2007 Vol. 4, No. 2
Objective To evaluate the early and mid-term results of endovascular repair for acute and chronic type B aortic dissection, and to compare the clinical outcomes between the 2 groups. Methods From May 2002 to December 2006, 50 patients with type B aortic dissection were treated by endovascular stent-graft. There were 23 patients in the acute aortic dissection (AAD) group and 27 patients in the chronic aortic dissection (CAD) group. All patients were followed up from 1 to 54 months (average, 17±16 months).The immediate and follow-up clinical outcomes were documented and compared between the 2 groups. Results Placement of endovascular stent-grafts across the primary entry tears was technically successful in all 50 patients. Compared to the CAD group, the AAD group had a higher percentage of pleural effusion (17.4% vs. 0%, P=0.04) and visceral /leg ischemia (26.1% vs 3.7%, P=0.04). Procedure related complications, including endoleak and post-implantation syndrome, occurred more frequently in the AAD group than in the CAD group (21.7% vs 3.7% and 30.4% vs 11.1%, respectively; P=0.08 and P=0.04). Kaplan–Meier analysis showed no difference in the survival rate at 4 years between the 2 groups (86.4% vs 92.3%, P=0.42 by log-rank test). However, the event-free survival rate was higher in patients with chronic dissection than in patients with acute aortic dissection (96.2% vs 73.9%; P=0.02 by log-rank test). Conclusions Endovascular repair with stent-graft was safe and effective for the treatment of both acute and chronic type B aortic dissection. However, both immediate and long term major complications occurred more frequently in patients with acute dissection than in those with chronic dissection.
Within the recent months, endovascular repair of aortic aneurysms has become a rather interesting alternative to patients considering open surgery. In the past, the procedure was typically and more solely reserved to a selected group of elderly patients with several co-morbidities. Currently, there are a number of ongoing trials that are comparing the performance of both surgical and percutaneous endovascular repair of aortic aneurysms. Within this field of research, I would like to personally congratulate Dr. Jing et al, for the excellence, dedication, and consistency throughout their findings and reports. Their overall research protocol and method presented in this June issue of Journal of Geriatric Cardiology, have been proficient and well done. 1 Because this emergency and fatal disease is rare among the general population, the number of patients available to this type of study is limited. Even with this limitation, the authors have managed to find a modest number of subjects allowing them to compare the two techniques. In spite of the obstacles facing the research, there have been more successes in regards to endovascular repair over the conventional surgical technique. 2 Their statistical inference is accurate and their subsequent conclusions are valid. These findings could pave the way for the greater and much enhanced care in future patients that have this complex and devastating problem. It should be noted that a remarkable result of their clinical experience is the absence of early mortality in their patients.
Background and Objective Elderly patients who have been submitted to coronary bypass grafting with the left internal mammary artery (LIMA) may develop a coronary-subclavian steal syndrome because of a left subclavian artery (LSA) stenosis. Usually stenting of LSA is performed by the standard femoral route with guiding catheter technique, but this technique can be particularly difficult in elderly patients who often have iliac-femoral kinking and aortic tortuosity. We compared a new “ad hoc” brachial artery approach technique with the standard guiding catheter technique through the femoral access. Methods Between January 2005 and September 2006, four patients underwent LSA stenting using the left brachial artery access obtained with a 6F or 7F 45-cm-long valved anti-kinking sheath as the Super Arrow Flex sheath (Arrow International, PA, USA). The sheath was positioned just before the LIMA graft ostium and a 0.035 inch 260-cm-long Storq guidewire (Cordis Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Warren, NJ) was advanced across the lesion to the descending aorta. A balloon-expandable Genesis (Cordis Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Warren, NJ) endovascular stent was easily deployed, and the correct