Brief Updates: COVID-19/Hydroxychloroquine, GALD, Anorexia Nervosa, and Esophaeal-gastric Dissociation Outcomes

Recent reports indicate that hydroxychloroquine is not likely effective for COVID-19.  Submitted manuscript: Outcomes of hydroxychloroquine usage in United States veterans hospitalized with Covid-19 Commentary from Politco: More deaths, no benefit from malaria drug in VA virus study

An excerpt: A malaria drug widely touted by President Donald Trump for treating the new coronavirus showed no benefit in a large analysis of its use in U.S. veterans hospitals….The study was posted on an online site for researchers and has been submitted to the New England Journal of Medicine, but has not been reviewed by other scientists….About 28% who were given hydroxychloroquine plus usual care died, versus 11% of those getting routine care alone. About 22% of those getting the drug plus azithromycin died too, but the difference between that group and usual care was not considered large enough to rule out other factors that could have affected survival…The NIH and others have more rigorous tests underway.

HS Fischer et al. JPGN 2020; 70: 444-9. This study examined outcomes of 12 patients with gestational alloimmune liver disease over an 11 year period. Key findings:

  • Median age at diagnosis of neonatal acute liver failure (NALF): 2 days
  • All 12 received exchange transfusion ET).  Common signs: hypoglycemia, hyperferritinemia, cholestasis, and coagulopathy. Direct bilirubin typically increased after ET.
  • Outcomes: survival without transplantation occurred in 10 of 12.  Two patients died including one after liver transplantation.
  • “Most cases of NALF are due to GALD and should be timely treated with ET and IVIG.”  Current testing is lacking with regard to sensitivity and specificity, “early ET [and IVIG] before reaching a definitive diagnosis was associated with favorable outcomes.”

Related blog posts:

JE Mitchell, CB Peterson. Anorexia Nervosa (good review). NEJM 2020; 382: 1343-51.

Key points: 

  • Anorexia nervosa is a severe psychiatric disorder
  • Indications for hospitalization include profound hypotension or dehydration, severe electrolyte abnormalities, arrhythmias or severe bradycardia, suicide risk or BMI ≤15

Related blog posts:

S Battaglia et al. JPGN 2020; 70: 457-61. This retrospective study examined outcomes in 30 patients with severe neurologic impairment who underwent esophageal-gastric dissociation (E-GD) between 2000-18 and had a median follow-up of 3.5 years. E-GD was completed at a median age of 6.5 years. “Primary” E-GD was done in 23 and “Rescue” (after fundoplication) was done in 7 patients.

  • Hospitalizations and episodes of chest infections significantly decreased; weight improved
  • Vomiting and reflux resolved in all patients
  • 6 (20%) experienced early complications including 3 who needed surgery (1 obstruction, 1 volvulus, and 1 pyloric obstruction); 3 (10%) had late complications (adhesions/obstruction in 1, incisional hernia in 1, large para-esophageal hernia in 1)
  • There were no surgery-related deaths

The authors, in their discussion, compare primary E-GD with fundoplication.  Many of the referenced studies indicate that E-GD may have improved outcomes in the population of children with severe neurologic impairment, but also with a higher frequency of complications.  They conclude that E-GD “is a valid alternative to fundoplication…but is is just as effective and feasible when undertaken as a ‘Rescue’ procedure following failed surgical antireflux treatment.”

My take: The frequency of fundoplication operations have dropped markedly with increasing use of gastrojejunal tube placement.  In my view, I would usually recommend E-GD for ‘rescue’ after fundoplication failure.

A recent yard sign from my wife for neighborhood walkers during the pandemic


1 thought on “Brief Updates: COVID-19/Hydroxychloroquine, GALD, Anorexia Nervosa, and Esophaeal-gastric Dissociation Outcomes

  1. Pingback: “Quietly” Testing Famotidine for COVID-19 | gutsandgrowth

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