Review Article

Screening Performance Characteristic of Ultrasonography and Radiography in Detection of Pleural Effusion; a Meta-Analysis

Mahmoud Yousefifard, Masoud Baikpour, Parisa Ghelichkhani, Hadi Asady, Kavous Shahsavari Nia, Ali Moghadas Jafari, Mostafa Hosseini, Saeed Safari

EMERGENCY , Vol. 4 No. 1 (2016), 13 Dey 2016, Page pp. 1-10

Introduction: The role of ultrasonography in detection of pleural effusion has long been a subject of interest but controversial results have been reported. Accordingly, this study aims to conduct a systematic review of the available literature on diagnostic value of ultrasonography and radiography in detection of pleural effusion through a meta-analytic approach. Methods: An extended search was done in databases of Medline, EMBASE, ISI Web of Knowledge, Scopus, Cochrane Library, and ProQuest. Two reviewers independently extracted the data and assessed the quality of the articles. Meta-analysis was performed using a mixed-effects binary regression model. Finally, subgroup analysis was carried out in order to find the sources of heterogeneity between the included studies. Results: 12 studies were included in this meta-analysis (1554 subjects, 58.6% male). Pooled sensitivity of ultrasonography in detection of pleural effusion was 0.94 (95% CI: 0.88-0.97; I2= 84.23, p<0.001) and its pooled specificity was calculated to be 0.98 (95% CI: 0.92-1.0; I2= 88.65, p<0.001), while sensitivity and specificity of chest radiography were 0.51 (95% CI: 0.33-0.68; I2= 91.76, p<0.001) and 0.91 (95% CI: 0.68-0.98; I2= 92.86, p<0.001), respectively. Sensitivity of ultrasonography was found to be higher when the procedure was carried out by an intensivist or a radiologist using 5-10 MHz transducers. Conclusion: Chest ultrasonography, as a screening tool, has a higher diagnostic accuracy in identification of plural effusion compared to radiography. The sensitivity of this imaging modality was found to be higher when performed by a radiologist or an intensivist and using 5-10MHz probes.

Original/Research Article

The Accuracy of Urinalysis in Predicting Intra-Abdominal Injury Following Blunt Traumas

Anita Sabzghabaei, Majid Shojaee, Saeed Safari, Hamid Reza Hatamabadi, Reza Shirvani

EMERGENCY , Vol. 4 No. 1 (2016), 13 Dey 2016, Page pp. 11-15

Introduction: In cases of blunt abdominal traumas, predicting the possible intra-abdominal injuries is still a challenge for the physicians involved with these patients. Therefore, this study was designed, to evaluate the accuracy of urinalysis in predicting intra-abdominal injuries. Methods: Patients aged 15 to 65 years with blunt abdominal trauma who were admitted to emergency departments were enrolled. Abdominopelvic computed tomography (CT) scan with intravenous contrast and urinalysis were requested for all the included patients. Demographic data, trauma mechanism, the results of urinalysis, and the results of abdominopelvic CT scan were gathered. Finally, the correlation between the results of abdominopelvic CT scan, and urinalysis was determined. Urinalysis was considered positive in case of at least one positive value in gross appearance, blood in dipstick, or red blood cell count. Results: 325 patients with blunt abdominal trauma were admitted to the emergency departments (83% male with the mean age of 32.63±17.48 years). Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, and positive and negative likelihood ratios of urinalysis, were 77.9% (95% CI: 69.6-84.4), 58.5% (95% CI: 51.2-65.5), 56% (95% CI: 48.5-63.3), 79.6% (95% CI: 71.8-85.7), 1.27% (95% CI: 1.30-1.57), and 0.25% (95% CI: 0.18-0.36), respectively. Conclusion: The diagnostic value of urinalysis in prediction of blunt traumatic intra-abdominal injuries is low and it seems that it should be considered as an adjuvant diagnostic tool, in conjunction with other sources such as clinical findings and imaging.

