2016 Vol. 13, No. 3
Background Female patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) experience increased risk of thromboembolism compared to males, an observation that is reflected by its inclusion in the CHA2DS2VASc score. New onset AF (often associated with tachycardia) also confers upon patients increased thromboembolic risk. The mechanisms underlying this risk are uncertain, but new onset AF is associated with profound impairment of platelet nitric oxide (NO) signalling. Given that cardiovascular responses to catecholamines are gender-dependent, and that the presence of tachycardia in new onset AF may represent a response to catecholaminergic stimulation, we explored the potential impact of gender and tachycardia on platelet aggregation and NO signalling. Methods Interactions were sought in 87 AF patients between the extent of adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-induced platelet aggregation, the anti-aggregatory effects of the NO donor, sodium nitroprusside, gender, and admission heart rate. The potential impact of platelet expression of thioredoxin-interacting protein (Txnip) was also evaluated. Results Analysis of covariance confirmed the presence of physiological antagonism between platelet ADP and NO responses [F (1, 74) = 12.212, P P r = 0.235, P r = -0.331, P Conclusions These results indicate that gender and heart rate are independent determinants of platelet function. Prospective studies of the putative benefit of reversal of tachycardia on restoration of normal platelet function are therefore a priority.
Background There is great debate on the possible adverse interaction between proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and clopidogrel. In addition, whether the use of PPIs affects the clinical efficacy of ticagrelor remains less known. We aimed to determine the impact of concomitant administration of PPIs and clopidogrel or ticagrelor on clinical outcomes in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Methods We retrospectively analyzed data from a “real world”, international, multi-center registry between 2003 and 2014 (n = 15,401) and assessed the impact of concomitant administration of PPIs and clopidogrel or ticagrelor on 1-year composite primary endpoint (all-cause death, re-infarction, or severe bleeding) in patients with ACS after PCI. Results Of 9,429 patients in the final cohort, 54.8% (n = 5165) was prescribed a PPI at discharge. Patients receiving a PPI were older, more often female, and were more likely to have comorbidities. No association was observed between PPI use and the primary endpoint for patients receiving clopidogrel (adjusted HR: 1.036; 95% CI: 0.903–1.189) or ticagrelor (adjusted HR: 2.320; 95% CI: 0.875–6.151) (Pinteraction = 0.2004). Similarly, use of a PPI was not associated with increased risk of all-cause death, re-infarction, or a decreased risk of severe bleeding for patients treated with either clopidogrel or ticagrelor. Conclusions In patients with ACS following PCI, concomitant use of PPIs was not associated with increased risk of adverse outcomes in patients receiving either clopidogrel or ticagrelor. Our findings indicate it is reasonable to use a PPI in combination with clopidogrel or ticagrelor, especially in patients with a higher risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.
Background The coronary artery calcium (CAC) and aortic arch calcification (AoAC) are individually associated with cardiovascular disease and outcome. This study investigated the predictive value of AoAC combined with CAC for cardiovascular diagnosis and outcome in patients with angina. Methods A total of 2018 stable angina patients who underwent chest X-ray and cardiac multi-detector computed tomography were followed up for four years to assess adverse events, which were categorized as cardiac death, stroke, myocardial infarction, or repeated revascularization. The extent of AoAC on chest X-ray was graded on a scale from 0 to 3. Results During the four years of follow-up, 620 patients were treated by coronary stenting and 153 (7%) adverse events occurred. A higher grade of AoAC was associated with a higher CAC score. Cox regression showed that the CAC score, but not AoAC, were associated with adverse events. In patients with CAC score Conclusions As AoAC is strongly correlated with the CAC score regardless of age or gender, careful evaluation of CAD would be required in patients with AoAC on conventional chest X-rays.
Background In elderly patients, especially those older than 80 years, atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with an almost 25% increased risk of stroke. Stroke prophylaxis with anticoagulants is therefore highly recommended. The prevalence of factors that have been associated with a lower rate of prescription and adherence to anticoagulant therapy in these patients is little known. The objective of this study was to explore the clinical characteristics of elderly subjects, with and without AF, consecutively admitted to an acute geriatric unit, discussing factors that may decrease the persistence on stroke prophylaxis therapy. We also highlight possible strategies to overcome the barriers conditioning the current underuse of oral anticoagulants in this segment of the population. Methods A retrospective observational study was performed on a cohort of elderly patients with and without AF admitted to the Acute Geriatric Unit of San Gerardo Hospital (Monza, Italy). Results Compared to patients without AF (n = 1216), those with AF (n = 403) had a higher Charlson Comorbidity Index (3 vs. 2, P vs. 3, P vs. 12%, P vs. 13.2, P Conclusions Elderly patients with AF have higher rates of conditions that affect adherence to traditional anticoagulant therapy (vitamin K antagonists, VKA). New direct oral anticoagulants (DOAs) can help overcome this problem. In order to prescribe the most appropriate VKA or DOAs, with the best efficacy/safety profile and the highest compliance, a comprehensive geriatric assessment should always accompany the scores for thrombotic and hemorrhagic risk stratification.
