ISSN 1671-5411 CN 11-5329/R

2021 Vol. 18, No. 7

RESEARCH ARTICLE
Leadless cardiac pacemaker implantations after infected pacemaker system removals in octogenarians
Satoshi Higuchi, Ayako Okada, Morio Shoda, Daigo Yagishita, Satoshi Saito, Miwa Kanai, Shohei Kataoka, Kyoichiro Yazaki, Hiroaki Tabata, Hideki Kobayashi, Wataru Shoin, Takahiro Okano, Koji Yoshie, Koichiro Ejima, Koichiro Kuwahara, Nobuhisa Hagiwara
2021, 18(7): 505-513. doi: 10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2021.07.006
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Abstract:
 Background Management of pacemaker (PM) infections among advanced aged patients possesses particular clinical challenges due to higher rates of concurrent cardiovascular disease and medical comorbidities. Novel leadless cardiac pacemakers (LCPs) may provide new opportunities for better management options in this population, however, there is limited data especially in Asian populations to guide the decision making. Methods We reviewed 11 octogenarians (median age: 86 [minimum 82–maximum 90] years; male: 73%; median body mass index (BMI): 20.1 kg/m2) who received Micra Transcatheter Pacing System (Medtronic Inc, Minneapolis, MN) implantations following transvenous lead extractions (TLEs) for PM infections.  Results All patients had more than two medical comorbidities (average 3.7 comorbidities). The indications for LCP implantations were atrioventricular block in four patients, atrial fibrillation bradycardia in five, and sinus node dysfunction in two. Eight patients (73%) were bridged with temporary pacing using active fixation leads (median interval of 14.0 days), while one with severe dementia underwent a concomitant LCP implantation and TLE during the same procedure. Successful TLEs and LCP implantations were successfully accomplished in all without any complications. The median time from the TLE procedure to discharge was 22 days (minimum 7–maximum 136). All patients remained free of infections during a mean follow-up period of 17.2 ± 6.5 months. Conclusions LCP implantations were safe and effective after removing the entire infectious PM system in all octogenarians. The novel LCP technology may offer an alternative option for considering a re-implantation strategy after transvenous PM infections in elderly patients, particularly those with severe frailty and PM dependency.
Association between coronary artery calcification and cognitive function in a Chinese community-based population
Ya-Nan MA, Wu-Xiang XIE, Zhi-Hui HOU, Yun-Qiang AN, Xin-Shuang REN, Yan-Jun MA, Cheng-Long LI, Yang-Feng WU, Bin LU
2021, 18(7): 514-522. doi: 10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2021.07.002
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Abstract:
 Background Coronary atherosclerosis and cognitive impairment are both age-related diseases, with similar risk factors. Coronary artery calcium (CAC), a marker of coronary atherosclerosis, may play a role in early detection of individuals prone to cognitive decline. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between CAC and cognitive function, and the capability of CAC to identify participants with a high risk of dementia in a Chinese community-based population. Methods A total of 1332 participants, aged 40−80 years and free of dementia from a community located in Beijing were included. All participants completed neurocognitive questionnaires and noncontrast CT examinations. Cognitive performance tests (including verbal memory, semantic fluency, executive function, and global cognitive function tests), the Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging, and Incidence of Dementia (CIDE) risk score, and the CAC score (CACS) were evaluated by questionnaires and CT. A CAIDE score ≥ 10 was considered to indicate a high risk of dementia in late-life. Participants were divided into three groups according to CACS (0, 1−399, ≥ 400). Results After adjusting for risk factors, CACS was significantly associated with verbal memory (r = −0.083, P = 0.003) and global cognitive function (r = −0.070, P = 0.012). The prevalence of a high risk of dementia in the subgroups of CACS = 0, 1−399, and ≥ 400 was 4.67%, 13.66%, and 24.79%, respectively (P < 0.001). Individuals with CACS ≥ 400 had a higher risk of CAIDE score ≥ 10 [OR = 2.30 (1.56, 4.56), P = 0.014] than those with CACS = 0. The receiver-operating characteristic curves showed that the capability of CACS to identify participants with a high risk of dementia was moderate (AUC = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.67−0.72, P < 0.001). Conclusions CAC, a marker of subclinical atherosclerosis, was significantly associated with cognitive performance in verbal memory and global cognitive function. CAC had a moderate capability to identify participants with a high risk of dementia, independent of age, education, and other risk factors.
