2011 Vol. 8, No. 2
Background The incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) is higher in Northern than that in Southern China, however differences in traditional CHD risk factors do not fully explain this. No study has examined the differences in subclinical atherosclerosis that may help explain the differences in incidence. This study examined these differences in subclinical atherosclerosis using coronary computed tomography (CT) for calcification between the Northern and Southern China. Methods We selected a random sample of participants in a large multi-center ongoing epidemiologic study for coronary calcium scanning in one northern city (North) (Beijing, n = 49) and in two southern cities (South) (Shanghai, n = 50, and Guangzhou, n = 50). Participants from the three field centers (mean age 67 years) underwent coronary risk factor evaluation and cardiac CT scanning for coronary calcium measurement using the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis scanning protocol. Results Adjusted log-transformed coronary artery calcium score in North China (Beijing) was 3.1±0.4 and in South China (Shanghai and Guangzhou) was 2.2±0.3 (P = 0.04). Mean calcium score for the northern city of Beijing was three times higher than that of the southern city of Guangzhou (P = 0.01) and 2.5 times higher than for the southern city of Shanghai (P = 0.03). Conclusions The extent of subclinical atherosclerosis is significantly higher in the northern city of Beijing than that in the two southern cities of Guangzhou and Shanghai, even after adjusting for standard cardiac risk factors. This finding suggests that standard risk factors do not fully explain north south differences in clinical CHD incidence.
Background To investigate the long-term results of global coronary and peripheral interventional treatment of diabetic foot patients. Methods We retrospectively included 220 diabetic patients (78.5 ± 15.8 years, 107 females, all with Fontaine III or IV class) who were referred to our centre for diabetic foot syndrome and severe limb ischemia from January 2006 to December 2010. Patients were evaluated by a team of interventional cardiologists and diabetologists in order to assess presence of concomitant coronary artery disease (CAD) and eventual need for coronary revascularization. Stress-echo was performed in all patients before diagnostic peripheral angiography. Patients with indications for coronary angiography were submitted to combined diagnostic angiography and then to eventual staged peripheral and coronary interventions. Doppler ultrasonography and foot transcutaneous oximetry of transcutaneous oxygen pressure (TcPO2) before and after the procedure were performed as well as stress-echocardiography and combined cardiologic and diabetic examination at 1 and 6 month and yearly. Results Stress-echocardiography was performed in 94/220 patients and resulted positive in 56 patients who underwent combined coronary and peripheral angiography. In the rest of 126 patients, combined coronary and peripheral angiography was performed directly for concomitant signs and symptoms of coronary heart disease in 35 patients. Coronary revascularization was judged necessary in 85/129 patients and was performed percutaneously after peripheral interventions in 72 patients and surgically in 13 patients. For Diabetic foot interventions the preferred approach was ipsilateral femoral antegrade in 170/220 patients (77.7%) and contralateral cross-over in 40/220 patients (18.8%) and popliteal retrograde + femoral antegrade in 10/220 patients (4.5%). Balloon angioplasty was performed in 252 legs (32 patients had bilateral disease): the procedure was successful in 239/252 legs with an immediate success rate of 94.8% and a significant improvement in TcPO2 and ABI with ulcer healing in 233/252 legs (92.4%). Freedom from major amputation was 82.8% at a mean follow-up of 3.1 ± 1.8 years (range 1 to 5 years) whereas survival was 88%. Conclusions Global coronary and peripheral endovascular management of diabetic foot syndrome patients seems to lead to an high immediate success and limb salvage rates and increasing survival compared to historical series.
Background Chronic congestive heart failure is a complex condition that leads to dysfunction in the peripheral microcirculation. We have previously shown that vascular reactivity is reduced with increasing age. In this study, we examined a group of very old patients with severe chronic heart failure to test the hypothesis that vascular function is further compromised by a combination of heart failure and aging. Methods Cutaneous forearm blood flow was measured by laser Doppler flowmetry and compared among three groups: Group 1 (n = 20, mean ± SE: 85.5 ± 4 years), heart failure patients with New York Heart Association class IV (NYHA IV) and with a NT-proBNP level ≥ 5000 ng/L; Group 2 (n = 15, mean ± SE: 76.5 ± 2 years), heart failure patients with NYHA II and NT-proBNP ≤ 2000 ng/L, and Group 3 (n = 10, mean ± SE: 67.6 ± 3.0 years), healthy controls with no clinical signs of heart failure. The vasodilator response to the iontophoretic administration of acetylcholine (ACh), acting via an endothelial mechanism, and sodium nitroprusside (SNP), acting via a smooth muscle cell mechanism, were studied. Results All patients with heart failure had significantly reduced vascular reactivity independent of the mode of stimulation (ACh, SNP or heat) when compared to healthy controls. However, the responses did not differ between the two groups of heart failure patients. Conclusions Cutaneous vascular reactivity is reduced in heart failure patients and does not correlate with the severity of the condition or age of patients.