position was checked by direct contrast injection through the long sheath. This small group of patients has been compared to a group of 5 age-matched patients with coronary steal syndrome in whom the procedure has been performed with standard technique including femoral approach and guide catheter. Results The procedure was successful in all patients; vertebral and LIMA ostia remained patent in all cases. In the control group, cannulation of the subclavian artery was difficult in two cases, while one patient developed a groin hematoma. Mean pretreatment gradient was 32 mm Hg with a range of 25 to 40 mm Hg (34 mmHg, range 26-43, in the control group, P=0.87) and fell to 2 mm Hg with a range of 0 to 4 mm Hg (3.1 mmHg, range 0 to 5, P=0.89) posttreatment. Mean contrast dose was 60±16 ml (138±26 ml in the control group, P>0.01), whereas mean fluoroscopy and procedural time were 5.7±1.6 minutes (10.8±1.0 minutes in the control group, P>0.01) and 15.7±6.3 minutes (28±7.1 minutes in the control group, P>0.01). At a mean follow-up of 10±3.2 months all patients are alive and free from angina and residual induced ischemia. Conclusions Our brief study suggested that brachial artery access be considered the optimal route to treat coronary-subclavian steal syndrome in elderly patients because of clear advantages; these included no manipulation of catheter to cannulate the artery, perfect coaxial position of the catheter at the site of LSA stenosis, clear visualization of the LIMA and vertebral ostia, and easy access to these vessels in case of plaque shifting or embolic protection device deployment.
Coronary subclavian steal syndrome arises when a stenosis of the subclavian artery results in reduced antegrade or retrograde flow in an internal mammary artery with resultant coronary ischemia. This occurs in patients who have previously undergone surgical coronary revascularization utilizing an internal mammary artery graft. This syndrome can be successfully treated percutaneously with excellent immediate and long-term results. As the standard femoral route may be difficult in the elderly patients due to iliacfemoral kinking and aortic tortuosity. In this June issue of the Journal of Geiratric Cardiology, Rigatelli et al. presented their experience to overcome these access difficulties through the brachial artery approach.1 The coaxial position of the catheter at the site of left subclavian artery stenosis was nearly perfect. Little amounts of contrast were used too. This report provides valuable lesson to peripheral interventionists. However, the total number of patient undergoing the procedure was small. The possibility of complications from the brachial artery approach is higher in patients older than 70 years. More works are needed to be done before this access can be claimed as the preferred approach for coronary subclavian steal syndrome in the elderly patients whenever it is possible and not contraindicated.
We report a modified technique to perform iliac artery stenting through the brachial artery access. A 6F Brite tip sheath (Cordis, Jonhson & Jonhson Medical, Miami Lakes, FL, USA) is inserted into either brachial artery and a standard 4F Judkins Right diagnostic catheter was inserted over a 260 cm 0.038” Terumo Stiff wire (Terumo Corp, Tokyo, Japan) through the sheath. The catheter is navigated down to the aortic bifurcation, and after selecting the common iliac artery ostium, the wire is navigated through the lesion and advanced to the ipsilateral superficial femoral arteries. The catheter should be then moved forward over the wires beyond the lesion and the Terumo guidewire is replaced by two 0.038” 260 cm Supracor wires (Boston Scientific Corporation, San Jose, CA, USA). In order to facilitate advancement of the stent without risk of dislodgement as well as to check the position with low contrast dose injection, a 6 F (or 7F if large stent is selected) 90cm Shuttle Flexor introducer long sheath (Cook Group, Bloomington, IN, USA) should be advanced over the Supracor wire until it reaches the common iliac artery ostium. A road-map technique can be used to check the ostium position in order to properly deploy the selected stent. This technique promises to be safe and effective offering more support than guiding catheter technique; moreover it reduces the stress on the arterial vessel at the subclavian site and enables a stiff balloon or stent catheter to be advanced even through a very elongated and calcified aorta without the risk of stent dislodgement.
