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1.  Rationale, Design, Methodology and Hospital Characteristics of the First Gulf Acute Heart Failure Registry (Gulf CARE) 
There is paucity of data on heart failure (HF) in the Gulf Middle East. The present paper describes the rationale, design, methodology and hospital characteristics of the first Gulf acute heart failure registry (Gulf CARE).
Materials and Methods:
Gulf CARE is a prospective, multicenter, multinational registry of patients >18 year of age admitted with diagnosis of acute HF (AHF). The data collected included demographics, clinical characteristics, etiology, precipitating factors, management and outcomes of patients admitted with AHF. In addition, data about hospital readmission rates, procedures and mortality at 3 months and 1-year follow-up were recorded. Hospital characteristics and care provider details were collected. Data were entered in a dedicated website using an electronic case record form.
A total of 5005 consecutive patients were enrolled from February 14, 2012 to November 13, 2012. Forty-seven hospitals in 7 Gulf States (Oman, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Kuwait, United Gulf Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain) participated in the project. The majority of hospitals were community hospitals (46%; 22/47) followed by non-University teaching (32%; 15/47 and University hospitals (17%). Most of the hospitals had intensive or coronary care unit facilities (93%; 44/47) with 59% (28/47) having catheterization laboratory facilities. However, only 29% (14/47) had a dedicated HF clinic facility. Most patients (71%) were cared for by a cardiologist.
Gulf CARE is the first prospective registry of AHF in the Middle East, intending to provide a unique insight into the demographics, etiology, management and outcomes of AHF in the Middle East. HF management in the Middle East is predominantly provided by cardiologists. The data obtained from this registry will help the local clinicians to identify the deficiencies in HF management as well as provide a platform to implement evidence based preventive and treatment strategies to reduce the burden of HF in this region.
PMCID: PMC4062990  PMID: 24949181
Acute heart failure; gulf; heart failure; middle east
2.  A case report of a right ventricular mass in a patient with Behçet’s disease: Myxoma or thrombus? 
Behçet’s disease (BD) is a multi-system, chronic and relapsing disorder classified as “vasculitic syndrome”. It typically affects young adult females between 20 and 40 years of age. There are some typical clinical manifestations associated with this disease, however, at times; rare sign and symptoms pose a challenge to the treating physician and making a definitive diagnosis. Presentations with cardiac symptoms are one of the extremely rare manifestations of the Behçet’s disease.
The authors present clinical, laboratory and imaging findings of a patient who presented with a cardiac mass which was the first presenting feature or manifestation of Behçet’s disease.
A 19-year-old boy was admitted to our hospital for the investigation of “fever of unknown origin”, weight loss, shortness of breath and a scrotal ulcer of recent on-set. X-ray chest and electrocardiograms were inconclusive. Transthoracic echocardiography revealed a right ventricular (RV) mass attached to the interventricular septum measuring 1.5 × 1.5 cms (Panel A). Cardiac MRI identified it as a RV Myxoma. In addition, on CT scan of the chest pulmonary embolism was noted. The patient underwent excision biopsy of the tumor under cardiopulmonary bypass via right atriotomy (Panel B). Histopathology of the mass described it as “an organizing thrombus with a few groups of interrupted myocardial fibers and some infiltration of lymphocytes and plasma cells”. Moreover his HLA typing was found positive for HLA-B51 (5). In view of the above findings and associated lesions, the patient was diagnosed as a case of Behçet’s disease. The medical management included immunosuppressant and anticoagulation.
Behçet’s disease, even in the absence of the typical clinical features, should be considered in the differential diagnosis of right ventricular mass, especially when dealing with young adults from the Mediterranean basin and the Middle-East.
PMCID: PMC3809470  PMID: 24174852
Right ventricular mass; Scrotal ulcer; Behçet’s disease; HLA-B; B51(5)
3.  Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes of Patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome and Prior Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting in a Large Middle Eastern Cohort 
Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) can occur in patients with prior coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). In the Gulf Registry of acute coronary events (Gulf RACE), we identified the clinical characteristics and in-hospital outcomes of these patients.
