SHM Converge

Update in Hospital Medicine relays important findings



Prehydration before contrast-enhanced computed tomography in CKD

Previous studies have found that omitting prehydration was noninferior to volume expansion with isotonic saline, and this trial looked at omission versus sodium bicarbonate hydration.

Participants were 523 adults with stage 3 chronic kidney disease who were getting elective outpatient CT with contrast. They were randomized to either no prehydration or prehydration with 250 mL of 1.4% sodium bicarbonate an hour before CT.

Researchers found that postcontrast acute kidney injury was rare even in this high-risk patient population overall, and that withholding prehydration was noninferior to prehydration with sodium bicarbonate, Dr. Herzig said.

Gabapentin for alcohol use disorder in those with alcohol withdrawal symptoms

Dr. Breu noted that only about one in five patients with alcohol use disorder receive medications to help preserve abstinence or to reduce drinking, and many medications target cravings but not symptoms of withdrawal.

In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial at a single academic outpatient medical center in South Carolina, 90 patients were randomized to receive titrated gabapentin or placebo for 16 weeks.

Researchers found that, among those with abstinence of at least 2 days, gabapentin reduced the number of days of heavy drinking and the days of any drinking, especially in those with high symptoms of withdrawal.

“In patients with alcohol use disorder and high alcohol withdrawal symptoms, consider gabapentin to help reduce heavy drinking or maintain abstinence,” Dr. Breu said.

Hospitalist continuity of care and patient outcomes

In a retrospective study examining all medical admissions of Medicare patients with a 3- to 6-day length of stay, and in which all general medical care was provided by hospitalists, researchers examined the effects of continuity of care. Nearly 115,000 patient stays were included in the study, which covered 229 Texas hospitals.

The stays were grouped into quartiles of continuity of care, based on the number of hospitalists involved in a patient’s stay. Greater continuity was associated with lower 30-day mortality, with a linear relationship between the two. Researchers also found costs to be lower as continuity increased.

“Efforts by hospitals and hospitalist groups to promote working schedules with more continuity,” Dr. Herzig said, “could lead to improved postdischarge outcomes.”


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