30. Fellows’ Case Files: University of Mississippi Medical Center

We’re excited to be back with another episode in our Pulm PEEPs Fellows’ Case Files series! This is a particularly exciting case since it is our first episode where some intrepid fellows reached out to us with an interesting case they had encountered. If you have a great case, please let us know and you can follow in their footsteps! Pack your bags, and let’s head to Mississippi to learn about another great pulmonary and critical care case.

Meet our Guests

Meredith Sloan is a pulmonary and critical care fellow at the University of Mississippi. She completed her medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine, and her residency at the University of Mississippi.

Kevin Kinloch is a senior fellow at the University of Mississippi Medical Center where he also completed his internal medicine residency. He completed medical school at Meharry Medical College.

Jessie Harvey is an Associate professor of Medicine at the University of Mississippi and is the Pulmonary and Critical Care Program Director. She is also the Director of the MICU, and has been at MMC since medical school. She is a dedicated educator and leads the POCUS curriculum for IM residents and PCCM fellows

Patient Presentation

A 65-year-old man presented to the ED with worsening hemoptysis over the last several days after a recent lung biopsy. The patient is an active smoker with at least a 50-pack-year history, and he had been having a cough with small-volume hemoptysis. He ultimately had a chest CT that revealed a large LUL mass (10.3 x 6.4 cm). Given this suspicious mass, three days prior to his ED presentation, he was taken for bronchoscopy with BAL, transbronchial biopsies, endobronchial biopsy, EBUS guided TBNA of 11L, along with TBNA, brushing and radial EBUS TBNA of his left upper lobe mass.

Key Learning Points

**Spoilers Ahead** If you want to think through the case on your own we advise listening to the episode first before looking at these points.

Staging procedures for masses

  • Enough tissue so we can make a diagnosis and do molecular testing
  • Highest staging when getting your biopsy

POCUS for respiratory failure

  • Absence of lung slidings
    • Especially post procedure
  • The presence of a new pleural effusion after a procedure could indicate hemothorax
    • Hematocrit sign – an echogenic layering of material in an effusion
  • New B-lines, especially if prior there were only A-lines
    • Cardiogenic or non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema, alveolar hemorrhage, or infection
  • Diaphragmatic function
    • Excursion
    • Diaphragm thickness

References and Further Reading

1.Scorsetti M, Leo F, Trama A, D’Angelillo R, Serpico D, Maerelli M, Zucali P, Gatta G, Garassino MC. Thymoma and thymic carcinomas. Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology. 2016; 99:332-350.

2. Singh TD, Wijdicks EFM. Neuromuscular respiratory failure. Neurol Clin 2021; 39:333-353.

28. Fellows’ Case Files: Harvard – MGH & BIDMC

Featured

Welcome back to our Pulm PEEPs Fellows’ Case Files series! We are joined this week by a fellow and the program director from the Harvard combined PCCM fellowship at Massachusettes General Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Listen in for a great learning case and let us know on Twitter, if you have a great case to share!

Meet our Guests

Brian Rosenberg is a third year fellow at the Harvard MGH/BI program. He completed his undergraduate degree at Harvard, received his MD  from Yale where he also got a PhD in cell biology, and then did his internal medicine residency at Columbia University Medical Center in NYC.

Asha is an Assistant Professor Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, and is the Program Director of the Harvard MGH/BI combined fellowship. She is also the Director of the Pulmonary Consult Service at BIDMC, was a Rabkin Fellow in Medical Education and has received multiple leadership and teaching awards

22. Fellows’ Case Files: University of Maryland

This week we are absolutely thrilled to be launching a new series here at Pulm PEEPs. This is the first episode in our new Fellows’ Case Files series. The purpose of this series is to highlight the incredible clinical work that is done by pulmonary and critical care fellows everywhere, share fascinating cases from across the world, and assemble a diverse network of pulmonary and critical care educators. For each episode, we will visit a different institution, and be joined by a current fellow and the Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship Program Director. Our aim is to learn from them, amplify some incredible teaching points, and hear about their program. We hope you enjoy it, and if you have a case you want to bring on the series reach out to us on Twitter or at our email pulmpeeps@gmail.com.

Meet Our Guests

Fahid Alghanim is a senior pulmonary and critical care fellow at the University of Maryland. He attended medical school at the Lebanese American University Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine and completed his internal medicine residency at Johns Hopkins Bayview. He has published on topics ranging from lung transplants to patient navigators in the ICU.

Dr. Van Holden is an Associate Professor of  Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship Program director. Clinically, she specializes in interventional pulmonology. She is also an accomplished educator and is very active with the American Thoracic Society. She helped write the 2021 Critical Care Core Curriculum and helped coordinate the 2022 Resident Boot Camp.

Patient Presentation

A 26-year-old man presents to his primary care doctor with 1.5 months of intermittent dyspnea, cough, chest tightness, and fatigue. His dyspnea was initially exertional, and he noticed he could do less at the gym. However, in the past 3-4 weeks it has progressed to being even with mild movement. His brother was recently diagnosed and treated for acute bronchitis so he thought this could be similar. In the office, he is noted to be tachypneic with an oxygen saturation of 83% breathing ambient air. A chest X-ray is obtained and he is sent urgently to the emergency department.

