Vascular stiffening of the large arteries is a common feature of human aging. Increased aortic stiffness with age may contribute to pathological changes in the left ventricle and this can induce ventricular stiffening. Vascular-ventricular stiffening combined with abnormal arterial-cardiac interaction is considered an important pathophysiology of heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction. Here, I briefly review the concept and implications of arterial-cardiac interaction and this will pave the way to understanding and controlling heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction, which is more prevalent in the elderly.
Aortic stiffness; Left ventricle; Heart failure
Leaflet escape of prosthetic valve is rare but potentially life threatening. It is essential to make timely diagnosis in order to avoid mortality. Transesophageal echocardiography and cinefluoroscopy is usually diagnostic and the location of the missing leaflet can be identified by computed tomography (CT). Emergent surgical correction is mandatory. We report a case of fractured escape of Edward-Duromedics mitral valve 27 years after the surgery. The patient presented with symptoms of acute decompensated heart failure and cardiogenic shock. She was instantly intubated and mechanically ventilated. After prompt evaluation including transthoracic echocardiography and CT, the escape of the leaflet was confirmed. The patient underwent emergent surgery for replacement of the damaged prosthetic valves immediately. Eleven days after the surgery, the dislodged leaflet in iliac artery was removed safely and the patient recovered well.
Cardiac valve prosthesis; Prosthesis failure; Cardiogenic shock
Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) has become an attractive therapeutic strategy for severe aortic stenosis (AS) in elderly patients due to its minimally-invasive nature. Therefore, early results of its clinical outcomes in elderly Korean patients were evaluated.
Materials and Methods
We compared early clinical outcomes of TAVI, surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR), and optimal medical therapy (OMT) in patients aged ≥80 years with symptomatic severe AS. Treatment groups were allocated as follows: TAVI (n=10), SAVR (n=14), and OMT (n=42).
Baseline clinical characteristics including predicted operative mortality were similar among the three groups. However, patients with New York Heart Association functional class III or IV symptoms and smaller aortic valve area were treated with TAVI or SAVR rather than OMT. In-hospital combined safety endpoints (all-cause mortality, major stroke, peri-procedural myocardial infarction, life-threatening bleeding, major vascular complication, and acute kidney injury) after TAVI or SAVR were significantly lower in the TAVI group than in the SAVR group (10.0% vs. 71.4%, respectively, p=0.005), along with an acceptable rate of symptom improvement and device success. During the follow-up period, the TAVI group showed the lowest rate of 3-month major adverse cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events, a composite of all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction, major stroke, and re-hospitalization (TAVI 0.0% vs. SAVR 50.0% vs. OMT 42.9%, p=0.017).
Treatment with TAVI was associated with lower event rates compared to SAVR or OMT. Therefore, TAVI may be considered as the first therapeutic strategy in selected patients aged ≥80 years with symptomatic severe AS.
Aortic stenosis; transcatheter aortic valve implantation; treatment outcome
Achalasia; Left atrium; Echocardiography
Obesity; Lipomatous hypertrophy; Cardiac imaging
Background and Objectives
Left atrial (LA) fibrosis is a main determinant of LA remodeling and development of atrial fibrillation. However, non-invasive prediction of LA fibrosis is challenging. We investigated whether preoperative LA strain as measured by speckle tracking echocardiography could predict the degree of LA fibrosis and LA reverse remodeling after mitral valve (MV) surgery.
Subjects and Methods
Speckle tracking echocardiography and LA volume measurements were performed in 50 patients one day before MV surgery. LA tissues were obtained during the surgery, and the degrees of their interstitial fibroses were measured. LA volume measurements were repeated within 30 days after surgery (n=50) and 1-year later (n=39).
Left atrial global strain was significantly correlated with the degree of LA fibrosis (r=-0.55, p<0.001), and its correlation was independent of age, underlying rhythm, presence of rheumatic heart disease and type of predominant MV disease (B=-1.37, 95% confidence interval -2.32 - -0.41, p=0.006). The degree of LA fibrosis was significantly correlated with early (r=-0.337, p=0.017) and 1-year (r=-0.477, p=0.002) percent LA volume reduction after MV surgery, but LA global strain was not significant.
Left atrial strain as measured by speckle tracking echocardiography might be helpful for predicting the degree of LA fibrosis in patients with MV disease.
