2021
Topic Review
Prone Positioning and COVID-19-Related Acute Respiratory Distress
The prone position is a non-invasive technique resulting from the mobilization of the patient, where the person is lying horizontally face down. This technique has been used since the 1970s, but it has gained great relevance in the last year owing to the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of invasive mechanical ventilation.
  • 220
  • 15 Nov 2021
Topic Review
Antiviral Drugs against COVID-19
Several FDA-approved available antiviral drugs, alone or in combination, have been screened clinically for their extended use since the early phase of the current pandemic to find a safe and effective treatment option against COVID-19, and many clinical trials of these antiviral drugs are still ongoing. However, an in-depth understanding is required from current clinical literature reports to execute integrated approaches between computational and experimental methods to guarantee high success rates of repositioned drugs. Moreover, multiple challenges associated with repurposed drugs have been identified, including dose adjustments, route of administration, acute/chronic toxicity, appropriate delivery systems, etc..
  • 168
  • 27 Sep 2021
Topic Review
Microfluidics
Microfluidics is the advanced microtechnology of fluid manipulation in channels with at least one dimension in the range of 1–100 microns. Microfluidic technology offers a growing number of tools for manipulating small volumes of fluid to control chemical, biological, and physical processes relevant to separation, analysis, and detection.
  • 143
  • 21 Jun 2021
Topic Review
Iron Deficiency and Anemia Diagnostics
Anemia, iron deficiency and other hematinic deficiencies are a major cause of perioperative transfusion needs and are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Anemia can be caused either by decreased production of hemoglobin or red blood cells or by increased consumption and blood loss. Decreased production can involve anything from erythropoietin or vitamin B12 insufficiency to absolute or functional lack of iron. 
  • 127
  • 14 Oct 2021
Topic Review
Extracorporeal Cytokine Removal
Cytokine removal can attenuate dysregulated immune response caused vasoplegia, leading to quicker hemodynamic stabilization and shock reversal. The most frequently used criteria to define shock reversal include normalization of serum lactate (<2.2 mmol/L) coupled with a significant (≥90%) reduction in norepinephrine dose requirements. The current paper has summarized the available data, which indicate the important contribution of early hemoadsorption in achieving rapid hemodynamic stabilization in patients with refractory vasoplegic shock.
  • 127
  • 07 Jul 2021
Topic Review
Blood Stream Infections
Blood Stream Infections (BSIs) are defined by positive blood culture or cultures (with an isolate of the same species grown in at least one blood culture bottle) in a patient with systemic signs of infection (i.e., a patient who has evidence of one or more of the symptoms or signs, which are fever (body temperature > 38 °C), hypothermia (body temperature < 36 °C), chills, hypotension, oliguria, or high lactate levels).
  • 124
  • 23 Nov 2021
Topic Review
ML Application in ICU (MIMIC_Database)
Modern Intensive Care Units (ICUs) provide continuous monitoring of critically ill patients susceptible to many complications affecting morbidity and mortality. ICU settings require a high staff-to-patient ratio and generates a sheer volume of data. For clinicians, the real-time interpretation of data and decision-making is a challenging task. Machine Learning (ML) techniques in ICUs are making headway in the early detection of high-risk events due to increased processing power and freely available datasets such as the Medical Information Mart for Intensive Care (MIMIC). We conducted a systematic literature review to evaluate the effectiveness of applying ML in the ICU settings using the MIMIC dataset. A total of 322 articles were reviewed and a quantitative descriptive analysis was performed on 61 qualified articles that applied ML techniques in ICU settings using MIMIC data. We assembled the qualified articles to provide insights into the areas of application, clinical variables used, and treatment outcomes that can pave the way for further adoption of this promising technology and possible use in routine clinical decision-making.
  • 123
  • 22 Mar 2021
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