Key Learning Points

**Spoilers Ahead** If you want to think through the case on your own we advise listening to the episode first before looking at the infographics below

  1. Crazy Paving is a radiological term describing ground glass opacities with superimposed interlobular septal thickening. The differential diagnosis is broad and includes infectious, neoplastic, and autoimmune processes. It is not limited to just Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP) but is suggestive in an appropriate clinical setting.
  2. PAP is a disorder of surfactant production or clearance and its etiology is divided into three major subgroups. Primary or autoimmune; Secondary such as from toxic inhalations, hematological disorders, or medications; and Congenital
  3. PAP is diagnosed by positive Periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) staining of lipo-proteinaceous material in the distal bronchioles and alveoli on lung biopsy. The diagnosis can be made with PAS-positive BAL staining, but this has limited sensitivity and lung biopsy is necessary for the diagnosis in up to 30 – 35% of cases.
  4. It is important not to anchor on a diagnosis when a patient presents to you for re-evaluation even if seen by a prior expert. This was pivotal in this case!
  5. Please don’t put anything in your lung. Any toxic inhalation exposure could result in significant damage to lung parenchyma and morbidity as a result.

References and Further Reading

  1. Borie R, Danel C, Debray MP, et al. Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis. Eur Respir Rev. 2011;20(120):98-107. doi:10.1183/09059180.00001311
  2. Carey B, Trapnell BC. The molecular basis of pulmonary alveolar proteinosis. Clin Immunol. 2010;135(2):223-235. doi:10.1016/j.clim.2010.02.017
  3. Inoue Y, Trapnell BC, Tazawa R, et al. Characteristics of a large cohort of patients with autoimmune pulmonary alveolar proteinosis in Japan. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2008;177(7):752-762. doi:10.1164/rccm.200708-1271OC
  4. Kavuru MS, Malur A, Marshall I, et al. An open-label trial of rituximab therapy in pulmonary alveolar proteinosis. Eur Respir J. 2011;38(6):1361-1367. doi:10.1183/09031936.00197710
  5. Michaud G, Reddy C, Ernst A. Whole-lung lavage for pulmonary alveolar proteinosis. Chest. 2009;136(6):1678-1681. doi:10.1378/chest.09-2295
  6. Smith BB, Torres NE, Hyder JA, et al. Whole-lung Lavage and Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis: Review of Clinical and Patient-centered Outcomes. J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2019;33(9):2453-2461. doi:10.1053/j.jvca.2019.03.047
  7. Tazawa R, Ueda T, Abe M, et al. Inhaled GM-CSF for Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis. New England Journal of Medicine. 2019;381(10):923-932. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1816216
  8. Tung AH, Grace J, O’Kane GM, Kumar K. Transbronchial lung biopsy (TBLB) in diagnosing pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP): forgotten role in Australia? Respirology Case Reports. 2015;3(4):145-147. doi:10.1002/rcr2.129
  9. Werner AK, Koumans EH, Chatham-Stephens K, et al. Hospitalizations and Deaths Associated with EVALI. New England Journal of Medicine. 2020;382(17):1589-1598. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1915314

7. Top Consults: Severe Asthma Exacerbation

We are excited to bring you another episode in our Pulm PEEPs Top Consults series! Kristina Montemayor and David Furfaro, are joined by Sandy Zaeh to discuss the assessment and management of a patient with a severe asthma exacerbation. We’ll follow a consult patient from the emergency department to the ICU, and cover everything from the physiology of pulsus paradoxus in asthma to how to manage the ventilator in status asthmaticus. Listen today and please send any questions our way on Twitter @pulmPEEPS.

Meet Our Guests

Sandy Zaeh is an Instructor of Medicine and Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine physician at Yale School of Medicine.

Key Learning Points

References and links for further reading

  1. Chung KF, Wenzel SE, Brozek JL, et al. International ERS/ATS guidelines on definition, evaluation and treatment of severe asthma. European Respiratory Journal. 2014;43(2):343-373. doi:10.1183/09031936.00202013
  2. Rodrigo GJ, Rodrigo C, Hall JB. Acute asthma in adults: a review. Chest. 2004;125(3):1081-1102. doi:10.1378/chest.125.3.1081
  3. Godwin HT, Fix ML, Baker O, Madsen T, Walls RM, Brown CA. Emergency Department Airway Management for Status Asthmaticus With Respiratory Failure. Respir Care. 2020;65(12):1904-1907. doi:10.4187/respcare.07723
  4. Althoff MD, Holguin F, Yang F, et al. Noninvasive Ventilation Use in Critically Ill Patients with Acute Asthma Exacerbations. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2020;202(11):1520-1530. doi:10.1164/rccm.201910-2021OC
  5. Brenner B, Corbridge T, Kazzi A. Intubation and Mechanical Ventilation of the Asthmatic Patient in Respiratory Failure. Proc Am Thorac Soc. 2009;6(4):371-379. doi:10.1513/pats.P09ST4
  6. Laher AE, Buchanan SK. Mechanically Ventilating the Severe Asthmatic. J Intensive Care Med. 2018;33(9):491-501. doi:10.1177/0885066617740079
  7. Leatherman J. Mechanical ventilation for severe asthma. Chest. 2015;147(6):1671-1680. doi:10.1378/chest.14-1733

6. PEEP in ARDS Roundtable

This week on Pulm PEEPs, Dave Furfaro and Kristina Montemayor are joined by experts in the field of critical care medicine and ARDS to discuss all things PEEP! Drs. Roy Brower, Sarina Sahetya, Todd Rice, and Elias Baedorf-Kassis discuss everything ranging from PEEP basics to their approach to optimizing PEEP in patients with ARDS.