Background To document the pharmacotherapy of chronic heart failure (CHF) and to evaluate the adherence to treatment guidelines in Australian population. Methods The pharmacological management of 677 patients (female 46.7%, 75.5 ± 11.6 years) with CHF was retrospectively analyzed. Results The use of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) and β-blockers were 58.2 % and 34.7 %, respectively. Major reasons for non-use of ACE inhibitors/ARBs were hyperkalemia and elevated serum creatinine level. For patients who did not receive β-blockers, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were the main contraindications. Treatment at or above target dosages for ACE inhibitors/ARBs and β-blockers was low for each medication (40.3% and 28.9%, respectively). Conclusions Evidenced-based medical therapies for heart failure were under used in a rural patient population. Further studies are required to develop processes to improve the optimal use of heart failure medications.
Background To investigate the effects of collateral coronary circulation on the outcome of the patients with anterior myocardial infarction (MI) with left anterior desending artery occlusion abruptly. Methods Data of 189 patients with acute anterior MI who had a primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in the first 12 h from the onset of symptoms between January 2004 and December 2008 were retrospective analyzed. Left anterior descending arteries (LAD) of all patients were occluded. LADs were reopened with primary PCI. According to the collateral circulation, all patients were classified to two groups: no collateral group (n = 111), patients without angiographic collateral filling of LAD or side branches (collateral index 0) and collateral group (n = 78), and patients with angiographic collateral filling of LAD or side branches (collateral index 1, 2 or 3). At one year’s follow-up, the occurrence of death, reinfarction, stent thrombosis (ST), target vessel revascularization and readmission because of heart failure were observed. Results At one year, the mortality was lower in patients with collateral circulation compared with those without collateral circulation (1% vs. 8%, P = 0.049), whereas there were no differences in the occurrence of reinfarction, ST, target vessel revascularization and readmission because of heart failure. The occurrence of composite of endpoint was lower in patients with collateral circulation compared with those without collateral circulation (12% vs. 26%; P = 0.014). Conclusions Pre-exist collateral circulation may prefigure the satisfactory prognosis to the patients with acute anterior MI after primary PCI in the first 12 h of MI onset.
Background The objective of this study was to assess the clinical safety and efficacy of vena cava filter (VCF) placement, with particular emphasis on the incidence and risk factors of inferior vena cava thrombosis (VCT) after VCF placement. Methods Clinical data of patients with venous thromboembolism (VTE), with or without placement of VCF, were analyzed in a retrospective single-center audit of medical records from January 2005 to June 2009. The collected data included demographics, procedural details, filter type, indications, and complications. Results A total of 168 cases of VTE (82 with VCF; 86 without VCF) were examined. Over a median follow-up of 24.2 months, VCT occurred in 18 of 82 patients with VCFs (11 males, 7 females, mean age 55.4 years). In 86 patients without VCFs, VCT occurred in only 6 individuals (4 males, 2 females) during the study period. VCT was observed more frequently in patients fitted with VCFs than in those without VCFs (22% vs. 7.0%). Conclusions The incidence of VCT in patients with VTE after VCF implantation was 22% approximately. Anticoagulation therapy should be continued for all patients with VCF placement, unless there is a specific contraindication. Almost all instances of VCT in patients with VCF implants in our study occurred after stopping anticoagulation treatment. The use of VCFs is increasing, and more trials are needed to confirm their benefit and accurately assess their safety.
