Publications by authors named "Alain Bigin Younossian"

8 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Long-Term Non-invasive Ventilation: Do Patients Aged Over 75 Years Differ From Younger Adults?

Front Med (Lausanne) 2020 11;7:556218. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Division of Pulmonary Diseases, Geneva University Hospitals (HUG), Geneva, Switzerland.

Noninvasive ventilation (NIV) is accepted as standard of care for chronic hypercapnic respiratory failure (CHRF) and is being increasingly implemented in older subjects. However, little is known regarding the use of NIV on a long-term basis in the very old. The outcomes of this study were: 1/to report the proportion of patients ≥ 75 years old (elderly) among a large group of long-term NIV users and its trend since 2000; 2/to compare this population to a younger population (<75 years old) under long-term NIV in terms of diagnoses, comorbidities, anthropometric data, technical aspects, adherence to and efficiency of NIV. In a cross-sectional analysis of a multicenter cohort study on patients with CHRF under NIV, diagnoses, comorbidities, technical aspects, adherence to and efficiency of NIV were compared between patients ≥ 75 and <75 years old (chi-square or Welch Student tests). Of a total of 489 patients under NIV, 151 patients (31%) were ≥ 75 years of age. Comorbidities such as systemic hypertension (86 vs. 60%, < 0.001), chronic heart failure (30 vs. 18%, = 0.005), and pulmonary hypertension (25 vs. 14%, = 0.005) were more frequent in older subjects. In the older group, there was a trend for a higher prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (46 vs. 36%, = 0.151) and a lower prevalence of neuromuscular diseases (NMD) (19 vs. 11%, = 0.151), although not significant. Adherence to and efficacy of NIV were similar in both groups (daily use of ventilator: 437 vs. 419 min, = 0.76; PaCO: 5.8 vs. 5.9 kPa, = 0.968). Unintentional leaks were slightly higher in the older group (1.8 vs. 0.6 L/min, = 0.018). In this cross-sectional study, one third of the population under NIV was ≥ 75 years old. Markers of efficacy of NIV, and adherence to treatment were similar when compared to younger subjects, confirming the feasibility of long-term NIV in the very old. Health-related quality of life was not assessed in this study and further research is needed to address this issue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2020.556218DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7686650PMC
November 2020

Unenhanced computed tomography (CT) utility for triage at the emergency department during COVID-19 pandemic.

Am J Emerg Med 2021 Aug 28;46:260-265. Epub 2020 Jul 28.

Department of Internal Medicine, La Tour Hospital and University of Geneva, CH-1217 Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Background: Unenhanced chest computed tomography (CT) can assist in the diagnosis and classification of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), complementing to the reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests; the performance of which has yet to be validated in emergency department (ED) setting. The study sought to evaluate the diagnostic performance of chest CT in the diagnosis and management of COVID-19 in ED.

Methods: This retrospective single-center study included 155 patients in ED who underwent both RT-PCR and chest CT for suspected COVID-19 from March 1st to April 1st, 2020. The clinical information, CT images and laboratory reports were reviewed and the performance of CT was assessed, using the RT-PCR as standard reference. Moreover, an adjudication committee retrospectively rated the probability of COVID-19 before and after the CT calculating the net reclassification improvement (NRI). Their final diagnosis was considered as reference. The proportion of patients with negative RT-PCR test that was directed to the referent hospital based on positive CT findings was also assessed.

Results: Among 155 patients, 42% had positive RT-PCR results, and 46% had positive CT findings. Chest CT showed a sensitivity of 84.6%, a specificity of 80.0% and a diagnostic accuracy of 81.9% in suggesting COVID-19 with RT-PCR as reference. Concurrently, corresponding values of 89.4%, 84.3% and 86.5% were retrieved with the adjudication committee diagnosis as reference. For the subgroup of patients with age > 65, specificity and sensitivity were 50% and 80.8%, respectively. In patients with negative RT-PCR results, 20% (18/90) had positive chest CT finding and 22% (4/18) of those were eventually considered as COVID-19 positive according to the adjudication committee. After CT, the estimated probability of COVID-19 changed in 10/104 (11%) patients with available data: 4 (4%) were downgraded, 6 (6%) upgraded. The NRI was 1.92% (NRI event -2.08% + NRI non-event 5.36%). No patient with negative RT-PCR but positive CT was eventually directed to hospital.

Conclusion: Chest CT showed promising sensitivity for diagnosing COVID-19 across all patients' subgroups. However, CT did not modify the estimated probability of COVID-19 infection in a substantial proportion of patients and its utility as an emergency department triage tool warrants further analyses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2020.07.058DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7385067PMC
August 2021

Adaptive Servo-Ventilation: A Comprehensive Descriptive Study in the Geneva Lake Area.

Front Med (Lausanne) 2020 3;7:105. Epub 2020 Apr 3.

Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.