In the last few years the treatment of superficial femoral artery (SFA) occlusive disease has undergone greater changes in management including more aggressive endoluminal therapy, especially in the elderly patients who are at high risk for extra-vascular comorbidities from the surgical approach. While acute and chronic arterial limb ischemia is the conditions which the interventional cardiologists frequently encounter, the elderly population represents special problematic clinical and anatomical setting due to heavy calcification and poor distal run-off. Arterial thrombolysis, rheolytic thrombectomy, mechanical thrombectomy, laser angioplasty, cryoplasty, and new flexible long stents are some of the promising techniques to improve the technical and clinical outcomes in these elderly patients.
Affecting over half a million people per year, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Approximately 30% of strokes are caused by carotid occlusive disease.1 The traditional methods of treating carotid stenosis have included medical or surgical therapy. Classically, those with symptomatic moderate or severe cervical carotid arterial stenosis have been treated with carotid endarterectomy (CEA). Medical therapy with aspirin and more recently with Clopidigrel (Plavix) has been reserved for mild to moderate (asymptomatic) carotid arterial stenosis or non-cervical carotid arterial stenosis.
Smoking should be stopped and hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, and hypothyroidism be treated in elderly patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Statins reduce the incidence of intermittent claudication and improve exercise duration until the onset of intermittent claudication in persons with PAD and hypercholesterolemia. Antiplatelet drugs such as aspirin or clopidogrel, especially clopidogrel, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and statins should be given to all persons with PAD. Beta blockers should be given if coronary artery disease is present. Exercise rehabilitation programs and cilostazol lengthen exercise time until intermittent claudication develops. Chelation therapy should be avoided.
Objective To determine whether sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) may lead to nocturnal myocardial ischemia and whether the severity of this ischemia may be relieved by nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Methods Overnight polysomnogram examination and simultaneous 3-channel Holter monitoring were performed on 76 patients with moderate to severe SDB and no history of coronary heart disease. All the cases were treated with CPAP for one night. ST depression was defined as a ST segment decrease of more than 1 mm from baseline and lasting 1 min or more. The total duration (minutes) of ST depression was indexed to the total sleep time (minutes per hour of sleep). Results Twenty-eight patients (37%) showed ST segment depression during their sleep. Before CPAP treatment, the respiratory disturbance index (RDI) and arousal index were significantly higher during periods of ST depression than when ST segments were isoelectric, whereas no significant difference was found in blood oxygen saturation (SaO2). After the CPAP treatment of patients with ST depression, the duration of ST depression was significantly reduced from 36.8±18.9 to 11.4±13.2 min/h (P<0.05). ST depression-related indexes, including RDI, arousal index and the percentage of sleep time spent at SaO2 below 90% (TS90/TST), were all significantly decreased, with RDI from 63.4±23.8 to 8.1±6.6 /h, arousal index from 51.2±18.9 to 9.6±5.4 /h, and TS90/TST from 50.6±21.4 to 12.9±14.7% (P<0.05). Conclusion ST-segment depression is rather common in patients with moderate to severe SDB, and CPAP treatment can significantly reduce the duration of ST depression. ST depression in these patients may reflect the myocardial ischemia that really exists and the non-ischemic changes associated with recurrent SDB.
Objective To determine the plasma urolensin II(UII) levels in various types of coronary heart disease and to clarify how the plasma UII levels correlate with the clinical presentation, extent and severity of coronary artery atherosclerosis (CAD). Methods: One hundred and three aged patients undergoing elective diagnostic coronary angiography for proven or clinical suspected coronary heart disease were enrolled in this study. The extent and severity of coronary artery disease were evaluated by vessel score and Gensini score, respectively. Plasma UII levels were measured by radioimmunoassay. Results: The plasma UII levels in the patients with modest to severe coronary stenosis (3.03±0.34 pg/ml, 1.83±0.67 pg/ml) were significantly lower than that in subjects with normal coronary artery (4.80±1.11 pg/ml, P<0.001). The plasma UII levels in patients with coronary heart disease were also significantly lower than that in patients with insignificant coronary stenosis (P < 0. 001). Compared to patients with stable angina pectoris, plasma UII levels in patients with acute coronary syndrome were significantly decreased (1.89±0.51 pg/ml vs 2.42±0.77 pg/ml, P < 0.001). Plasma UII levels were found to be negatively correlated with the severity of coronary artery stenosis (r = -0.488, P<0.001), as well as the vessel score (r= -0.408, P<0.05) in the patients with CAD. Conclusion: Significant inverse correlations exist between the plasma UII levels, and the extent and severity of coronary artery stenosis. These findings suggest that plasma UII contribute to the development and progression of coronary artery stenosis, and may be a novel marker to predict clinical types, as well as the extent and severity of coronary artery disease in the patients.