Echocardiography; Fibrosis; Left atrium
Diabetes is associated with higher incidence of myocardial infarction (MI) and increased propensity for subsequent events post-MI. Here we conducted a temporal analysis of the influence of diabetes on cardiac dysfunction and remodeling after ischemia reperfusion (IR) injury in mice. Diabetes was induced using streptozotocin and IR performed by ligating the left anterior descending coronary artery for 30 min followed by reperfusion for up to 42 days. We first evaluated changes in cardiac function using echocardiography after 24 hours reperfusion and observed IR injury significantly decreased the systolic function, such as ejection fraction, fractional shortening and end systolic left ventricular volume (LVESV) in both control and diabetic mice. The longitudinal systolic and diastolic strain rate were altered after IR, but there were no significant differences between diabetic mice and controls. However, a reduced ability to metabolize glucose was observed in the diabetic animals as determined by PET-CT scanning using 2-deoxy-2-(18F)fluoro-D-glucose. Interestingly, after 24 hours reperfusion diabetic mice showed a reduced infarct size and less apoptosis indicated by TUNEL analysis in heart sections. This may be explained by increased levels of autophagy detected in diabetic mice hearts. Similar increases in IR-induced macrophage infiltration detected by CD68 staining indicated no change in inflammation between control and diabetic mice. Over time, control mice subjected to IR developed mild left ventricular dilation whereas diabetic mice exhibited a decrease in both end diastolic left ventricular volume and LVESV with a decreased intraventricular space and thicker left ventricular wall, indicating concentric hypertrophy. This was associated with marked increases in fibrosis, indicted by Masson trichrome staining, of heart sections in diabetic IR group. In summary, we demonstrate that diabetes principally influences distinct IR-induced chronic changes in cardiac function and remodeling, while a smaller infarct size and elevated levels of autophagy with similar cardiac function are observed in acute phase.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the major risk factors for ischemic stroke, and 90% of thromboembolisms in these patients arise from the left atrial appendage (LAA). Recently, it has been documented that an LAA occlusion device (OD) is not inferior to warfarin therapy, and that it reduces mortality and risk of stroke in patients with AF.
Materials and Methods
We implanted LAA-ODs in 5 Korean patients (all male, 59.8±7.3 years old) with long-standing persistent AF or permanent AF via a percutaneous trans-septal approach.
1) The major reasons for LAA-OD implantation were high risk of recurrent stroke (80%), labile international neutralizing ratio with hemorrhage (60%), and 3/5 (60%) patients had a past history of failed cardioversion for rhythm control. 2) The mean LA size was 51.3±5.0 mm and LAA size was 25.1×30.1 mm. We implanted the LAA-OD (28.8±3.4 mm device) successfully in all 5 patients with no complications. 3) After eight weeks of anticoagulation, all patients switched from warfarin to anti-platelet agent after confirmation of successful LAA occlusion by trans-esophageal echocardiography.
We report on our early experience with LAA-OD deployment in patients with 1) persistent or permanent AF who cannot tolerate anticoagulation despite significant risk of ischemic stroke, or 2) recurrent stroke in patients who are unable to maintain sinus rhythm.
Atrial fibrillation; left atrial appendage; occlusion device; thromboembolism
Ischemic stroke is a common complication of infective endocarditis (IE), occurring in 20-40% of left side IE cases. In these subsets, anticoagulation therapy may provoke hemorrhagic transformation (HT) of ischemic stroke, and complications of this magnitude deteriorate the clinical course for IE patients. However, in cases of IE complicated with a mechanical prosthetic valve, the physician can be concerned over the maintenance of anticoagulation due to the risk of thrombotic complication. According to our retrospective review, HT of ischemic stroke in prosthetic valve endocarditis occurred 13.8% (4/29) of the time in a variety of situations. Some of these even arose in patients with a subtherapeutic range of prothrombin time.
Heart valve prosthesis; Endocarditis; Stroke; Cerebral hemorrhage; Anticoagulants
Pericardiectomy is the standard treatment in patients with chronic constrictive pericarditis who have persistent symptoms. However, myocardial atrophy with prolonged pericardial constriction and abrupt increase in venous return can lead to heart failure with volume overload after pericardial decompression, especially in the right ventricle (RV). We experienced a 44 year old male patient who developed transient RV failure after pericardiectomy for constrictive pericarditis. Echocardiography revealed a markedly dilated RV with decreased peak systolic velocity of the tricuspid annulus, suggesting severe RV dysfunction. After treatment with inotropics and diuretics, a follow-up echocardiography revealed an improved systolic function with decreased RV chamber size. This case demonstrates the importance of volume overload and RV dysfunction in patients with constrictive pericarditis undergoing pericardiectomy.