Background Rotational atherectomy (RA) could facilitate the percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in heavily coronary calcified patients. The effectiveness and safety of this technique needs to be further evaluated. Methods & Results Eighty patients who underwent RA in our center from September 2011 to June 2014 were enrolled. The mean age was 72.4 ± 10.4 years. The left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was average 52.3% ± 8.48% and the estimated glomerular filtration rate was 73.2 ± 3.20 mL/min per 1.73 m2. The coronary lesions were complex, with Syntax score 29.5 ± 9.86. The diameter of reference vessel was 3.4 ± 0.45 mm and the average diameter stenosis of target vessels was 80% ± 10%. All the patients were deployed with drug eluting stents (DES) successfully after RA. The patients were followed up for 12–18 months. Kaplan-Meier plots estimated the survival rate was 93.4% and the cumulative incidence of major adverse cardiac and cerebral events (MACCE) was 25.4%. Bleeding and procedural-related complications were quite low. COX proportional hazards model for multivariate analysis demonstrated that diabetes, LVEF and maximum pressure of postdilatation were the predictors of MACCE. Conclusions RA followed by implantation of DES was effective and safe for heavily coronary calcified patients. Diabetes, LVEF and maximum pressure of postdilatation were predictive for MACCE.
Background Little is known about the prevalence of orthostatic hypertension (OHT) and its effect on long-term mortality in the elderly. We evaluated the prevalence of OHT and its effect on mortality in hospitalized elderly patients. Methods Out of 1852 patients admitted between 31/12/1999 and 31/12/2000 to an acute geriatric ward, 474 patients (48% males) with a mean age of 81.5 ± 6.8 years were enrolled in this study. Blood pressure (BP) was measured three times during the day in a supine and standing position. Patients with at least one increase in systolic or diastolic BP levels upon standing were diagnosed with OHT. Medical history, physical examination and laboratory parameters were retrieved from the medical records. Mortality data until 18th June 2014 were retrieved from the computerized system of the Ministry of the Interior. Results Four hundred and seven patients (86%) were diagnosed with OHT. Those without OHT had a lower body mass index and were more likely males, smokers, had a higher rate of Parkinson’s disease and less congestive heart failure compared with those with OHT. Patients with OHT had a better survival rate than those without OHT (P = 0.024). Hazard ratios (HRs) for mortality in those with OHT adjusted to age and multiple risk factors were: 0.67 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.51-0.87] and 0.73 (95% CI: 0.55-0.97), respectively; a similar tendency was noticed in a sensitivity analysis by gender. Conclusion Hospitalized elderly patients with OHT had a better survival rate than those without OHT.
Background Interleukin (IL)-10, IL-6 and their ratio (IL-6/IL-10) play an important role in the risk of developing coronary artery disease, and may correlate with its outcomes. Few clinical trials have investigated the prognostic impact of these factors on long-term cardiovascular events in patients presented with chest pain. Methods A prospective study was performed on 566 patients admitted with chest pain and identified mild to moderate coronary artery lesions. IL-10, IL-6 and IL-6/IL-10 were measured. Results A total of 511 patients com?pleted the follow-up. The median follow-up time was 74 months. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated a clear increase of the incidence of major adverse cardiac events during the follow-up period in patients with below-median levels of IL-10 (P = 0.006) and above-median levels of IL-6/IL-10 (P = 0.012). Multivariate Cox proportional hazards analysis indicated the IL-10 levels to be strong independent predictors after adjustment for underlying confounders. Conclusions Elevated IL-10 levels are associated with a more favorable long-term prognosis in patients with chest pain and mild to moderate coronary artery lesions. IL-10 could be used for early risk assessment of long-term prognosis.
Doppler echocardiography is the gold standard for assessment of diastolic dysfunction, which is increasingly recognised as a cause of heart failure, especially in the elderly. Using a combination of Doppler echocardiography techniques, it is possible to identify grades of diastolic dysfunction, estimate left ventricular filling pressures and establish the chronicity of diastolic dysfunction. These physiologically-derived measures have been widely validated against invasive measurements of left heart pressures and have been shown to be prognostically valuable in a wide range of clinical settings. This review explores the mechanisms, and approaches to the assessment of diastolic dysfunction in the elderly. The challenge for clinicians is to identify pathophysiological changes from those associated with normal ageing. When used in combination, and taking age into account, Doppler echocardiographic parameters are helpful in the assessment of dyspnoea in older patients and provide prognostic insights.