Positron Emission Tomography: Anticipated Usefulness in Critical Care Settings
Intensive care has progressed continuously over the past decades with the emergence of technologies and knowledge aimed at better supporting critically ill patients. Insults which, in the past, were considered nearly always fatal are nowadays frequently warded off. However, this reality has also complicated the practice of critical care in two different respects: First, in yielding new pathological entities, the most important being multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS). MODS is now the leading cause of death in the intensive care unit (ICU) with a mortality rate approaching 100% when dysfunction is severe and a large number of organs have been affected . Second, patients often present very complicated clinical pictures, each element potential of being at the same time the consequence and the cause of the next. For example, coagulopathy can either be the cause or the effect of postoperative bleeding, and pulmonary insufficiency either the cause or the effect of cardiac failure. Added to the fact that critically ill patients are seldom able to contribute adequately to physical examination, the intensivist is faced with problematic clinical challenges and a relative paucity of effective paraclinical tools.
KeywordsPositron Emission Tomography Myocardial Blood Flow Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome Minimal Hepatic Encephalopathy Oxygen Extraction Fraction
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