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Is there a doctor on the plane?

9th January 2019, Dr John Goswell

According to a recent article in JAMA, in flight emergencies occur in about 1:600 flights. This comforting statistic should allow doctors to relax and enjoy their holidays. Not so for me. I have answered the call “Is there a doctor on the plane” twice now, even though I am not a “frequent flier”. …

Investigating ischaemic stroke in a young patient

5th January, 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

The incidence of ischaemic strokes in young adults is on the increase. Worldwide,  it has risen up to 40% over the past decades.  This contrasts with the decreasing incidence of stroke in older adults. It’s never a good time to have a stroke whatever the age of onset is but the socioeconomic costs are much higher in the younger.…

Cholecystokinin (CCK) – more than just a gallbladder hormone

4th January 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

When you treat a medical condition with an agent with known intended effects, it is not uncommon that we come across some of the unintended effects of the agent. Glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor antagonists (GLP1-RAs) are very useful agents which not only improve glucose control via its known effects on insulin and glucagon but it is associated with modest weight loss.…

Management of Huntington’s Disease – where are we at?

4th January 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

Huntington Disease (HD) was first described in 1872 by George Huntington, MD, in his paper “On Chorea”. HD is an autosomal-dominant, neurodegenerative disorder that is caused by expansion of a cytosine-adenine-guanine (CAG) triplet repeat in the huntingtin gene which is located on the short arm of chromosome 4 (1). The gene codes for the huntingtin protein.…

Patent foramen ovale – to close or not to close?

25th December 2018, Dr Chee L Khoo

After the acute management of an ischaemic stroke, what follows is the diagnostic process to find the underlying cause and secondary prevention of further strokes. In younger patients and in patients whose atherosclerotic burden is low, the search for a cause can be challenging.  Some of the rarer causes of stroke and cardioembolic causes (including atrial fibrillation) needs to be excluded.…

Weight loss – how to keep it off?

24th December 2018, Dr Chee L Khoo

Losing weight is the second hardest thing to do. The hardest is keeping that weight off. With weight loss, hunger increases and energy expenditure decreases as the body adapts physiologically to the weight loss. The kilogram loss is not all fat loss. Some of the losses are muscles and with less muscle bulk, basal metabolic rate also decreases adding further to the decrease in energy expenditure. …

Preventing thrombo-embolism in cancer patients – who should we target?

22nd December 2018, Dr Chee L Khoo

Patients with active cancers are at an increased risk of DVTs and pulmonary embolism. Some patients are at higher risk than others. Thromboembolic prophylaxis could reduce that risk but is not routinely recommended in practice guidelines because the absolute risk is modest and of course, there are potential major bleeding risk. With the introduction of the new oral anti-coagulants (NOACs), the equation might be different.…

High dose fish oil and CV outcomes – another fishy tale?

10th December, 2018, Dr Chee L Khoo

Elevated triglyceride  (TG) level serves as an independent marker for an increased risk of ischaemic events, as shown in epidemiologic and mendelian randomisation studies (1-5). However, in most of the statin trials, patients with high TG are generally excluded. There is confusion out there as to whether fish oils is useful or not for cardiovascular protection.…

The Diabetic Heart – the dawn of the myocardium

27th November, 2018, Dr Chee L Khoo

Of the patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) who die from cardiovascular (CV) disease, 40% die from IHD, 15% die from heart failure and 15% die from strokes. Patients with T2D have greater atherosclerotic plaque burden, higher atheroma volume, and smaller coronary artery lumen diameter than persons without diabetes. Numerous processes contribute to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) in diabetes including (but not limited to) hyperglycaemia, insulin resistance and/or hyperinsulinemia, dyslipidaemia, inflammation, reactive oxygen species, endothelial dysfunction, hypercoagulability, and vascular calcification.…

Anti-phospholipid antibodies – how much do you know?

27th November 2018, Dr Chee L Khoo

I recently saw a young lady whose mother had anti-phospholipid syndrome (APL) . She is now worried whether she has the same problem and request some blood tests. She is otherwise fit and healthy. Sure, among other things, I ordered APL antibodies hoping that the pathologist will know what I was looking for. Pretty straight forward so far until the results of her tests came back.…

Dapagliflozin more than DECLARE its CV benefits

13th November 2018, Dr Chee L Khoo

It’s finally here. The Dapagliflozin Effect on Cardiovascular Events–Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction 58 (DECLARE–TIMI 58) trial finally released their results this week at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2018. The results were most impressive but this was not just another CV outcome trial of another SGLT2 inhibitors. The results have major implications in the way we treat patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) in general practice.…

Floppy Iris Syndrome – is your patient at risk?

12th November 2018, Dr Chee L Khoo

Intraoperative floppy iris syndrome (IFIS) was first described by Chang and Campbell. It is characterised by floppiness of the iris, miosis and ultimately, iris prolapse through the surgical wounds. It can occur during surgery for cataract and if not anticipated, it increases the risk of posterior capsule rupture, vitreous loss, retained nuclear fragments, post op intraocular pressure spikes, irido-dialysis, hyphema and corneal endothelial loss.…

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