2016 Vol. 13, No. 1
Background One of the major challenges in arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) ablation is ventricular tachycardia (VT) non-inducibility. The study aimed to assess whether fast rate (≥ 250 beats/min) right ventricular burst stimulation was useful for VT induction in patients with ARVC. Methods Ninety-one consecutive ARVC patients with clinical sustained VT that underwent electrophysiological study were enrolled. The stimulation protocol was implemented at both right ventricular apex and outflow tract as follows: Step A, up to double extra-stimuli; Step B, incremental stimulation with low rate (Results A total of 76 patients had inducible VT (83.5%), among which 49 were induced by Step C, 15 were induced by Step B, 8 and 4 by Step A and D, respectively. Clinical VTs were induced in 60 patients (65.9%). Only two spontaneously ceased ventricular fibrillations were induced by Step C. Multivariate analysis showed that a narrower baseline QRS duration under sinus rhythm was independently associated with VT non-inducibility (OR: 1.1; 95% CI: 1.0–1.1; P = 0.019). Conclusion Fast rate (≥ 250 beats/min) right ventricular burst stimulation provides a useful supplemental method for VT induction in ARVC patients.
Objective To assess the differences in incidence, clinical features, current treatment strategies and outcome in patients with type-2 vs. type-1 acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Methods We included 824 consecutive patients with a diagnosis of type-1 or type-2 AMI. During index hospitalization, clinical features and treatment strategies were collected in detail. At 1-year follow-up, mortality, stroke, non-fatal myocardial infarction and major bleeding were recorded. Results Type-1 AMI was present in 707 (86%) of the cases while 117 (14%) were classified as type-2. Patients with type-2 AMI were more frequently female and had higher co-morbidities such as diabetes, previous non-ST segment elevation acute coronary syndromes, impaired renal function, anaemia, atrial fibrillation and malignancy. However, preserved left ventricular ejection fraction and normal coronary arteries were more frequently seen, an invasive treatment was less common, and anti-platelet medications, statins and beta-blockers were less prescribed in patients with type-2 AMI. At 1-year follow-up, type-2 AMI was associated with a higher crude mortality risk (HR: 1.75, 95% CI: 1.14?2.68; P = 0.001), but this association did not remain significant after multivariable adjustment (P = 0.785). Furthermore, we did not find type-2 AMI to be associated with other clinical outcomes. Conclusions In this real-life population, compared with type-1, type-2 AMI were predominantly women and had more co-morbidities. Invasive treatment strategies and cardioprotective medications were less used in type-2, while the 1-year clinical outcomes were similar.
Background Geriatric patients with multivessel coronary artery disease (CAD) are a challenging group to treat; these cases elicit discussion within heart teams regarding the actual benefit of undertaking major surgery on these patients and often lead to abandon the surgical option. Percutaneous procedures represent an important option, but coronary anatomy may be unfavorable. Off-pump coronary artery bypass (OPCAB) provides good quality graft on left anterior descending (LAD) without exposing the patient to cardiopulmonary bypass, and might be the ideal choice in patients with multiple comorbidities, not eligible to percutaneous or on-pump procedures. The objective of this study was to compare survival during a mid-term follow-up in high-risk patients with no percutaneous alternative, either treated with OPCAB or discharged in medical therapy. Methods We retrospectively evaluated from June 2008 to June 2013, 83 high-risk patients with multivessel CAD were included: 42 were treated with incomplete off-pump revascularization using left internal mammary artery (LIMA) on LAD; 41 were discharged in optimal medical therapy (OMT), having refused surgery. Follow-up ended in March 2015, with a telephonic interview. Primary endpoint was survival from all-cause mortality; secondary endpoints were survival from cardiac-related mortality and freedom from non-fatal major adverse cardiac events (MACEs). Results During follow up, 11 deaths in OPCAB group and 27 deaths in OMT group occurred. Death was due to cardiac factors in 6 and 15 patients, respectively. MACEs were observed in 6 patients in OPCAB group and in 4 patients in OMT group. With regards to survival from all-cause mortality, patients who underwent OPCAB survived more than those discharged in OMT (Log Rank P P = 0.010). There is no statistically significant difference concerning freedom from MACEs (Log Rank = 0.273). Conclusions For high-risk patients with multivessel CAD, not eligible to on-pump complete revascularization surgery or percutaneous procedures, incomplete revascularization with OPCAB LIMA-on-LAD offers benefits in survival when compared to OMT alone.