Knowledge and Attitude of Iranian Red Crescent Society Volunteers in Dealing with Bioterrorist attacks

Seyed Ali Bahreini Moghadam, Siavash Hamzeh pour, Mahmoud Toorchi, Youssof Sefidi Heris

EMERGENCY , Vol. 4 No. 1 (2016), 13 Dey 2016, Page pp. 16-20

Introduction: Bioterrorism is a worldwide problem and has been the focus of attention during recent decades. There is no precise information on the knowledge, attitude, and preparedness of Iranian Red Crescent volunteers in dealing with bioterrorism. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate the above-mentioned parameters in Mahabad Red Crescent Society volunteers. Methods: In this prospective cross-sectional study, the knowledge of 120 volunteers was evaluated and rated as poor, moderate, and good. In addition, attitude of the volunteers and preparedness of Mahabad Red Crescent Society was rated as inappropriate and appropriate using a questionnaire. Results: The mean age of volunteers was 32.0 ± 8.2 years (62.5% male). 2 (1.7%) volunteers had good knowledge while 94 (78.3%) had no knowledge regarding bioterrorist attack management. Only 1 (0.8%)  volunteer had appropriate attitude and 6 (5.0%) stated their preparedness for being sent out to the crisis zone. 116 volunteers (96.7%) indicated that Mahabad Red Crescent Society has an inappropriate level of preparedness to encounter bioterrorist attacks. Conclusion: The findings of the present study showed poor knowledge and inappropriate attitude of Mahabad Red Crescent Society volunteers in encountering probable bioterrorist attacks. Furthermore, the Red Crescent Society of this town had an inappropriate level of preparedness in the field of bioterrorism from the viewpoint of the studied volunteers.

An Epidemiologic Study of Pediatric Poisoning; a Six-month Cross-sectional Study

Mohammad Manouchehrifar, Niloufar Derakhshandeh, Majid Shojaee, Anita Sabzghabaei, Fariba Farnaghi

EMERGENCY , Vol. 4 No. 1 (2016), 13 Dey 2016, Page pp. 21-24

Introduction: Intentional and unintentional poisoning are among the most common reasons for referrals to emergency department (ED). Therefore, the present study was designed to evaluate epidemiologic features and effective risk factors of intentional and unintentional poisoning in children. Methods: This prospective cross-sectional study was carried out in ED of Loghman Hakim Hospital, greatest referral poison center of Iran, Tehran during March to August 2014. Demographic data, medical history, history of psychiatric disease in child, the cause of poisoning, parents’ educational level, household monthly income, location of residence, history of addiction or divorce in family, and the poisoning intentionality were gathered. Data were analyzed using SPSS 18 and appropriate statistical tests based on the purpose of study. Results: 414 participants with the mean age of 4.2 ± 3.43 years were included (57.5% male). Children in the 0-4 year(s) age range had the most frequency with 281 (67.9%) cases. 29 (7%) cases were intentional (62% female, 76% in the 10-14 years old group). Methadone with 123 (29.7%) cases was the most frequent toxic agent in general and in unintentional cases. 10-14 years of age (p = 0.001), and the history of psychiatric disease in children (p <0.001), had a direct correlation with probability of intentional poisoning. While, history of addiction in the family showed an indirect correlation with this probability (p = 0.045). Conclusion: Based on the results of this study, most cases of poisoning in the children were unintentional methadone intoxication in boys in the 0-4 age range with a history of a psychiatric disease, and those who had a history of addiction in the family. In addition, the most powerful risk factor for the children’s intentional poisoning was their history of psychiatric disease. The history of addiction in the child’s family had indirect correlation with intentional intoxications.

True Vertigo Patients in Emergency Department; an Epidemiologic Study

Ali Shahrami, Mahdi Norouzi, Hamid Kariman, Hamid Reza Hatamabadi, Ali Arhami Dolatabadi

