<< Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome: Improving Outcomes Through Early Identification And Aggressive Treatment Strategies (Critical Care Issue)


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Evidence-based medicine requires a critical ap;praisal of the literature based upon study methodol;ogy and number of subjects. Not all references are equally robust. The findings of a large, prospective, randomized, and blinded trial should carry more weight than a case report.

To help the reader judge the strength of each reference, pertinent information about the study will be included in bold type following the reference, where available. In addition, the most informative references cited in this paper, as determined by the authors, will be noted by an asterisk (*) next to the number of the reference.

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  3. Genther DJ, Gourin CG. The effect of alcohol abuse and alcohol withdrawal on short-term outcomes and cost of care after head and neck cancer surgery. Laryngoscope . 2012;122(8):1739-1747. (Retrospective cross-sectional; 92,312 patients)
  4. Picciotto MR. Common aspects of the action of nicotine and other drugs of abuse. Drug Alcohol Depend . 1998;51(1-2):165- 172. (Review)
  5. Moore M, Gray MG. Delirium tremens: a study of cases at the Boston City Hospital, 1915–1936. New Engl J Med . 1939;220(23):953-956. (Observational; 2375 patients)
  6. Caetano R, Clark CL, Greenfield TK. Prevalence, trends, and incidence of alcohol withdrawal symptoms: analysis of general population and clinical samples. Alcohol Health Res World . 1998;22(1):73-79. (Review)
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  12. * Amato L, Minozzi S, Vecchi S, et al. Benzodiazepines for alcohol withdrawal. Cochrane Database Syst Rev . 2010(3):CD005063. (Systematic review)
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  24. Kraemer KL, Mayo-Smith MF, Calkins DR. Independent clinical correlates of severe alcohol withdrawal. Subst Abuse. 2003;24(4):197-209. (Retrospective cohort; 284 patients)
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  43. Craft PP, Foil MB, Cunningham PR, et al. Intravenous ethanol for alcohol detoxification in trauma patients. South Med J. 1994;87(1):47-54. (Retrospective; 37 patients)
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  45. Weinberg JA, Magnotti LJ, Fischer PE, et al. Comparison of intravenous ethanol versus diazepam for alcohol withdrawal prophylaxis in the trauma ICU: results of a randomized trial. J Trauma. 2008;64(1):99-104. (Prospective randomized trial; 50 patients)
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  47. Alldredge BK, Lowenstein DH, Simon RP. Placebo-controlled trial of intravenous diphenylhydantoin for short-term treatment of alcohol withdrawal seizures. Am J Med. 1989;87(6):645-648. (Prospective randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial; 90 patients)
  48. Rathlev NK, D’Onofrio G, Fish SS, et al. The lack of efficacy of phenytoin in the prevention of recurrent alcohol-related seizures. Ann Emerg Med. 1994;23(3):513-518. (Prospective randomized double-blind trial; 147 patients)
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  53. Coomes TR, Smith SW. Successful use of propofol in refractory delirium tremens. Ann Emerg Med. 1997;30(6):825-828. (Case report)
  54. McCowan C, Marik P. Refractory delirium tremens treated with propofol: a case series. Crit Care Med. 2000;28(6):1781- 1784. (Case series; 4 patients)
  55. Corbett SM, Montoya ID, Moore FA. Propofol-related infusion syndrome in intensive care patients. Pharmacotherapy. 2008;28(2):250-258. (Review)
  56. Hughes DW, Vanwert E, Lepori L, et al. Propofol for benzodiazepine-refractory alcohol withdrawal in a non-mechanically ventilated patient. Am J Emerg Med. 2014;32(1):112 e113-e114. (Case report)
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  68. Nagy J, Horvath C, Farkas S, et al. NR2B subunit selective NMDA antagonists inhibit neurotoxic effect of alcohol-withdrawal in primary cultures of rat cortical neurones. Neurochem Int. 2004;44(1):17-23. (Basic science; tissue culture)
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  75. Menke NB, King AM, Katz KD, et al. Adjunct ketamine use in the management of severe alcohol withdrawal: a case series (abstract). Clin Toxicol. 2012;50(7):611. (Case series abstract)
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  83. Muzyk AJ, Fowler JA, Norwood DK, et al. Role of alpha(2)- agonists in the treatment of acute alcohol withdrawal. Ann Pharmacother. 2011;45(5):649-657. (Review)
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  89. Eyer F, Schreckenberg M, Hecht D, et al. Carbamazepine and valproate as adjuncts in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndrome: a retrospective cohort study. Alcohol Alcohol. 2011;46(2):177-184. (Retrospective cohort; 827 patients)
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Publication Information

Joseph H. Yanta, MD; Greg S. Swartzentruber, MD; Anthony F. Pizon, MD

Publication Date

June 1, 2015

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