Use of adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV) has been questioned in patients with central sleep apnea (CSA) and chronic heart failure (CHF). This study aims to detail the present use of ASV in clinical practice. Descriptive, cross-sectional, multicentric study of patients undergoing long term (≥3 months) ASV in the Cantons of Geneva or Vaud (1,288,378 inhabitants) followed by public or private hospitals, private practitioners and/or home care providers. Patients included (458) were mostly male (392; 85.6%), overweight [BMI (median, IQR): 29 kg/m (26; 33)], comorbid, with a median age of 71 years (59-77); 84% had been treated by CPAP before starting ASV. Indications for ASV were: emergent sleep apnea (ESA; 337; 73.6%), central sleep apnea (CSA; 108; 23.6%), obstructive sleep apnea (7; 1.5%), and overlap syndrome (6; 1.3%). Origin of CSA was cardiac ( = 30), neurological ( = 26), idiopathic ( = 28), or drug-related ( = 22). Among CSA cases, 60 (56%) patients had an echocardiography within the preceding 12 months; median left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was 62.5% (54-65); 11 (18%) had a LVEF ≤45%. Average daily use of ASV was [mean (SD)] 368 (140) min; 13% used their device <3:30 h. Based on ventilator software, apnea-hypopnea index was normalized in 94% of subjects with data available (94% of 428). Use of ASV has evolved from its original indication (CSA in CHF) to a heterogeneous predominantly male, aged, comorbid, and overweight population with mainly ESA or CSA. CSA in CHF represented only 6.5% of this population. Compliance and correction of respiratory events were satisfactory. www.ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier: NCT04054570.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2020.00105DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7145945PMC
April 2020

[Oxygen toxicity in acute care settings].

Rev Med Suisse 2019 Jan;15(635):202-205

Service de pneumologie, soins intensifs et Unité cardio-pulmonaire, Hôpital de la Tour, Avenue J.-D. Maillard 3, 1217 Meyrin.

Oxygen therapy is widespread in acute care settings as adequate oxygen supplementation is essential in case of hypoxemia. Excessive oxygen supplementation has several unrecognized deleterious effects. This article reviews the deleterious effects of hyperoxemia and sums up the actual recommendations for safe oxygen supplementation.
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January 2019

[Long-term non-invasive ventilation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients].

Rev Med Suisse 2018 Jan;14(592):283-288

Physiothérapie cardio-respiratoire, Hôpital de La Tour, Avenue J.-D.-Maillard 3, 1217 Meyrin GE.

Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) is recognized as first line therapy in acute hypercapnic respiratory failure and chronic alveolar hypoventilation caused by several diseases (restrictive thoracic disorders, neuromuscular disease and obesity-hypoventilation syndrome). In Switzerland and other European countries, long-term NIV has also been applied in hypercapnic patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, only recently has conclusive evidence showing benefits of long-term NIV become available. Long-term NIV in COPD has now shown its efficacy in many studies. However, despite these findings, indications, ventilatory settings and monitoring remain poorly known and topic of debate.
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January 2018

[Bone tuberculosis: when consider this diagnosis?].

Rev Med Suisse 2016 Feb;12(504):262-5

The most common presentation of bone tuberculosis (TB) is called spondylodiscitis, or "Pott's disease", which is a difficult diagnosis due to its low prevalence in Switzerland. It should be considered in patients with persistent back pain, who are at high risk, such as migrant population and immunocompromised patients. Diagnosis is based on imaging and the detection of M. tuberculosis in biopsy of affected vertebra orparaspinal abscess, or even if active tuberculosis is proven in any other site. It's essential to initiate appropriate treatment as quickly as possible in order to avoid neurological complications and spinal deformity and to identify cases that will require a surgical therapy.
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February 2016

[Diagnosis, management and treatment of chylothorax].

Rev Med Suisse 2016 Feb;12(504):245-9

Chylothorax is characterized by a milky pleural effusion that results from the injury to the thoracic duct, causing leakage of chyle into the pleural space. Its diagnosis relies primarily, on the determination of triglycerides and/or the identification of chylomicrons in the pleural fluid. The most common causes are traumatic, mainly after surgery. Among non-traumatic causes, tumors are the most frequent (like lymphomas). Conservative treatment is based on pleural drainage with a low fat diet and appropriate etiological approach. In case of failure, occlusion of the thoracic lymph duct should be considered, either by a surgical approach or interventional radiology.
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February 2016

[Postoperative pulmonary complications: how to anticipate and prevent the risk?].

Rev Med Suisse 2011 Nov;7(317):2214, 2216-9

Service de Pneumologie, Hôpital de la Tour, Meyrin.

Although less studied than cardiac complications, postoperative pulmonary complications are frequent and serious after major surgery. A close team working between primary care physician, surgeon, anesthesiologist, lung and heart physicians is essential to prevent and reduce postoperative pulmonary complications. Preoperative evaluation focused on clinical data and choice of surgical and anaesthetic adapted techniques are the key elements for a better control of these risks. Postoperative lung expansion techniques can minimize rate and severity of respiratory complications.
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November 2011
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