Deep Learning Technology: Sebastian Arnold, Betty van Aken, Paul Grundmann, Felix A. Gers and Alexander Löser. Learning Contextualized Document Representations for Healthcare Answer Retrieval. The Web Conference 2020 (WWW'20)
Funded by The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy; Grant: 01MD19013D, Smart-MD Project, Digital Technologies
Lower respiratory infectious disease is the fifth-leading cause of death and the combined leading infectious cause of death, being responsible for 2·74 million deaths worldwide. This is generally similar to estimates in the 2010 Global Burden of Disease study.
This total only accounts for "Streptococcus pneumoniae" and "Haemophilus Influenzae" infections and does not account for atypical or nosocomial causes of lower respiratory disease, therefore underestimating total disease burden.
There is low or very-low quality evidence that probiotics may be better than placebo in preventing acute URTIs. Vaccination against influenza viruses, adenoviruses, measles, rubella, "Streptococcus pneumoniae", "Haemophilus influenzae", diphtheria, "Bacillus anthracis", and "Bordetella pertussis" may prevent them from infecting the URT or reduce the severity of the infection.
Pneumonia occurs in a variety of situations and treatment must vary according to the situation. It is classified as either community or hospital acquired depending on where the patient contracted the infection. It is life-threatening in the elderly or those who are immunocompromised. The most common treatment is antibiotics and these vary in their adverse effects and their effectiveness. Pneumonia is also the leading cause of death in children less than five years of age in low income countries. The most common cause of pneumonia is pneumococcal bacteria, "Streptococcus pneumoniae" accounts for 2/3 of bacteremic pneumonias. This is a dangerous type of lung infection with a mortality rate of around 25%.
For optimal management of a pneumonia patient, the following must be assessed: pneumonia severity (including treatment location, e.g., home, hospital or intensive care), identification of causative organism, analgesia of chest pain, the need for supplemental oxygen, physiotherapy, hydration, bronchodilators and possible complications of emphysema or lung abscess.
Bacterial tracheitis is a bacterial infection of the trachea and is capable of producing airway obstruction.
One of the most common causes is "Staphylococcus aureus" and often follows a recent viral upper respiratory infection. Bacterial tracheitis is a rare complication of influenza infection. It is the most serious in young children, possibly because of the relatively small size of the trachea that gets easily blocked by swelling. The most frequent sign is the rapid development of stridor. It is occasionally confused with croup.
If it is inflamed, a condition known as tracheitis can occur. In this condition there can be inflammation of the linings of the trachea. A condition called tracheo-bronchitis can be caused, when the mucous membrane of the trachea and bronchi swell. A collapsed trachea is formed as a result of defect in the cartilage, that makes the cartilage unable to support the trachea and results in dry hacking cough. In this condition there can be inflammation of the linings of the trachea. If the connective nerve tissues in the trachea degenerate it causes tracheomalacia. Infections to the trachea can cause tracheomegaly.
In terms of pathophysiology, rhino virus infection resembles the immune response. The viruses do not cause damage to the cells of the upper respiratory tract but rather cause changes in the tight junctions of epithelial cells. This allows the virus to gain access to tissues under the epithelial cells and initiate the innate and adaptive immune responses.
Up to 15% of acute pharyngitis cases may be caused by bacteria, most commonly "Streptococcus pyogenes", a group A streptococcus in streptococcal pharyngitis ("strep throat"). Other bacterial causes are "Streptococcus pneumoniae", "Haemophilus influenzae", "Corynebacterium diphtheriae", "Bordetella pertussis", and "Bacillus anthracis".
Sexually transmitted infections have emerged as causes of oral and pharyngeal infections.
In more severe cases, it is treated by administering intravenous antibiotics and may require admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) for intubation and supportive ventilation if the airway swelling is severe. During an intensive care admission, various methods of invasive and non-invasive monitoring may be required, which may include ECG monitoring, oxygen saturation, capnography and arterial blood pressure monitoring.
To help the bronchial tree heal faster and not make bronchitis worse, smokers should quit smoking completely.
Acute bronchitis can be caused by contagious pathogens, most commonly viruses. Typical viruses include respiratory syncytial virus, rhinovirus, influenza, and others. Bacteria are uncommon pathogens but may include "Mycoplasma pneumoniae", "Chlamydophila pneumoniae", "Bordetella pertussis", "Streptococcus pneumoniae", and "Haemophilus influenzae".
