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Daily Recap: Headache as COVID evolution predictor; psoriasis drug treats canker sores


Here are the stories our MDedge editors across specialties think you need to know about today:

Headache may predict clinical evolution of COVID-19

Headache may be a key symptom of COVID-19 that predicts the disease’s clinical evolution, new research suggests. An observational study of more than 100 patients showed that headache onset could occur during the presymptomatic or symptomatic phase of COVID-19.

Headache itself was associated with a shorter symptomatic period, while headache and anosmia were associated with a shorter hospitalization period.

It seems that those patients who start early on, during the asymptomatic or early symptomatic period of COVID-19, with headache have a more localized inflammatory response that may reflect the ability of the body to better control and respond to the infection,” lead investigator Patricia Pozo-Rosich, MD, PhD, said at the virtual annual meeting of the American Headache Society. Read more.

More tops news from the AHS meeting is available on our website.

Pilot study shows apremilast effective for severe recurrent canker sores

Apremilast was highly effective in treating patients with severe recurrent aphthous stomatitis, with rapid response and an excellent safety profile, results from a small pilot study showed.

Apremilast is approved by the FDA for psoriasis and was shown in a recent phase 2 trial to be effective for Behçet’s disease aphthosis.

Dr. Alison Bruce and colleagues found that, within 4 weeks of therapy, complete clearance of RAS lesions occurred in all patients except one in whom ulcers were reported to be less severe. Remission in all patients was sustained during 16 weeks of treatment, Dr. Bruce noted at the virtual annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology. Read more.

For more top news from the AAD virtual conference, visit our website.

Where does dexamethasone fit in with diabetic ketoacidosis in COVID-19?

A new article in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) addresses unique concerns and considerations regarding diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in the setting of COVID-19.

“Hospitals and clinicians need to be able to quickly identify and manage DKA in COVID patients to save lives. This involves determining the options for management, including when less intensive subcutaneous insulin is indicated, and understanding how to guide patients on avoiding this serious complication,” corresponding author Marie E. McDonnell, MD, said in an Endocrine Society statement.

The new article briefly touches on the fact that upward adjustments to intensive intravenous insulin therapy for DKA may be necessary in patients with COVID-19 who are receiving concomitant corticosteroids or vasopressors. But it was written prior to the June 16 announcement of the “RECOVERY” trial results with dexamethasone. The UK National Health Service immediately approved the drug’s use in the COVID-19 setting, despite the fact that there has been no published article on the findings yet.

“The peer review will be critical. It looks as if it only benefits people who need respiratory support, but I want to understand that in much more detail,” said Dr. McDonnell. Read more.

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