To describe the successful endovascular treatment in a nonagenarian with symptomatic internal carotid artery stenosis using direct carotid artery access. An independent 98 year-old man was admitted to our hospital for symptoms of progressive weakness with disorientation and dysphasia. Carotid Duplex ultrasonography was performed which revealed a totally occluded right internal carotid artery and high grade stenosis of the left internal carotid artery by velocities of 608/240 cm/sec. The patient refused surgical endarterectomy and thus he was referred for carotid artery stenting. Using the femoral artery approach and multiple catheter techniques, access to the common carotid artery could not be accomplished safely. The procedure was aborted and he was therefore brought back to the catheterization laboratory the following day for direct carotid access. Carotid artery stenting was accomplished by using of a 6F sheath percutaneously in the left common carotid, cerebral protection device (CPD) and a Nitinol stent. The patient was discharged the following day without complications. At 14 months follow-up the patient is functional and independent without recurrence of symptoms. Carotid artery stenting via direct access can be accomplished in patients when the femoral artery approach is anatomically prohibitive. In this case of advanced age and the patient’s refusal for surgery, direct carotid access was his only option.
Carotid artery stenting (CAS) is an alternative treatment for patients with severe carotid artery stenosis, especially those with prohibitively high surgical risks. 1 The routine vascular access for CAS is the femoral route. Although the technical success rate reported in a large series have been relatively high, 2,3 difficulty in accessing the supraaortic vessels from the femoral approach still accounts for procedural failure in 2% to 7% of cases. 4 The reasons for this failure may be tortuosity and redundancy of the aortic arch, congenital anomalous or aberrant cephalad trunk configuration, or stenosis or occlusion in the abdominal aorta.
The daily practice of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in elderly patients has brought up the attention of outcome research and resource allocation. Determinants to predict survival have been well identified. There has been empirical evidence that CPR is of doubtful utility in the geriatric population, more studies have showed controversial data. Sometimes situations in which CPR needs to be given in the elderly, causes stress to healthcare providers, due to lack of communication of the patient’s wishes and the belief that it will not be successful. It is of importance to state that we have the duty to identify on time the patients that will most likely benefit from CPR, and find out the preferences of the same. Whenever it is possible to institute these guidelines, we will avoid patient suffering.
Sepsis is among the most common reason for admission to intensive care units throughout the world. In the US and most Western nations sepsis is largely a disease of the elderly. Management of elderly patients with severe sepsis is challenging. Early recognition of this syndrome, together with the early administration of appropriate antibiotics and cautious fluid resuscitation is the cornerstone of therapy. Echocardiography together with non-invasive or invasive hemodynamic monitoring is recommended in patients who have responded poorly to fluids or have significant underlying cardiac disease. This paper reviews the hemodynamic changes that characterize sepsis, particularly as they apply to elderly patients and provides recommendations for the management of these patients.
The treatment of choice in symptomatic cases of patients with severe bradycardia remains the implantation of a pacemaker. 1, 2 In the Western countries, the increase in life expectancy, along with programs of universal medical assistance in the elderly has shown that implants of pacemakers are on the rise (32% implants in patients >80 year). 3 Also, the high economic cost, associated to the electrotherapy has given rise to a great controversy, including the optimal selection of the way of stimulation, strategy of implantation and clinical benefit of pacemakers usage in patients of >80 years.