EMERGENCY , Vol. 4 No. 1 (2016), 13 Dey 2016, Page pp. 25-28

Introduction: Vertigo prevalence is estimated to be 1.8% among young adults and more than 30% in the elderly. 13-38% of the referrals of patients over 65 years old in America are due to vertigo. Vertigo does not increase the risk of mortality but it can affect the patient’s quality of life. Therefore, this study was designed to evaluate the epidemiologic characteristics of vertigo patients referred to the emergency department (ED). Methods: In this 6-month retrospective cross-sectional study, the profiles of all vertigo patients referred to the ED of Imam Hossein Hospital, Tehran, Iran, from October 2013 to March 2014 were evaluated. Demographic data and baseline characteristics of the patients were recorded and then patients were divided into central and peripheral vertigo. The correlation of history and clinical examination with vertigo type was evaluated and screening performance characteristics of history and clinical examination in differentiating central and peripheral vertigo were determined. Results: 379 patients with the mean age of 50.69 ± 11.94 years (minimum 18 and maximum 86) were enrolled (58.13% female). There was no sex difference in vertigo incidence (p = 0.756). A significant correlation existed between older age and increase in frequency of central cases (p < 0.001). No significant difference was detected between the treatment protocols regarding ED length of stay (p = 0.72). There was a significant overlap between the initial diagnosis and the final decision based on imaging and neurologist’s final opinion (p < 0.001). In the end, 361 (95.3%) patients were discharged from ED, while 18 were disposed to the neurology ward. No case of mortality was reported. Conclusion: Sensitivity and specificity of history and clinical examination in differentiating central and peripheral vertigo were 99 (95% CI: 57-99) and 99 (95% CI: 97-99), respectively.

Diagnostic Accuracy of Ultrasonography and Radiography in Initial Evaluation of Chest Trauma Patients

Ali Vafaei, Hamid Reza Hatamabadi, Kamran Heidary, Hosein Alimohammadi, Mohammad Tarbiat

EMERGENCY , Vol. 4 No. 1 (2016), 13 Dey 2016, Page pp. 29-33

Introduction: Application of chest radiography for all multiple trauma patients is associated with a significant increase in total costs, exposure to radiation, and overcrowding of the emergency department. Ultrasound has been introduced as an alternative diagnostic tool in this regard. The aim of the present study is to compare the diagnostic accuracy of chest ultrasonography and radiography in detection of traumatic intrathoracic injuries. Methods: In the present prospective cross-sectional study, patients with traumatic intrathoracic injuries, who were referred to the emergency department from December 2013 to December 2014, were assessed. The patients underwent bedside ultrasound, radiographic and computed tomography (CT) scan examinations based on ATLS recommendations. Screening performance characteristics of ultrasonography and radiography were compared using SPSS 21.0. Chest CT scan was considered as gold standard. Results: 152 chest trauma patients with a mean age of 31.4 ± 13.8 years (range: 4 ‒ 67), were enrolled (77.6% male). Chest CT scan showed pulmonary contusion in 48 (31.6%) patients, hemothorax in 29 (19.1%), and pneumothorax in 55 (36.2%) cases. Area under the ROC curve of ultrasonography in detection of pneumothorax, hemothorax, and pulmonary contusion were 0.91 (95% CI: 0.86‒0.96), 0.86 (95% CI: 0.78‒0.94), and 0.80 (95% CI: 0.736‒0.88), respectively. Area under the ROC curve of radiography was 0.80 (95% CI: 0.736‒0.87) for detection of pneumothorax, 0.77 (95% CI: 0.68‒0.86) for hemothorax, and 0.58 (95% CI: 0.5‒0.67) for pulmonary contusion. Comparison of areas under the ROC curve declared the significant superiority of ultrasonography in detection of pneumothorax (p = 0.02) and pulmonary contusion (p < 0.001). However, the diagnostic value of the two tests was equal in detection of hemothorax (p = 0.08). Conclusion: The results of the present study showed that ultrasonography is preferable to radiography in the initial evaluation of patients with traumatic injuries to the thoracic cavity.