Meet Our Guests

Roy Brower is a Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins where he served as the MICU director for over 33 years, and he has been one of the pioneers for lung-protective ventilation for patients with ARDS.

Elias Baedorf-Kassis is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. He is the Medical Director of Respiratory Care at BIDMC, and helps lead the VV-ECMO program.

Todd Rice is an Associate Profess of Medicine in the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine at Vanderbilt University and Vice President for Clinical Trial Innovation and Operations in the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.

Sarina Sahetya is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital and does research in the diagnosis and treatment of ARDS.


Key Learning Points

Driving Pressure figure from Amato et al. 2015. Stress index figure from Hess 2014.
  • The plateau pressure can be measured on the ventilator with an inspiratory hold maneuver
  • Extrinsic PEEP is applied by the ventiilator, while intrinsic PEEP, or auto-PEEP, occurs when there is incomplete emptying of the lungs due to inadequate time for exhalation. This often happens with obstructive lung disease. Intrinsic PEEP can be measured on the ventilator with an end-expiratory hold maneuver
  • We utilize PEEP in all intubated patients to minimize atelectasis. When patients are supine, the heart moves back 2 cm and the diaphragm raises by 2 cm, so often the left lower lobe of the lung is compressed and there is atelectasis there. This is often seen on CXR:

References, Image Sources, and Further Reading

  1. Higher versus Lower Positive End-Expiratory Pressures in Patients with the Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. New England Journal of Medicine. 2004;351(4):327-336. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa032193
  2. Amato MBP, Meade MO, Slutsky AS, et al. Driving Pressure and Survival in the Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. New England Journal of Medicine. 2015;372(8):747-755. doi:10.1056/NEJMsa1410639
  3. Writing Group for the Alveolar Recruitment for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Trial (ART) Investigators. Effect of Lung Recruitment and Titrated Positive End-Expiratory Pressure (PEEP) vs Low PEEP on Mortality in Patients With Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2017;318(14):1335-1345. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.14171
  4. Beitler JR, Sarge T, Banner-Goodspeed VM, et al. Effect of Titrating Positive End-Expiratory Pressure (PEEP) With an Esophageal Pressure-Guided Strategy vs an Empirical High PEEP-Fio2 Strategy on Death and Days Free From Mechanical Ventilation Among Patients With Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2019;321(9):846-857. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.0555
  5. LaFollette R, Hojnowski K, Norton J, DiRocco J, Carney D, Nieman G. Using pressure–volume curves to set proper PEEP in acute lung injury. Nursing in Critical Care. 2007;12(5):231-241. doi:10.1111/j.1478-5153.2007.00224.x
  6. Hess DR. Respiratory mechanics in mechanically ventilated patients. Respir Care. 2014;59(11):1773-1794. doi:10.4187/respcare.03410
  7. Sahetya SK, Hager DN, Stephens RS, Needham DM, Brower RG. PEEP Titration to Minimize Driving Pressure in Subjects With ARDS: A Prospective Physiological Study. Respir Care. 2020;65(5):583-589. doi:10.4187/respcare.07102
  8. Umbrello M, Chiumello D. Interpretation of the transpulmonary pressure in the critically ill patient. Ann Transl Med. 2018;6(19):383. doi:10.21037/atm.2018.05.31
  9. Kenny JES. ICU Physiology in 1000 Words: Driving Pressure & Stress Index. PulmCCM. Published February 13, 2016. Accessed January 1, 2022. https://pulmccm.org/review-articles/icu-physiology-in-1000-words-driving-pressure-stress-index/

Radiology Rounds – 12/28/21

Today we’re bringing you a special edition of Radiology Rounds complete with classic imaging, and some key critical care and ventilator physiology. This case is a perfect lead-in for next week’s Pulm PEEPs Roundtable on PEEP titration, so make sure to tune in!

How would you best describe the imaging findings?


There are bilateral, diffuse alveolar infiltrates noted on imaging with evidence of an air bronchogram on the CT image.

The patient develops worsening hypoxemia requiring mechanical intubation. The patient has multifocal pneumonia and requires intubation. ABG is performed and the calculated PaO2:FIO2 ratio is 150. How would you describe the severity of ARDS?


This patient has moderate ARDS based on a PaO2:FIO2 ratio that is between 100 and 200. The patient’s initial ventilator settings on volume control are:

Based on these parameters, we can also calculate the driving pressure. Driving pressure is calculated by using Pplat-PEEP. In this case, Pplat (30)-PEEP (10), would give a driving pressure of 20.