Objective To investigate the procedural outcomes and the long-term survival of patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) and compare study results of patients ≤ 80 years and patients > 80 years old. Methods A total of 240 patients treated with TAVI were divided into two groups according to age ≤ 80 years (n = 105; 43.8%) and > 80 years (n = 135; 56.2%). The baseline characteristics and the procedural outcomes were compared between these two groups of patients. Results With the exception of peripheral artery disease and hypercholesterolemia, which were more frequently observed in the older age group, baseline characteristics were comparable between groups. Complication rates did not differ significantly between patients ≤ 80 years and patients > 80 years. There were no differences in 30-day mortality rates between patients aged ≤ 80 years and patients > 80 years old (9.5% vs. 7.4%, respectively; P = 0.557). After a median follow-up of 28 months (interquartile range: 16–42 months), 50 (47.6%) patients aged ≤ 80 years died compared to 57 (42%) deaths in the group of patients > 80 years old (P = 0.404). Conclusion The results of the present single center study showed that age didn't significantly impact the outcomes of TAVI.
Background Disagreement exists on the association between changes in blood pressure and cognitive impairment. We aimed to examine whether 4-year changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP) are associated with cognitive status in a representative sample of older men and women. Methods Analysis of longitudinal data from 854 participants of a population-based German sample (aged 60-87 years) was performed with standard cognitive screening and blood pressure measurements. Effects of changes in SBP and DBP (10 mmHg and 5 mmHg respectively as unit of regression effect measure) on cognitive status were evaluated using non-parametric and linear regression modeling. Results No clear associations were seen between changes in SBP or in DBP and cognitive scores. Small effects were found after stratification for sex and hypertension awareness. Specifically, larger decreases in SBP were associated with higher cognitive scores in those men aware of their hypertension (10 mmHg decrease in SBP, β = -0.26, 95% CI: -0.51 to 0.02) and men with controlled hypertension (10 mmHg decrease in SBP, β = -0.44, 95% CI: -0.92 to -0.03). Additionally larger increases in DBP were associated with higher cognitive scores in men with controlled hypertension (5 mmHg increase in DBP, β = 0.67, 95% CI: 0.19-1.15). For women aware of their hypertension, larger decreases in DBP were associated with higher cognitive scores (5 mmHg decrease in DBP, β ?= -0.26; 95%CI: -0.51 to -0.01). Conclusions Changes in blood pressure were only weakly associated with cognitive status. Specifically, decreases in SBP were associated with higher cognitive scores in men aware of their hypertension and especially those that were medically controlled.
Background For the treatment of chronic heart failure (HF), both pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment should be employed in HF patients. Although HF is highly prevalent in nursing home residents, it is not clear whether the recommendations in the guidelines for pharmacological therapy also are followed in nursing home residents. The aim of this study is to investigate how HF is treated in nursing home residents and to determine to what extent the current treatment corresponds to the guidelines. Methods Nursing home residents of five large nursing home care organizations in the southern part of the Netherlands with a previous diagnosis of HF based on medical records irrespective of the left ventricle ejection fraction (LVEF) were included in this cross-sectional design study. Data were gathered on the (medical) records, which included clinical characteristics and pharmacological- and non-pharmacological treatment. Echocardiography was used as part of the study to determine the LVEF. Results Out of 501 residents, 112 had a diagnosis of HF at inclusion. One-third of them received an ACE-inhibitor and 40% used a β-blocker. In 66%, there was a prescription of diuretics with a preference of a loop diuretic. Focusing on the residents with a LVEF≤40%, only 46% of the 22 residents used an ACE-inhibitor and 64% a β-blocker. The median daily doses of prescribed medication were lower than those that were recommended by the guidelines. Non-pharmacological interventions were recorded in almost none of the residents with HF. Conclusions The recommended medical therapy of HF was often not prescribed; if prescribed, the dosage was usually far below what was recommended. In addition, non-pharmacological interventions were mostly not used at all.
