Gerard J. Criner, MD


COPD and mood disorders, part 2:Sleep problems

April 01, 2007

Sleep complaints are common in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Many patients complain of morning tiredness, early awakenings, difficulty in falling asleep, restlessness, and daytime sleepiness. Functional status may eventually be impaired by the resulting chronic fatigue that is compounded by dyspnea.

Don't overlook the impact of these comorbidities COPD and mood disorders, part 1: Anxiety and depression

March 01, 2007

abstract: Depression and anxiety are common comorbidities in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and like COPD, they are often underrecognized. Both of these comorbidities can adversely affect the course of COPD. Anxiety, for example, is associated with more severe dyspnea, greater disability, and impaired functional status; it also is a significant predictor of hospitalizations for acute exacerbations of COPD. When evaluating depressive symptoms, it is important to rule out cognitive impairment, particularly in patients with severe COPD and hypoxemia. Treatment options include antidepressants and cognitive behavioral therapy. Participation in a pulmonary rehabilitation program also can help reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms in patients with COPD. (J Respir Dis. 2007;28(3):94-103)

Exercise intolerance in severe COPD: A review of assessment and treatment

May 01, 2006

Abstract: Exercise intolerance is common in persons with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and can result from multiple physiologic factors, including dynamic hyperinflation, gas exchange abnormalities, and pulmonary hypertension. In the initial assessment, keep in mind that many patients underestimate the degree of their impairment. The 6-minute walk test is very useful in assessing the degree of exercise intolerance; when more extensive assessment is indicated, cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) is the gold standard. CPET is particularly useful for defining the underlying physiology of exercise limitation and may reveal other causes of dyspnea, such as myocardial ischemia or pulmonary hypertension. Strategies for improving exercise tolerance range from the use of bronchodilators and supplemental oxygen to participation in a pulmonary rehabilitation program. (J Respir Dis. 2006;27(5):208-218)

Community-Acquired Pneumonia in the Elderly:

May 01, 2003

ABSTRACT: In addition to advanced age, factors such as comorbid illness and debility determine the risk of community- acquired pneumonia (CAP). Many elderly persons do not have the classic symptoms of CAP; instead, they may present with confusion, lethargy, tachypnea, anorexia, or abdominal pain. Even with thorough investigation, an infectious pathogen can be identified in only about half of patients. In addition to the causative organisms for pneumonia in younger adults, elderly persons are at risk for infection with organisms such as Haemophilus influenzae, Staphylococcus aureus, enteric gram-negative bacteria, and anaerobes, and for polymicrobial infection. Prompt empiric treatment is essential. Recommended initial therapy choices include a ß-lactam agent with a macrolide, or an antipneumococcal fluoroquinolone.