Clinical characteristics and in-hospital outcomes for 461 ACS patients with prior CABG are compared to 7715 ACS patients without prior CABG enrolled from 64 hospitals in 6 Gulf countries over a 6-month period.
The overall incidence of ACS with prior CABG was 5.6% out of 8176 patients. The ACS with prior CABG were older (63 vs 55 years, P<0.0001), had more history of diabetes (62.3 vs 37.6%, P <0.0001), dyslipidemia (70.3 vs 29.5%, P<0.0001), and hypertension (75.7 vs 47.8%, P<0.0001) compared with the non-CABG group. They presented more frequently with dyspnea (14.8 vs 9.5%, P<0.0005), non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (41.4 vs 31.6%, P<0.0001) and echocardiographic evidence of left ventricular dysfunction (49.4 vs 29.8%, P<0.0001) than ACS without prior CABG. They had a complicated in-hospital course with more recurrent ischemia (13.9 vs 9.3%, P=0.0011), heart failure (24.1 vs 15.7%), and stroke (2.2 vs 0.6%) compared with those without CABG. The in-hospital mortality rate was 5.6% in the CABG group compared with 3.5% in the ACS without prior CABG group. After adjusting for confounders, prior CABG was independently associated with recurrent ischemia and shock, more in patients presenting with ST elevation than non-ST elevation ACS.
Patients with ACS and prior CABG are a high-risk group with poor outcomes irrespective of their older age and comorbidities. They should be identified and treated differently to improve their outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3170976  PMID: 21915225
Acute Coronary Syndrome; Angioplasty; Comorbidity; Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting; Risk factors; Stroke.
4.  Prevalence, Predictors, and Impact of Low High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol on in-Hospital Outcomes Among Acute Coronary Syndrome Patients in the Middle East 
To estimate the prevalence, predictors, and impact of low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) on in-hospital outcomes among acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients in the Middle East.
Data were collected prospectively from 6,266 consecutive patients admitted with a diagnosis of ACS and enrolled in the Gulf Registry of Acute Coronary Events (Gulf RACE). A low HDL-C was defined as a level <40 mg/Dl (1.0 mmol/L) for males and <50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) for females. Analyses were performed using univariate and multivariate statistical techniques.
The overall mean age of the cohort was 56±12 years and majority were males (77%). The overall prevalence of low HDL-C was 62%. During in-hospital stay and at discharge, the majority were on statin therapy (83%) while 10% were on other cholesterol lowering agents. After adjustment of demographic and clinical characteristics, the predictors for low HDL-C were higher body mass index (BMI), prior myocardial infarction (MI), diabetes mellitus, smoking and impaired renal function. Multivariable adjustment revealed that low HDL-C was associated with higher in-hospital mortality (odds ratio (OR), 1.54; 95% CI: 1.06-2.24; p=0.022) and cardiogenic shock (OR, 1.61; 95% CI: 1.20-2.14; p=0.001).
ACS patients in the Middle East have a high prevalence of low HDL-C. Higher BMI, prior MI, diabetes mellitus, smoking, and impaired renal function were predictors of low HDL-C. Significantly higher in-hospital mortality and cardiogenic shock were associated with low HDL-C in men but not in women.
PMCID: PMC3178900  PMID: 21966331
High density lipoprotein cholesterol; low density lipoprotein cholesterol; triglycerides; acute coronary syndrome; myocardial infarction; gender; Middle East.
5.  Prominent crista terminalis mimicking a right atrial mass: case report 
The crista terminalis is a normal anatomical structure within the right atrium that is not normally visualised in the standard views obtained while performing a transthoracic echocardiogram. In this case report, transthoracic echocardiography suggested the presence of a right atrial mass in a patient with end stage renal disease. However, subsequent transesophageal echocardiography revealed that the right atrial mass was actually a thick muscular bridge in the right atrium consistent with a prominent crista terminalis. An understanding of the anatomy and the echocardiographic appearance of a prominent crista terminalis will minimize the misdiagnosis of this structure avoiding unnecessary expensive additional tests.