Right ventricular dysfunction; Constrictive pericarditis; Pericardiectomy
Swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) is caused by a new strain of the influenza virus. The disease has spread rapidly and was declared a pandemic in April, 2009. So far, however, there is a scarcity of information regarding the complications of swine influenza. A report of the disease in the winter of 2009 in the Southern Hemisphere found that the most common manifestations of influenza A virus infection are upper respiratory tract infection and pneumonia. Although there may be an association between fulminant myocarditis and Swine influenza, cardiovascular complications resulting from swine Influenza A infection are exceedingly rare. We report a case of acute constrictive pericarditis in a healthy subject infected by the swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus.
Pericarditis, constrictive; Swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus
The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of targeted ultrasound imaging on apoptosis with annexin A5 microbubbles (A5MB) in acute doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity.
Avidinated and octafluoropropan-filled phospholipid microbubbles were conjugated with biotinylated annexin A5. To confirm the specific binding of A5MB, flow cytometry was performed with hydrogen peroxide induced apoptosis in rat aorta smooth muscle cells incubated with fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate (FITC) labeled annexin A5 and A5MB. Adult male rats were injected intraperitoneally with 5 mg/kg doxorubicin weekly for 3 weeks (n = 5). Control rats were injected with normal saline (n = 5). At 24 hours after the final treatment, triggering imaging was performed 15 min after an intravenous bolus injection of A5MB for washout of freely circulating microbubbles. After echocardiography, the heart was isolated for histological detection of apoptosis by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay.
In the in vitro tests, fluorescence intensity was low for healthy cells and high for apoptotic cells when incubated with FITC-labeled annexin A5 and A5MB. Rats treated with doxorubicin showed significant contrast opacification of the myocardium on contrast echocardiography using A5MB. However, no opacification was observed in control rats. Apoptosis was confirmed by TUNEL assay in doxorubicin treated rats.
Acute doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy based on early apoptosis can be assessed and imaged with targeted ultrasound imaging using A5MB in rats.
Cardiomyopathy; Apoptosis; Annexin A5; Microbubbles; Echocardiography
The aim of this study was to determine whether retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4), adiponectin and high molecular weight (HMW) adiponectin are associated with insulin resistance (IR) and metabolic parameters in non-diabetic hypertensive patients. Also, we sought to compare the predictive values of these adipocytokines for IR in non-diabetic hypertensive patients.
Materials and Methods
Analyses of RBP4, adiponectin, and HMW adiponectin were performed on 308 non-diabetic hypertensives (148 males, age 58 ± 10 years, 189 non-metabolic syndrome and 119 metabolic syndrome). The homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) index for IR, lipid profiles, and anthropometric measure-ments were assessed.
There was no significant difference in RBP4 levels according to the presence of metabolic syndrome, although adiponectin and HMW adiponectin were significantly lower in metabolic syndrome. Correlation analysis of log RBP4 with IR and metabolic indices revealed that there was no significant correlation of RBP4 with waist circumference (r = 0.056, p = 0.324), HDL cholesterol (r = 0.005, p = 0.934), ApoB/ApoAI ratio (r = 0.066, p = 0.270), and the HOMA index (r = 0.017, p = 0.756). However, adiponectin and HMW adiponectin showed significant correlations with the HOMA index (r = - 0.247, p < 0.001; r = - 0.296, p < 0.001) and metabolic parameters. With IR defined as HOMA index ≥ 2.5, HMW adiponectin did not demonstrate a superior predictive value for IR compared to adiponectin (AUC = 0.680 vs. 0.648, p = 0.083). The predictive value of RBP4 for IR was minimal (AUC = 0.534).
RBP4 was not associated with IR or metabolic indices and the predictive value for IR was minimal in hypertensives. HMW adiponectin didn't have a superior predictive value for IR compared to adiponectin. Therefore, we can suggest that RBP4 and HMW adiponectin don't have more additive information than adiponectin in non-diabetic hypertensives.
Retinol-binding proteins; adiponectin; hypertension; insulin resistance
In the present study, we tested whether the presence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) would worsen the features of inflammation, plasma omega 3 fatty acid levels and antioxidant potential in treated hypertensive patients.
Materials and Methods
Two groups were classified by the components of MetS: a reference group of treated hypertensive subjects: hypertension (HTN) group (n = 39) and with more than two additional MetS components: HTN with Mets group (n = 40). We further compared the parameters between HTN group and HTN with MetS group.
