Publications by authors named "A Kalkanis"

21 Publications

Early lung ultrasound assessment for the prognosis of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 pneumonia. A pilot study.

Respir Med Res 2021 Jun 4;80:100832. Epub 2021 Jun 4.

Department of Respiratory Diseases, University Hospitals KU Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.

Objective: SARS CoV-2 is an epidemic viral infection that can cause mild to severe lung involvement. Newly apprehended knowledge on thoracic imaging abnormalities and the growing clinical experience on the evolution of this disease make the radiographic follow-up of hospitalized patients relevant. The value of consecutive bedside lung ultrasonography in the follow-up of hospitalized patients with SARS CoV-2 pneumonia and its correlation with other clinical and laboratory markers needs to be evaluated.

Methods: We assessed 39 patients [age: 64 y(60.1-68.7)] with confirmed SARS CoV-2 pneumonia. A total of 24 patients were hospitalized until the follow-up test, 9 were discharged early and 6 required a transfer to critical care unit. Two ultrasound scans of the lung were performed on day 1 and 4 of patients' hospitalization. Primary endpoint was the magnitude of association between a global lung ultrasound score (LUS) and clinical and laboratory markers. Secondary endpoint was the association between the evolution of LUS with the corresponded changes in clinical and laboratory outcomes during hospitalization period.

Results: LUS score on admission was higher among the deteriorating patients and significantly (P=0.038-0.0001) correlated (Spearman's rho) with the levels of C-reactive protein (0.58), lymphocytes (-0.33), SpO (-0.48) and oxygen supplementation (0.48) upon admission. The increase in LUS score between the two scans was significantly correlated (0.544, P=0.006) with longer hospital stay.

Conclusion: Lung ultrasound assessment can be a useful as an imaging modality for SARS CoV-2 patients. Larger studies are needed to further investigate the predictive role of LUS in the duration and the outcome of the hospitalization of these patients.
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June 2021

Comorbidity clusters in patients with moderate-to-severe OSA.

Sleep Breath 2021 May 3. Epub 2021 May 3.

Department of Pulmonology, University Hospitals Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000, Leuven, Belgium.

Purpose: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a prevalent and multifaceted disease. To date, the presence and severity of objectively identified comorbidities and their association with specific OSA phenotypes, CPAP adherence, and survival remain to be elucidated. The aim of this study is to cluster patients with OSA based on 10 clinically important objectively identified comorbidities, and to characterize the comorbidity clusters in terms of clinical and polysomnographic characteristics, CPAP adherence, and survival.

Study Design And Methods: Seven hundred ten consecutive patients starting CPAP for moderate-to-severe OSA were included. Comorbidities were based on generally accepted cutoffs identified in the peer-reviewed literature. Self-organizing maps were used to order patients based on presence and severity of their comorbidities and to generate clusters.

Results: The majority of patients were men (80%). They were generally middle-aged (52 years) and obese (BMI: 31.5 kg/m). Mean apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) was 41 ± 20 per h of sleep. More than 94% of the patients had one or more comorbidities with arterial hypertension, dyslipidemia, and obesity being the most prevalent. Nine comorbidity clusters were identified. The clinical relevance of these comorbidity clusters was highlighted by the difference in symptoms, PSG parameters, and cardiovascular risk. Also, differences in CPAP adherence, improvements in ESS, and long-term survival were present between the clusters.

Conclusion: Comorbidity prevalence in patients with OSA is high, and different comorbidity clusters, demonstrating differences in cardiovascular risk, CPAP adherence, and survival, can be identified. These results further substantiate the need for a comprehensive assessment of patients with OSA beyond the AHI.
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May 2021

Treating Central Sleep Apnea with One Modification.

Ann Am Thorac Soc 2020 11;17(11):1480-1483

Department of Pulmonology and Leuven University Centre for Sleep and Wake Disorders, University Hospitals, Leuven, Belgium.

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November 2020

The Use of a Novel Quantitative Marker of Echogenicity of Pleural Fluid in Parapneumonic Pleural Effusions.

Can Respir J 2020 5;2020:1283590. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

Respiratory Medicine Department, University of Thessaly, School of Medicine, Larissa, Greece.

Background: Thoracic ultrasound is an essential tool in the daily clinical care of pleural effusions and especially parapneumonic pleural effusions (PPEs), in terms of diagnosis, management, and follow-up. Hypoechogenicity index (HI) is a quantitative marker of pleural fluid echogenicity. We aimed to examine associations of HI with pleural inflammation in patients with PPE.

Methods: All patients included underwent a thoracic ultrasound with HI determination at the first day of their admission for a PPE. Thoracentesis was performed in all patients. Demographics, laboratory measurements, and clinical data were collected prospectively and recorded in all subjects.

Results: Twenty-four patients with PPE were included in the study. HI was statistically significantly correlated with intensity of inflammation as suggested by pleural fluid LDH ( < 0.001,  = -0.831), pleural fluid glucose (=0.022,  = 0.474), and pleural fluid pH ( < 0.001,  = 0.811). HI was correlated with ADA levels (=0.005,  = -0.552). We observed a statistically significant correlation of HI with pleural fluid total cell number ( < 0.001,  = -0.657) and polymorphonuclears percentage (=0.02,  = -0.590), as well as days to afebrile (=0.046,  = -0.411), duration of chest tube placement ( < 0.001,  = -0.806), and days of hospitalization (=0.013,  = -0.501). . HI presents a fast, easily applicable, objective, and quantitative marker of pleural inflammation that reliably reflects the intensity of pleural inflammation and could potentially guide therapeutic management of PPE.
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October 2020

Sarcoidosis-Like Reactions Induced by Checkpoint Inhibitors.

J Thorac Oncol 2018 08 12;13(8):1076-1082. Epub 2018 May 12.

Third Department of Medicine, Athens Medical School, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are a newly developed component of cancer care that expands the treatment possibilities for patients. Their use has been associated with several immune-related adverse events, including ICI-induced sarcoidosis-like reactions. This article reviews the data concerning ICI-induced sarcoidosis-like reactions currently available in the medical literature. These reactions have been reported in three classes of ICIs: anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte associated protein 4 antibodies, programmed death 1 inhibitors and programmed death ligand 1 inhibitors. These reactions are indistinguishable from sarcoidosis with a similar histology, pattern of organ involvement, and pattern of clinical manifestations. The most common locations to observe granulomatous inflammation from these reactions is in intrathoracic locations (the lung and/or mediastinal lymph nodes) and the skin. The median time between initiation of an ICI and the development of a sarcoidosis-like reaction averaged 14 weeks. Clinicians have opted to use corticosteroids and/or discontinue the ICI, or take no action when these reactions have developed. Regardless of whether the clinician performed an intervention or not, these reactions have uniformly improved or resolved after ICI-treatment, which provides additional temporal evidence supporting the presence of a sarcoidosis-like reaction as opposed to sarcoidosis. There is even evidence that the development of an ICI-induced sarcoidosis-like reaction suggests that the ICI is effective as an anti-tumor agent and should be continued. As is the case for sarcoidosis, sarcoidosis-like reactions do not mandate antisarcoidosis therapy, especially if the condition is asymptomatic. When treatment of sarcoidosis-like reaction is required, it may be prudent to continue ICI therapy and add antisarcoidosis therapy because standard antisarcoidosis regimens seem to be effective. Further research into the mechanisms involved in the development of ICI-induced sarcoidosis-like reactions may give insights into the immunopathogenesis of sarcoidosis.
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August 2018