Objective To investigate whether depression, anxiety and stress increase the risk for delirium and poor quality of life (QOL) after coronary artery bypass (CABG) surgery. Methods A total of 180 CABG patients (mean age of 63.5 ± 10.1 years, 82.2% males) completed baseline and postoperative self-report questionnaires to assess distress and QOL. Incident delirium was diagnosed postoperatively with a structured clinical interview and patients were monitored every day post-operatively for confusion and disturbance in consciousness. Results Delirium developed in 63 persons (35% of sample). After adjustment for covariates, delirium was significantly associated with depression [odds ratio (OR): 1.08; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.03–1.13, P = 0.003], anxiety (OR: 1.07; 95% CI: 1.02–1.13, P = 0.01) and stress (OR: 1.05; 95% CI: 1.00–1.09, P = 0.03). Preoperative depression scores were associated with poorer QOL including bodily pain (β = -0.39, P = 0.013), vitality (β=-0.32, P = 0.020), social functioning (β = -0.51, P ≤ 0.001), emotional role function (β = -0.44, P = 0.003) and general health (β = -0.33, P = 0.038). Among the covariates, harmful levels of alcohol use was consistently associated with poorer QOL. Conclusions Depression and harmful levels of alcohol use were consistently associated with poorer QOL whereas depression, anxiety and stress were associated with delirium risk. These findings point to further research examining depression and harmful levels of alcohol use in coronary heart disease populations undergoing coronary revascularization.
Objective To examine the relationship between upper leg length (ULL) and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in older adults. Methods Data was collected from National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES, 2009–2010). 786 individuals (385 males and 401 females) who were 60 years of age or older were included in this analysis. MetS was defined as having at least three of following conditions, i.e., central obesity, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, and hypertension based on National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines. ULL was grouped into gender-specific tertiles. Results 328 (41.7%) of participants were categorized as having MetS (38.7% in men and 49.1% in women, P = 0.002). Compared to individuals in the 1st tertile (T1) of ULL, those in the 3rd tertile (T3) had lower levels of triglycerides (120.8 vs. 153.1 mg/dL, P = 0.045), waist circumference (100.7 vs. 104.2 cm, P = 0.049), and systolic blood pressure (126.7 vs. 131.4 mmHg, P = 0.005), but higher levels of high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (58.1 vs. 52.4 mg/dL, P = 0.024). The odds ratios (95% CI) of MetS from multivariate logistic regression were 0.57 (0.32–1.03) for individuals in the T2 of ULL and 0.39 (0.24–0.64) for individuals in the T3 of ULL, respectively (P-value for the trend 0.022). Conclusions ULL was negatively associated with MetS in older adults. Further research is needed to identify potential mechanisms.
Objective To validate a modified HEART [History, Electrocardiograph (ECG), Age, Risk factors and Troponin] risk score in chest pain patients with suspected non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS) in the emergency department (ED). Methods This retrospective cohort study used a prospectively acquired database and chest pain patients admitted to the emergency department with suspected NSTE-ACS were enrolled. Data recorded on arrival at the ED were used. The serum sample of high-sensitivity cardiac Troponin I other than conventional cardiac Troponin I used in the HEART risk score was tested. The modified HEART risk score was calculated. The end point was the occurrence of major adverse cardiac events (MACE) defined as a composite of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), percutaneous intervention (PCI), coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), or all-cause death, within three months after initial presentation. Results A total of 1,300 patients were enrolled. A total of 606 patients (46.6%) had a MACE within three months: 205 patients (15.8%) were diagnosed with AMI, 465 patients (35.8%) underwent PCI, and 119 patients (9.2%) underwent CABG. There were 10 (0.8%) deaths. A progressive, significant pattern of increasing event rate was observed as the score increased (P 2 for trend). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.84. All patients were classified into three groups: low risk (score 0–2), intermediate risk (score 3–4), and high risk (score 5–10). Event rates were 1.1%, 18.5%, and 67.0%, respectively (P Conclusions The modified HEART risk score was validated in chest pain patients with suspected NSTE-ACS and may complement MACE risk assessment and patients triage in the ED. A prospective study of the score is warranted.