Prevalence and modifiable risk factors of degenerative valvular heart disease among elderly population in southern China
Shang-Fei HE, Jun-Rong JIANG, Fang-Zhou LIU, Hong-Tao LIAO, Yu-Mei XUE, Mu-Rui ZHENG, Huo-Xing LI, Hai DENG, Shu-Lin WU
2021, 18(7): 523-533. doi: 10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2021.07.003
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Abstract:
 Objective To investigate the prevalence and modifiable risk factors of degenerative valvular heart disease (DVHD) among elderly population in southern China. Methods A stratified multistage sampling method was used to recruit subjects. The contents of the survey included the questionnaire, laboratory examination, echocardiography, and other auxiliary examinations. The possible risk factors of DVHD were analyzed by logistic regression analysis. Results A total of 3538 subjects ≥ 65 years of age were enrolled. One thousand three hundred and seven subjects (36.9%) were diagnosed with DVHD. Degenerative was the most common etiology of VHD. Prevalence of DVHD increased with advancing age. The prevalence of DVHD differed by living region (χ2 = 45.594, P < 0.001), educational level (χ2 = 50.557, P < 0.001), and occupation (χ2 = 36.961, P < 0.001). Risk factors associated with DVHD included age (two-fold increased risk for each 10-year increase in age), elevated level C-reactive protein (OR = 1.346, 95% CI: 1.100−1.646), elevated level low density lipoprotein (OR = 1.243, 95% CI: 1.064−1.451), coronary artery disease (OR = 1.651, 95% CI: 1.085−2.513), smoking (OR = 1.341, 95% CI: 1.132−1.589), and hypertension (OR = 1.414, 95% CI: 1.221−1.638). Other significant risk factors included reduced or elevated level red blood cell (OR = 1.347, 95% CI: 1.031−1.761; OR = 1.599, 95% CI: 1.097−2.331; respectively), elevated level platelets (OR = 1.891, 95% CI: 1.118−3.198), elevated level uric acid (OR = 1.282, 95% CI: 1.112−1.479), and stroke (OR: 1.738, 95% CI = 1.085−2.513). Conclusions The survey characterized the baseline conditions of DVHD cohort of elderly population in Guangzhou city. The established and emerging risk factors for DVHD may represent challenges and opportunities for therapy.
Cardiovascular injuries and SARS-COV-2 infection: focus on elderly people
Claudia Colombo, Laura Garatti, Giulia Ferrante, Francesca Casadei, Claudio Montalto, Gabriele Crimi, Chiara Cogliati, Enrico Ammirati, Stefano Savonitto, Nuccia Morici
2021, 18(7): 534-548. doi: 10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2021.07.001
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Abstract:
The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has hit the healthcare system worldwide. The risk of severe infection and mortality increases with advancing age, especially in subjects with comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and cancer. Moreover, cardiovascular complications such as myocardial injury, heart failure and thromboembolism are frequently observed in COVID-19 cases, and several biomarkers (troponin, NTproBNP and D-Dimer) have been identified as prognostic indicators of disease severity and worst outcome. Currently, there is no specific therapy against SARS-CoV-2, although many medications are under investigation. The aim of this review will be to explore the intertwined relationship between COVID-19 disease and the cardiovascular system, focusing on elderly population. The available supportive treatments along with the related concerns in elderly patients, due to their comorbidities and polypharmacotherapy, will be explored.
Aging is associated with cardiac autonomic nerve fiber depletion and reduced cardiac and circulating BDNF levels
Andrea Elia, Alessandro Cannavo, Giuseppina Gambino, Maria Cimini, Nicola Ferrara, Raj Kishore, Nazareno Paolocci, Giuseppe Rengo
2021, 18(7): 549-559. doi: 10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2021.07.009
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Abstract:
 Background Aging is a multifactorial process associated with an impairment of autonomic nervous system (ANS) function. Progressive ANS remodeling includes upregulation of expression of circulating catecholamines and depletion of cardiac autonomic nerve fibers, and it is responsible, in part, for the increased susceptibility to cardiac diseases observed in elderly subjects. Neurotrophic factors, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF), are involved in synaptogenesis and neurite outgrowth processes, supporting neuronal cell differentiation and maturation. However, whether and how these factors and their downstream signaling are involved in cardiac aging remains unclear. Here, we tested whether, in the aged heart, the overall extent of autonomic fibers is reduced, owing to lower production of trophic factors such as BDNF and NGF.  Methods In vivo, we used young (age: 3 months; n = 10) and old (age: 24 months; n = 11) male Fisher rats, whereas, we used human neuroblastoma (SH-SY5Y) cells in vitro.  Results Compared to the young rats, old rats displayed a marked reduction in the overall ANS fiber density, affecting both sympathetic and cholinergic compartments, as indicated by dopamine β-hydroxylase (dβh) and vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VaChT) immunohistochemical staining. In addition, a marked downregulation of GAP-43 and BDNF protein was observed in the left ventricular lysates of old rats compared to those of young rats. Interestingly, we did not find any significant difference in cardiac NGF levels between the young and old groups. To further explore the impact of aging on ANS fibers, we treated SH-SY5Y cells in vitro with serum obtained from young and old rats. Sera from both groups induced a remarkable increase in neuronal sprouting, as evidenced by a crystal violet assay. However, this effect was blunted in cells cultured with old rat serum and was accompanied by a marked reduction in GAP-43 and BDNF protein levels.  Conclusions Our data indicate that physiological aging is associated with an impairment of ANS structure and function and that reduced BDNF levels are responsible, at least in part, for these phenomena.