- Damage caused by irritation of the airways leads to inflammation and leads to neutrophils infiltrating the lung tissue.
- Mucosal hypersecretion is promoted by a substance released by neutrophils.
- Further obstruction to the airways is caused by more goblet cells in the small airways. This is typical of chronic bronchitis.
- Although infection is not the reason or cause of chronic bronchitis, it is seen to aid in sustaining the bronchitis.
Viral croup or acute laryngotracheitis is most commonly caused by parainfluenza virus (a member of the paramyxovirus family), primarily types 1 and 2, in 75% of cases. Other viral causes include influenza A and B, measles, adenovirus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Spasmodic croup is caused by the same group of viruses as acute laryngotracheitis, but lacks the usual signs of infection (such as fever, sore throat, and increased white blood cell count). Treatment, and response to treatment, are also similar.
Viral croup is usually a self-limiting disease, with half of cases resolving in a day and 80% of cases in two days. It can very rarely result in death from respiratory failure and/or cardiac arrest. Symptoms usually improve within two days, but may last for up to seven days. Other uncommon complications include bacterial tracheitis, pneumonia, and pulmonary edema.
Acute bronchitis is one of the most common diseases. About 5% of adults are affected and about 6% of children have at least one episode a year. It occurs more often in the winter. More than 10 million people in the United States visit a doctor each year for this condition with about 70% receiving antibiotics which are mostly not needed. There are efforts to decrease the use of antibiotics in acute bronchitis.
Chronic bronchitis has a 3.4% to 22% prevalence rate among the general population. Individuals over the age of 45, smokers, those that live in areas with high air pollution and those have asthma have a higher risk of developing chronic bronchitis. This wide range is due to the different definitions of chronic bronchitis which can be defined based on signs and symptoms or the clinical diagnosis of the disorder. Chronic bronchitis tends to affect men more often than women. While the primary risk factor for chronic bronchitis is smoking, there is still a 4%-22% chance that people with chronic bronchitis were never smokers. This might suggest other risk factors such as the inhalation of fuels, dusts, and fumes. Obesity has also been linked to an increased risk in the onset of chronic bronchitis. In the United States in the year 2014 per 100,000 population the death rate of chronic bronchitis was 0.2%.
As the lungs tend to be vulnerable organs due to their exposure to harmful particles in the air, several things can cause an acute exacerbation of COPD:
- Respiratory infection, being responsible for approximately half of COPD exacerbations. Approximately half of these are due to viral infections and another half appears to be caused by bacterial infections. Common bacterial pathogens of acute exacerbations include "Haemophilus influenzae", "Streptococcus pneumoniae" and "Moraxella catarrhalis". Less common bacterial pathogens include "Chlamydia pneumoniae" and "MRSA". Pathogens seen more frequently in patients with impaired lung function (FEV<35% of predicted) include "Haemophilus parainfluenzae" (after repeated use of antibiotics), "Mycoplasma pneumoniae" and gram-negative, opportunistic pathogens like "Pseudomonas aeruginosa" and "Klebsiella pneumoniae".
- Allergens, e.g., pollens, wood or cigarette smoke, pollution
- Toxins, including a variety of different chemicals
- Air pollution
- Failing to follow a drug therapy program, e.g. improper use of an inhaler
In one-third of all COPD exacerbation cases, the cause cannot be identified.
Acute exacerbations can be partially prevented. Some infections can be prevented by vaccination against pathogens such as influenza and "Streptococcus pneumoniae". Regular medication use can prevent some COPD exacerbations; long acting beta-adrenoceptor agonists (LABAs), long-acting anticholinergics, inhaled corticosteroids and low-dose theophylline have all been shown to reduce the frequency of COPD exacerbations. Other methods of prevention include:
- Smoking cessation and avoiding dust, passive smoking, and other inhaled irritants
- Yearly influenza and 5-year pneumococcal vaccinations
- Regular exercise, appropriate rest, and healthy nutrition
- Avoiding people currently infected with e.g. cold and influenza
- Maintaining good fluid intake and humidifying the home, in order to help reduce the formation of thick sputum and chest congestion.
Laryngitis that continues for more than three weeks is considered chronic. If laryngeal symptoms last for more than three weeks, a referral should be made for further examination, including direct laryngoscopy. The prognosis for chronic laryngitis varies depending on the cause of the laryngitis.
