Chinese Medical Sciences Journal ›› 2016, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (1): 37-42.doi: 10.1016/S1001-9294(16)30020-7

• ORIGINAL ARTICLE • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Respiratory and Cardiac Characteristics of ICU Patients Aged 90 Years and Older: A Report of 12 Cases

Hong-min Zhang1, Da-wei Liu1, *, Xiao-ting Wang1, Yun Long1, Quan-hui Yang2   

  1. 1Department of Critical Care Medicine, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, 100730 Beijing, China;
    2Department of Critical Care Medicine, Cancer Hospital and Institute, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, 100021 Beijing, China
  • Received:2015-06-04 Published:2016-03-20 Online:2016-03-20
  • Contact: Tel: 86-10-69152300, E-mail:

Objective To investigate the respiratory and cardiac characteristics of elderly Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients.Methods Twelve senior ICU patients aged 90 years and older were enrolled in this study. We retrospectively collected all patients’ clinical data through medical record review. The basic demographics, primary cause for admission, the condition of respiratory and circulatory support, as well as prognosis were recorded. Shock patients and pneumonia patients were specifically analyzed in terms of clinical manifestations, laboratory variables, echocardiography, and lung ultrasound Results.Results The mean age of the included patients was 95 years with a male predominance (8 to 4, 66.7%). Regarding the reasons for admission, 6 (50.0%) patients had respiratory failure, 1 (8.3%) patient had shock, while 5 (41.7%) patients had both respiratory failure and shock. Of the 6 patients who suffered from shock, only 1 was diagnosed with distributive shock, 5 with cardiogenic shock. Of the 5 cardiogenic shock patients, 1 was diagnosed with acute coronary syndrome. The rest 4 cardiogenic shock patients were diagnosed with Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. The patient with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction died within 24 hours. Of the 4 Takotsubo patients, 1 died on day-6 and the other 3 patients were transferred to ward after heart function recovered in 1 to 2 weeks. Of the 10 pneumonia patients, 3 were diagnosed as community acquired pneumonia, and 7 as hospital acquired pneumonia. Only 3 patients were successfully weaned from ventilator. The others required long-term ventilation complicated with heart failure, mostly with diastolic heart failure. Lung ultrasound of 6 patients with diastolic dysfunction showed bilateral B-lines during spontaneous breathing trial.Conclusions Elderly patients in shock tend to develop Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Diastolic heart dysfunction might be a major contributor to difficult weaning from ventilator in elderly patients. Bedside lung ultrasonography and echocardiography could help decide the actual cause of respiratory failure and shock more accurately and effectively.

Key words: elderly patients, respiratory failure, shock, Takotsubo, diastolic heart failure

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