The results showed that age (p < 0.001) and body mass index (BMI) (p < 0.001) were significantly different between HTN group and HTN with MetS group. Age- and BMI-adjusted total radical trapping antioxidant potential (TRAP) (p < 0.01) was significantly lower, whereas age- and BMI-adjusted CD (p < 0.05) and interleukin (IL) 6 (p < 0.05) were significantly higher in HTN with MetS group than in HTN group. Moreover, HTN with MetS group had significantly lower levels of age- and BMI-adjusted plasma phospholipid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) than HTN group (p < 0.05). On the other hand, the levels of age- and BMI-adjusted intracellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), adiponectin and high molecular weight (HMW)-adiponectin were not significantly different between the groups.
In conclusion, our results showed increased inflammatory marker, reduced antioxidant potential and EPA levels in treated hypertensive patients in the presence of MetS, suggesting the importance of changes of therapeutic lifestyle to modify the features of MetS.
Metabolic syndrome X; hypertension; oxidative stress; eicosapentaenoic acid; antioxidants; cytokines
Background and Objectives
Recent studies have demonstrated the usefulness of biochemical markers of collagen turnover as markers of myocardial fibrosis in various diseases. In this study, we hypothesized that increased collagen markers in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) were correlated with diastolic function at rest and diastolic functional reserve during exercise.
Subjects and Methods
Thirty-six patients with HCM and 21 controls with normal left ventricular thickness were studied. Mitral septal annular velocities and mitral inflow velocities were measured at rest and during graded supine bicycle exercise (25 W, 3-minute increments) for the assessment of diastolic function at rest and during exercise. By radioimmunoassay, a byproduct of collagen III synthesis (PIIINP) and peptides resulting from collagen I synthesis (PINP) and degradation (ICTP) were measured. The patients with HCM were divided into two groups according to the median value of the PINP/ICTP ratio in the group.
At rest, the mitral annular early diastolic velocity (E') was lower and the E/E' was higher in the patients with HCM with high a PINP/ICTP ratio compared with patients with HCM with a low PINP/ICTP ratio and controls (p<0.001, p=0.012). With exercise, the Doppler parameters were increased in all groups, but there was no significant difference in the change in E' and E/E' during exercise according to collagen turnover markers.
A higher PINP/ICTP ratio was associated with resting diastolic dysfunction in patients with HCM; however, there was no relationship with augmented diastolic dysfunction during exercise. We suggest that the type I collagen synthesis-to-degradation ratio is a useful marker of resting diastolic function in patients with HCM.
Cardiomyopathy hypertrophic; Collagen; Myocardial contraction, diastole; Exercise
Accurate assessment of mitral regurgitation (MR) severity is crucial for clinical decision-making and optimizing patient outcomes. Recent advances in real-time three dimensional (3D) echocardiography provide the option of real-time full volume color Doppler echocardiography (FVCD) measurements. This makes it practical to quantify MR by subtracting aortic stroke volume from the volume of mitral inflow in an automated manner.
Thirty-two patients with more than a moderate degree of MR assessed by transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) were consecutively enrolled during this study. MR volume was measured by 1) two dimensional (2D) Doppler TTE, using the proximal isovelocity surface area (PISA) and the volumetric quantification methods (VM). Then, 2) real time 3D-FVCD was subsequently obtained, and dedicated software was used to quantify the MR volume. MR volume was also measured using 3) phase contrast cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (PC-CMR). In each patient, all these measurements were obtained within the same day. Automated MR quantification was feasible in 30 of 32 patients.
The mean regurgitant volume quantified by 2D-PISA, 2D-VM, 3D-FVCD, and PC-CMR was 72.1 ± 27.7, 79.9 ± 36.9, 69.9 ± 31.5, and 64.2 ± 30.7 mL, respectively (p = 0.304). There was an excellent correlation between the MR volume measured by PC-CMR and 3D-FVCD (r = 0.85, 95% CI 0.70-0.93, p < 0.001). Compared with PC-CMR, Bland-Altman analysis for 3D-FVCD showed a good agreement (2 standard deviations: 34.3 mL) than did 2D-PISA or 2D-VM (60.0 and 62.8 mL, respectively).
Automated quantification of MR with 3D-FVCD is feasible and accurate. It is a promising tool for the real-time 3D echocardiographic assessment of patients with MR.
Mitral regurgitation; 3D echocardiography; Quantitative evaluation