Long-term antibiotics, while they decrease rates of infection during treatment, have an unknown effect on long-term outcomes such as hearing loss. This method of prevention has been associated with emergence of antibiotic-resistant otitic bacteria. They are thus not recommended.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) in early infancy, decreases the risk of acute otitis media in healthy infants. PCV is recommended for all children, and, if implemented broadly, PCV would have a significant public health benefit. Influenza vaccine is recommended annually for all children. PCV does not appear to decrease the risk of otitis media when given to high-risk infants or for older children who have previously experienced otitis media.
Risk factors such as season, allergy predisposition and presence of older siblings are known to be determinants of recurrent otitis media and persistent middle-ear effusions (MEE). History of recurrence, environmental exposure to tobacco smoke, use of daycare, and lack of breastfeeding have all been associated with increased risk of development, recurrence, and persistent MEE. Thus, cessation of smoking in the home should be encouraged, daycare attendance should be avoided or daycare facilities with the fewest attendees should be recommended, and breastfeeding should be promoted.
There is some evidence that breastfeeding for the first year of life is associated with a reduction in the number and duration of OM infections. Pacifier use, on the other hand, has been associated with more frequent episodes of AOM.
Evidence does not support zinc supplementation as an effort to reduce otitis rates except maybe in those with severe malnutrition such as marasmus.
Treatment is often supportive in nature, and depends on the severity and type of laryngitis (acute or chronic). General measures to relieve symptoms of laryngitis include behaviour modification, hydration and humidification.
Vocal hygiene (care of the voice) is very important to relieve symptoms of laryngitis. Vocal hygiene involves measures such as
- Resting the voice
- Drinking sufficient amounts of water
- Reducing caffeine and alcohol intake
- Stopping smoking
- Limiting throat clearing
Voice hygiene programs are given by speech-language pathologists. These programs typically include the following components:
- Addressing amount and type of voice use
- Reducing behaviours that are damaging to the vocal folds
- Increasing hydration
- Adjusting lifestyle (for example, limiting caffeine and managing medical conditions)
Adhesive otitis media occurs when a thin retracted ear drum becomes sucked into the middle-ear space and stuck (i.e., adherent) to the ossicles and other bones of the middle ear.
Sixty percent of people with acute interstitial pneumonitis will die in the first six months of illness. The median survival is 1½ months.
However, most people who have one episode do not have a second. People who survive often recover lung function completely.
Airway obstruction may cause obstructive pneumonitis or post-obstructive pneumonitis.
Acute interstitial pneumonitis occurs most frequently among people older than forty years old. It affects men and women equally. There are no known risk factors; in particular, smoking is not associated with increased risk.
Causes of upper airway obstruction include foreign body aspiration, blunt laryngotracheal trauma, penetrating laryngotracheal trauma, tonsillar hypertrophy, paralysis of the vocal cord or vocal fold, acute laryngotracheitis such as viral croup, bacterial tracheitis, epiglottitis, peritonsillar abscess, pertussis, retropharyngeal abscess, spasmodic croup. In basic and advanced life support airway obstructions are often referred to as "A-problems". Management of airways relies on both minimal-invasive and invasive techniques.
Chronic mediastinitis is usually a radiologic diagnosis manifested by diffuse fibrosis of the soft tissues of the mediastinum. This is sometimes the consequence of prior granulomatous disease, most commonly histoplasmosis. Other identifiable causes include tuberculosis, IgG4-related disease and radiation therapy. Fibrosing mediastinitis most frequently causes problems by constricting blood vessels or airways in the mediastinum. This may result in such complications as superior vena cava syndrome or pulmonary edema from compression of pulmonary veins.
Treatment for chronic fibrosing mediastinitis is somewhat controversial, and may include steroids or surgical decompression of affected vessels.
Before the development of modern cardiovascular surgery, cases of acute mediastinitis usually arose from either perforation of the esophagus or from contiguous spread of odontogenic or retropharyngeal infections. However, in modern practice, most cases of acute mediastinitis result from complications of cardiovascular or endoscopic surgical procedures.
Treatment usually involves aggressive intravenous antibiotic therapy and hydration. If discrete fluid collections or grossly infected tissue have formed (such as abscesses), they may have to be surgically drained or debrided.