Brief Report

Patients’ Attitude toward Breaking Bad News; a Brief Report

Hamed Aminiahidashti, Seyed Jaber Mousavi, Mohammad Mehdi Darzi

EMERGENCY , Vol. 4 No. 1 (2016), 13 Dey 2016, Page pp. 34-37

Introduction: Delivering bad news is a stressful moment for both physicians and patients. The purpose of this investigation was to explore the patients’ preferences and attitudes toward being informed about the bad news. Methods: This cross-sectional study was done on patients admitted to Imam Khomeini Hospital, Sari, Iran, from September 2014 to February 2015. Patient attitude regarding breaking bad news was evaluated using a reliable and valid questionnaire. Results: 130 patients were evaluated (61.5% male, mean age = 46.21 ± 12.1 years). 118 (90.76%) participants believed that the patient himself/herself should be informed about the disease’s condition. 120 (92.30%) preferred to hear the news from a skillful physician and 105 (80.76%) believed that emergency department is not a proper place for breaking bad news. Conclusion: Based on the results of the present study, most participants believed that the most experienced and skillful physician should inform them completely regarding their medical condition. At the same time they declared that, it is best to hear bad news in a calm and suitable place and time rather than emergency department or hospital corridors during teaching rounds.

Case Report

Urinary Retention and Air in the Spinal Canal; a Case Report

Hoda Karimian, Mohammadmahdi Gheiratian

EMERGENCY , Vol. 4 No. 1 (2016), 13 Dey 2016, Page pp. 38-40

Cauda equina syndrome (CES) although uncommon, is a very serious condition, which should be diagnosed as soon as possible.  Urinary dysfunction following a lumbosacral trauma is a key for the physician to consider CES as the most probable diagnosis. Up to 62% of CES patients report a recent episode of trauma. We herein report a young man with CES due to sacral fracture with an interesting imaging.

From Pulmonary Embolism to Inflammatory Bowel Disease; Give Tunnel Vision up

Masih Tajdini, Seyed Mohammad Reza Hosseini

EMERGENCY , Vol. 4 No. 1 (2016), 13 Dey 2016, Page pp. 41-44

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a multisystem disorder with gastrointestinal tract involvement. These patients have the higher risk for thromboembolic events compared to normal population. This study describes a unique case of pulmonaryembolism as a first manifestation of inflammatory bowel disease.

Photo Quiz

A 52-Year-Old Woman with a Palpable Abdominal Mass

Yuh-Jeng Yang, Chin-Chu Wu, Tzong-Luen Wang, Aming Chor-Ming Lin

EMERGENCY , Vol. 4 No. 1 (2016), 13 Dey 2016, Page pp. 45-46

A 52-year-old woman presented with a history of diabetes mellitus under medical treatment and a surgical history of a cesarean section 20 years ago. The patient was referred to our emergency department because of a 2-week hypermenorrhea and unspecific abdominal pain without nausea and vomiting, fever, or other symptoms. She did not complain of weight loss.


Clot formation within a deep vein is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It occurs in about 100 persons per 100,000 population each year in the United States and leads to about 600,000 pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE) cases and also causes 60,000 deaths annually. For many years, unfractionated heparin (UFH) and warfarin have been used for treatment of DVT and prevention of PTE. This approach needs hospitalization and necessitates close monitoring by partial thromboplastin time (PTT) measurement. By development of low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) the need for laboratory monitoring was resolved. In addition, some investigators also claimed that it is accompanied with less bleeding risk and better outcome. Accordingly, outpatient management of DVT became possible and nowadays American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) advocates outpatient therapy for DVT. This method has been shown to be safe and effective in presence of home adequacy criteria. Home adequacy is defined by ACCP as “well-maintained living conditions, strong support from family or friends, phone access, and ability to quickly return to the hospital if there is deterioration”. Yet, many physicians in Iran prefer to hospitalize all DVT patients because of their belief in the impossibility of outpatient treatment.

Evidence-Based Emergency Medicine

Part 4: Pre and Post Test Probabilities and Fagan’s Nomogram

Saeed Safari, Alireza Baratloo, Mohamed Elfil, Ahmed Negida

EMERGENCY , Vol. 4 No. 1 (2016), 13 Dey 2016, Page pp. 48-51

Emergency physicians face numerous questions regarding proper management of patients and selection of the best laboratory test or imaging every day. Knowledge on screening performance characteristics of the diagnostic tools used in this department plays an important role in finding the answers to these questions. We assessed these characteristics in the previous parts of educational article series in Emergency journal. In the present manuscript, we will describe how to use these screening characteristics for selecting the right diagnostic tools.