Multislice CT angiography represents one of the most exciting technological revolutions in cardiac imaging and it has been increasingly used in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease. Rapid improvements in multislice CT scanners over the last decade have allowed this technique to become a potentially effective alternative to invasive coronary angiography in patients with suspected coronary artery disease. High diagnostic value has been achieved with multislice CT angiography with use of 64- and more slice CT scanners. In addition, multislice CT angiography shows accurate detection and analysis of coronary calcium, characterization of coronary plaques, as well as prediction of the disease progression and major cardiac events. Thus, patients can benefit from multislice CT angiography that provides a rapid and accurate diagnosis while avoiding unnecessary invasive coronary angiography procedures. The aim of this article is present an overview of the clinical applications of multislice CT angiography in coronary artery disease with a focus on the diagnostic accuracy of coronary artery disease; prognostic value of coronary artery disease with regard to the prediction of major cardiac events; detection and quantification of coronary calcium and characterization of coronary plaques. Limitations of multislice CT angiography in coronary artery disease are also briefly discussed, and future directions are highlighted.
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is the commonest cause of preventable death in hospitalized patients. Elderly patients have higher risk of VTE because of the high prevalence of predisposing co-morbidities and acute illnesses. Clinical diagnosis of VTE in the elderly patient is particularly difficult and, as such, adequate VTE prophylaxis is of pivotal importance in reducing the mortality and morbidities of VTE. Omission of VTE prophylaxis is, however, very common despite continuous education. A simple way to overcome this problem is to implement universal VTE prophylaxis for all hospitalized elderly patients instead of selective prophylaxis for some patients only according to individual’s risk of VTE. Although pharmacological VTE prophylaxis is effective for most patients, a high prevalence of renal impairment and drug interactions in the hospitalized elderly patients suggests that a multimodality approach may be more appropriate. Mechanical VTE prophylaxis, including calf and thigh compression devices and/or an inferior vena cava filter, are often underutilized in hospitalized elderly patients who are at high-risk of bleeding and VTE. Because pneumatic compression devices and thigh length stockings are virtually risk free, mechanical VTE prophylaxis may allow early or immediate implementation of VTE prophylaxis for all hospitalized elderly patients, regardless of their bleeding and VTE risk. Although the cost-effectiveness of this Multimodality Universal STat (‘MUST’) VTE prophylaxis approach for hospitalized elderly patients remains uncertain, this strategy appears to offer some advantages over the traditional ‘selective and single-modal’ VTE prophylaxis approach, which often becomes ‘hit or miss’ or not implemented promptly in many hospitalized elderly patients. A large clustered randomized controlled trial is, however, needed to assess whether early, multimodality, universal VTE prophylaxis can improve important clinical outcomes of hospitalized elderly patients.
Depression is a common medical problem and is more prevalent among patients with coronary artery disease. Whether early detection and treatment of depression will enhance cardiovascular outcome is uncertain. Obviously, the safety and efficacy of the anti-depression drugs is an important link. This article reviews the patho-physiologic and behavioural links between depression and cardiovascular disease progression, the treatment of depression, and the potential benefits of anti-depressants in patients with coronary disease.
We report the management of a patient with secundum atrial septal defect (ASD) and severe pulmonary hypertension. A 65-year-old male with recently diagnosed atrial septal defect was referred to our centre for decompensated right heart failure with rest and exercise induced dispnea and severe pulmonary hypertension. Right heart catheterization confirmed a mean pulmonary pressure of about 55 mmHg and a Qp/Qs of 2.7. An occlusion test with a compliant large balloon demonstrated partial fall of pulmonary arterial pressure. The implantation of a home-made fenestrated Amplatzer ASD Occluder (ASO) was planned in order to decrease left-to-right shunt and promote further decrease of pulmonary arterial pressure in the long-term. Thus, by means of mechanical intracardiac echocardiography study with a 9F 9 MHz UltraIce catheter (Boston Scientific Corp.), we selected a 34 mm ASO for implantation. Four millimeter fenestration was made inflating a 4 mm non-compliant coronary balloon throughout the waist of the ASO, which was successfully implanted under intracardiac echocardiography. After six months, a decrease of pulmonary arterial pressure to 24 mmHg and full compensated right heart failure was observed on transthoracic echocardiography and clinical examination. This case suggests that transcatheter closure with home-made fenestrated ASD in elderly patients with severe pulmonary hypertension is feasible.