Background Levodopa is the indispensable choice of medial therapy in patients with Parkinson disease (PD). Since L-dopa treatment was shown to increase serum homocysteine levels, a well-known risk factor for cardiovascular disorders, the patients with PD under L-dopa treatment will be at increased risk for future cardiovascular events. The objective of this study is to evaluate cardiovascular risk in patients with PD under levodopa treatment. Methods The study population consisted of 65 patients with idiopathic PD under L-dopa treatment. The control group included 32 age and gender matched individuals who had no cognitive decline. Echocardiographic measurements, serum homocysteine levels and elastic parameters of the aorta were compared between the patients with PD and controls. Results As an expected feature of L-dopa therapy, the Parkinson group had significantly higher homocystein levels (15.1 ± 3.9 μmol/L vs. 11.5 ± 3.2 μmol/L, P = 0.02). Aortic distensibility was significantly lower in the patients with PD when compared to controls (4.8 ± 1.5 dyn/cm2 vs. 6.2 ± 1.9 dyn/cm2, P = 0.016). Additionally, the patients with PD had higher aortic strain and aortic stiffness index (13.4% ± 6.4% vs. 7.4% ± 3.6%, P vs. 4.9 ± 1.9, P r = 0.674, P r = -0.602, P Conclusions The patients with PD under L-dopa treatment have increased aortic stiffness and impaired diastolic function compared to healthy individuals. Elevated serum homocysteine levels may be a possible pathophysiological mechanism.
Background Calcific aortic stenosis (AS) is an active process sharing similarities with atherosclerosis and chronic inflammation. The pathophysiology of AS is notable for three cardinal components: inflammation, fibrosis and calcification. Monocytes play a role in each of these processes. The role of circulating monocytes in AS is not clear. The aim of the present study was to study an association between circulating apoptotic and non apoptotic CD14+ monocytes and AS features. Methods We assessed the number of CD14+ monocytes and apoptotic monocytes in 54 patients with significant AS (aortic valve area 0.74 ± 0.27 cm2) and compared them to 33 patients with similar risk factors and no valvular disease. The level of CD14+ monocytes and apoptotic monocytes was assessed by flow cytometry. Results There was no difference in the risk factor profile and known coronary or peripheral vascular diseases between patients with AS and controls. Patients with AS exhibited increased numbers of CD14+ monocytes as compared to controls (9.9% ± 4.9% vs. 7.7% ± 3.9%, P = 0.03). CD14+ monocyte number was related to age and the presence and severity of AS. In patients with AS, both CD14+ monocytes and apoptotic monocytes were inversely related to aortic valve area. Conclusions Patients with significant AS have increased number of circulating CD14+ monocytes and there is an inverse correlation between monocyte count and aortic valve area. These findings may suggest that inflammation is operative not only in early valve injury phase, but also at later developed stages such as calcification when AS is severe.
Background Growth differentiation factor (GDF)-15, a divergent member of the transforming growth factor beta super-family does appear to be up-regulated in response to experimental pressure overload and progression of heart failure (HF). HF frequently develops after myocardial infarction (MI), contributing to worse outcome. The aim of this study is to assess the correlation between GDF-15 levels and markers related to collagen turnover in different stages of HF. Methods The study consists of a cohort of 179 patients, including stable angina pectoris patients (AP group, n = 50), old MI patients without HF (OMI group, n = 56), old MI patients with HF (OMI-HF group, n = 38) and normal Control group (n = 35). Both indicators reflecting the synthesis and degradation rates of collagen including precollagen I N-terminal peptide (PINP), type I collagen carboxy-terminal peptide (ICTP), precollagen III N-terminal peptide (PIIINP) and GDF-15 were measured using an enzyme-linked inmunosorbent assay. Results The plasma GDF-15 level was higher in OMI-HF group (1373.4 ± 275.4 ng/L) than OMI group (1036.1 ± 248.6 ng/L), AP group (784.6 ± 222.4 ng/L) and Control group (483.8 ± 186.4 ng/L) (P vs. 16.7 ± 5.1 μg/L and 13.2 ± 7.9 μg/L vs. 6.4 ± 2.1 μg/L, respectively; P r = 0.302, P r = 0.206, P = 0.006, respectively). GDF-15 positively correlated to the echocardiographic diastolic indicators E/Em and left atrial pressure (r = 0.349 and r = 0.358, respectively; P r = -0.623 and r = -0.365, respectively; P Conclusion Plasma GDF-15 is associated with the indicators of type I and III collagen turnover.