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March 2018 Arizona Thoracic Society Notes

The March 2018 Arizona Thoracic Society meeting was held on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at the HonorHealth Rehabilitation Hospital beginning at 6:30 PM. This was a dinner meeting with case presentations. There were 12 in attendance representing the pulmonary, critical care, sleep, infectious disease and radiology communities.

At the beginning of the meeting several issues were discussed:

  1. The Tobacco 21 which had been introduced into the Arizona House was killed in committee by Rep. Jeff Weninger, Chairman of the Commerce Committee.
  2. Council of Chapter Representatives (CCR) Meeting and “Hill Day” was cancelled due to inclement weather. It will probably be rescheduled for the summer.

An update on pirfenidone in IPF was presented by Jessica Castle, PhD, Medical Science Liaison with Genentech. Dr. Castle discussed the antifibrotic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant effects of pirfenidone.

Data was also presented from post-hoc analysis from pirfenidone trials.

  • Overall no difference in morality data
  • Reduction in respiratory hospitalizations
  • Reduction in deaths after respiratory hospitalizations
  • Quantitative Image Analysis showed a decrease in fibrosis with pirfenidone

Lastly, Dr. Castle introduced several ongoing trials with combination therapy for IPF.

There were 3 case presentations:

  1. Dr. Tim Kuberski, Chief of Infectious Disease at Maricopa, presented a 45-year-old Caucasian man who collapsed in the market and was brought to Maricopa Medical Center. He had evolving gangrene of his distal extremities which proved to be secondary to Yersinia pestis. He received continuous sympathetic blockade to treat his gangrene (1). The patient’s gangrene of his toes resolved but he did require amputation of his fingers and reconstruction of his ears and nose.
  2. Dr. Richard Robbins presented a 54-year-old man with triad asthma, eosinophilia and coronary artery spasm. He was begun on montelukast and was doing well. He presented a series from New Zealand of 15 patients with eosinophilia and coronary artery spasm (2). Four of the patients were noted to have asthma. No one could recall a similar case.
  3. Dr. Lewis Wesselius presented an 72-year-old woman who was a life-long nonsmoker with progressive dyspnea over 3-4 years. She had bibasilar crackles on physical examination and a low DLco on pulmonary function testing. Thoracic CT scan showed subtle changes of bibasilar reticulation. This did not appear to be UIP. Biopsy showed rather uniform changes with alveolar wall thickening but not areas characteristic for a definitive diagnosis. The consensus was that her case was most likely chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned about 8:30 PM. The next meeting will be in Phoenix on May 23 at 6:30 PM at HonorHealth Rehabilitation Hospital. This will be a planning meeting to structure Arizona Thoracic Society meetings and activities.

Richard A. Robbins MD

Editor, SWJPCC


  1. Kuberski T, Robinson L, Schurgin A. A case of plague successfully treated with ciprofloxacin and sympathetic blockade for treatment of gangrene. Clin Infect Dis. 2003 Feb 15;36(4):521-3. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. Wong CW, Luis S, Zeng I, Stewart RA. Eosinophilia and coronary artery vasospasm. Heart Lung Circ. 2008 Dec;17(6):488-96. [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cite as: Robbins RA. March 2018 Arizona Thoracic Society notes. Southwest J Pulm Crit Care. 2018;16(3):170-1. doi: PDF 

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