REVIEW
Acute heart failure in elderly patients: a review of invasive and non-invasive management
Gregorio Tersalvi, Alessio Gasperetti, Marco Schiavone, Jeroen Dauw, Cecilia Gobbi, Marialessia Denora, Joel Daniel Krul, Giacomo Maria Cioffi, Gianfranco Mitacchione, Giovanni B. Forleo
2021, 18(7): 560-576. doi: 10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2021.07.004
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Acute heart failure (AHF) is a major cause of unplanned hospitalisations in the elderly and is associated with high mortality. Its prevalence has grown in the last years due to population aging and longer life expectancy of chronic heart failure patients. Although international societies have provided guidelines for the management of AHF in the general population, scientific evidence for geriatric patients is often lacking, as these are underrepresented in clinical trials. Elderly have a different risk profile with more comorbidities, disability, and frailty, leading to increased morbidity, longer recovery time, higher readmission rates, and higher mortality. Furthermore, therapeutic options are often limited, due to unfeasibility of invasive strategies, mechanical circulatory support and cardiac transplantation. Thus, the in-hospital management of AHF should be tailored to each patient’s clinical situation, cardiopulmonary condition and geriatric assessment. Palliative care should be considered in some cases, in order to avoid unnecessary diagnostics and/or treatments. After discharge, a strict follow-up through outpatient clinic or telemedicine is can improve quality of life and reduce rehospitalisation rates. The aim of this review is to offer an insight on current literature and provide a clinically oriented, patient-tailored approach regarding assessment, treatment and follow-up of elderly patients admitted for AHF.
Vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque features: findings from coronary imaging
Osamu Kurihara, Masamichi Takano, Yasushi Miyauchi, Kyoichi Mizuno, Wataru Shimizu
2021, 18(7): 577-584. doi: 10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2021.07.005
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Abstract:
Pathological studies have suggested that features of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques likely to progress and lead to acute cardiovascular events have specific characteristics. Given the progress of intravascular coronary imaging technology, some large prospective studies have detected features of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques using these imaging modalities. However, the rate of cardiovascular events, such as acute coronary syndrome, has been found to be considerably reduced in the limited follow-up period available in the statin era. Additionally, not all disrupted plaques lead to thrombus formation with clinical presentation. If sub-occlusive or occlusive thrombus formation does not occur, a thrombus on a disrupted plaque will organize without any symptoms, forming a “healed plaque”. Although vulnerable plaque detection using intracoronary imaging is focused on “thin-cap fibroatheroma” leading to plaque rupture, superficial plaque erosion is increasingly recognized; however, the underlying mechanism of thrombus formation on eroded plaques is not well understood. One of intravascular imaging, optical coherence tomography (OCT) has the highest image resolution and has enabled detailed characterization of the plaque in vivo. Here, we reviewed the status and limitations of intravascular imaging in terms of detecting vulnerable plaque through mainly OCT studies. We suggested that vulnerable plaque should be reconsidered in terms of eroded plaque and healed plaque and that both plaque and circulating blood should be assessed in greater detail accordingly.
PERSPECTIVE
Effect of atrial fibrillation on cognitive function in heart failure patients
Nikolaos Ktenopoulos, Ioanna Koniari, Virginia Mplani, Eleni Artopoulou, Grigorios Tsigkas, Andreas Gerakaris, Nicholas Kounis, Dimitrios Velissaris
2021, 18(7): 585-590. doi: 10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2021.07.010
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CASE REPORT
A case of mediastinal mesenchymal tumor resembling hemopericardium
Aynur Acibuca, Mustafa Yilmaz, Elif Karadeli, Emine Tuba Canpolat, Tansel Erol
2021, 18(7): 591-594. doi: 10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2021.07.007
Abstract:
Mediastinal neoplasms are rare in the elderly, and clinical suspicion is the first and most important step of differential diagnosis. Mediastinal tumors can be misdiagnosed because their symptoms or signs can overlap with cardiovascular diseases, which have a higher prevalence among the older population. The diagnostic process should be managed with multimodality imaging and clinical judgement. Here, the case of a 74-year-old male patient, who presented with shortness of breath, is examined. A chest X-ray revealed an increased cardiothoracic ratio, and he was diagnosed with hemopericardium following an emergent chest computed tomography. In the echocardiography, it was suspected that a hyperechogenic area adjacent to the heart might be due to a mass, and further examinations confirmed a mediastinal neoplasm. A surgical biopsy was performed, and it was determined to be a mesenchymal tumor. To conclude, clinicians should keep in mind the possibility of paracardiac neoplasm in the elderly, as well as in other age groups, when encountering mediastinal widening so that the patient can be protected from unnecessary interventions such as pericardiocentesis.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Think twice before implanting leads in a swimmer: challenges in lead implantation of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
Dimitrios Varvarousis, Vasileios Doulamis, Nikolaos Parzakonis, Georgios Kourgiannidis
2021, 18(7): 595-596. doi: 10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2021.07.008
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