PMCID: PMC2984405  PMID: 20958991
6.  Tenecteplase in prosthetic mitral valve thrombosis 
In the few reported cases of prosthetic mitral valve thrombosis, where surgical intervention was considered as high risk, fibrinolytic therapy had proved life saving. The authors present clinical, laboratory, and imaging data from such a patient, with prosthetic mitral valve thrombosis and its successful management with tenecteplase. The use of tenecteplase as a viable fibrinolytic agent for the first time was justified, due to the lack of immunogenicity concerns compared to streptokinase.
PMCID: PMC3727512  PMID: 23960644
Prosthetic valve; Thrombosis; Tenecteplase
7.  Inflammatory Myofibroblastic Tumor of the Right Atrium 
Case Reports in Medicine  2010;2010:695216.
Cardiac inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor (IMT) is a rare entity and is associated with distinct clinical, pathological and molecular features. The clinical behavior, natural history, biological potential, management and prognosis of such tumors are unclear. We present herewith an adolescent girl who presented with similar entity involving the junction of the right atrium and the inferior vena cava (IVC) in association with thrombocytosis and IVC thrombosis leading to obstruction of blood flow. Diagnostic tools included imaging and immuno-histopathology studies. Surgical management included resection of the tumor and thrombo-embolectomy of the IVC under cardiopulmonary bypass. This case is unique due to association of complete obstruction of IVC caused by the strategic location of the tumor, thrombosis of vena cava and association of thrombocytosis. These features have not been reported yet in relation to the cardiac IMT. This report will help in better understanding and management of similar cases in terms of planning cannulation of femoral veins or application of total hypothermic circulatory arrest during cardiopulmonary bypass and prompt us to look for recurrence or metastasis during follow up using echocardiography and laboratory investigations. The possibility of IMT should be kept in the differential diagnosis of cardiac tumors especially in children and adolescents.
PMCID: PMC2945675  PMID: 20886029
8.  Relationship between B-type natriuretic peptide levels and echocardiographic indices of left ventricular filling pressures in post-cardiac surgery patients 
B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is increased in post-cardiac surgery patients, however the mechanisms underlying BNP release are still unclear. In the current study, we aimed to assess the relationship between postoperative BNP levels and left ventricular filling pressures in post-cardiac surgery patients.
We prospectively enrolled 134 consecutive patients referred to our Center 8 ± 5 days after cardiac surgery. BNP was sampled at hospital admission and related to the following echocardiographic parameters: left ventricular (LV) diastolic volume (DV), LV systolic volume (SV), LV ejection fraction (EF), LV mass, relative wall thickness (RWT), indexed left atrial volume (iLAV), mitral inflow E/A ratio, mitral E wave deceleration time (DT), ratio of the transmitral E wave to the Doppler tissue early mitral annulus velocity (E/E').
A total of 124 patients had both BNP and echocardiographic data. The BNP values were significantly elevated (mean 353 ± 356 pg/ml), with normal value in only 17 patients (13.7%). Mean LVEF was 59 ± 10% (LVEF ≥50% in 108 pts). There was no relationship between BNP and LVEF (p = 0.11), LVDV (p = 0.88), LVSV (p = 0.50), E/A (p = 0.77), DT (p = 0.33) or RWT (p = 0.50). In contrast, BNP was directly related to E/E' (p < 0.001), LV mass (p = 0.006) and iLAV (p = 0.026). At multivariable regression analysis, age and E/E' were the only independent predictors of BNP levels.
In post-cardiac surgery patients with overall preserved LV systolic function, the significant increase in BNP levels is related to E/E', an echocardiographic parameter of elevated LV filling pressures which indicates left atrial pressure as a major determinant in BNP release in this clinical setting.
PMCID: PMC2779791  PMID: 19863802

Results 1-8 (8)