Choosing the best anticoagulant therapy for a pregnant patient with a mechanical prosthetic valve is controversial and the published international guidelines contain no clear-cut consensus on the best approach. This is due to the fact that there is presently no anticoagulant which can reliably decrease thromboembolic events while avoiding damage to the fetus. Current treatments include either continuing oral warfarin or substituting warfarin for subcutaneous unfractionated heparin or low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) in the first trimester (6–12 weeks) or at any point throughout the pregnancy. However, LMWH, while widely-prescribed, requires close monitoring of the blood anti-factor Xa levels. Unfortunately, facilities for such monitoring are not universally available, such as within hospitals in developing countries. This review evaluates the leading international guidelines concerning anticoagulant therapy in pregnant patients with mechanical prosthetic valves as well as proposing a simplified guideline which may be more relevant to hospitals in this region.
Heart Valve Prosthesis; Pregnancy; Warfarin; Low-Molecular-Weight Heparin; Thrombosis
Native aortic valve or its prosthetic valve endocarditis can extend to the adjacent periannular areas and erode into nearby cardiac chambers, leading to pseudoaneurysm and aorta-cavitary fistulas respectively. The later usually leads to acute cardiac failure and hemodynamic instability requiring an urgent surgical intervention. However rarely this might pass unnoticed and the patient might present later with cardiac murmur. Percutaneous device closure of aortic pseudoaneurysm, ruptured sinus of Valsalva aneurysm, aorta-pulmonary window, paravalvular leaks, and aorta-cavitary fistula have been reported. We present a 59-year-old female who developed a large aortic root pseudoaneurysm with biventricular communication aorta-cavitary fistulas presenting late following aortic prosthetic valve endocarditis. She underwent successful percutaneous device closure of her pseudoaneurysm and aorta-cavitary fistulas using two Amplatzer Duct Occluders. This case illustrates a challenging combination of aortic root pseudoaneurysm and biventricular aorta-cavitary fistulas that was successfully treated with percutaneous procedure.
Pseudoaneurysm; Aorta-cavitary fistula; Device closure; Endocarditis
We report a 65-year-old male patient who presented with right heart failure and a large mobile right atrial and ventricular mass on echocardiography. His computed tomography demonstrated bilateral supraclavicular/mediastinal lymphadenopathy, right atrial and ventricular mass with right pulmonary artery segmental embolism, and multiple liver hypodense lesions. His tumor markers were negative. However, fine-needle aspiration cytology of supraclavicular lymph node revealed metastatic carcinoma suggestive of squamous cell carcinoma. He was suspected to have carcinoma of unknown primary origin. This case illustrates a rare presentation of carcinoma of unknown primary origin with disseminated tumor thrombosis primarily manifesting in heart and other sites.
Carcinoma of unknown primary; cardiac metastasis; right atrium; tumor thrombosis
In 2012, Oman Heart Association (OHA) published its own guidelines for the management of patients with unstable angina/non–ST-elevation myocardial infarction, the aim was not to be comprehensive but rather simplified and practical in order to reduce the gap between the long comprehensive guidelines and our actual practice. However, we still feel that the busy registrars and residents need simpler and direct clinical pathways or protocol to be used in the emergency departments, coronary care units and in the wards. Clinical pathways are now one of the main tools used to manage the quality in healthcare concerning the standardization of care processes. It has been shown that their implementation reduces the variability in clinical practice and improves outcomes in acute care.
Acute coronary syndrome; Non-ST elevation; Unstable angina; Myocardial infarction; Oman Heart Association
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.
Acute heart failure; gulf; heart failure; middle east
Traditionally, tricuspid valve endocarditis is uncommon in the Middle East region. However, recent global data indicate growing trends in the use of illicit drug abuse, specifically injectable heroin, in the Middle East Gulf region. The presence of many transit port services in the Middle East Gulf States has led to smuggling of substance abuse drugs in the region. The Middle East Gulf States, currently a transit market, are also becoming a growing consumer market in view of the increased substance abuse in the youth. However, there is a paucity of data with respect to the prevalence or incidence of tricuspid valve endocarditis in the region, probably due to underdiagnosis or underreporting. A high index of suspicion of tricuspid valve endocarditis is essential in patients with a history of intravenous drug abuse. This article reviews the epidemiology of illicit drug abuse in the Middle East Gulf region, as well as the diagnosis and treatment of tricuspid valve endocarditis, and calls for all physicians in the region to be vigilant while dealing with intravenous drug abuse.
Drug abuser; Illicit drugs; Infective endocarditis; Tricuspid valve; Middle East
Double valve aneurysms in a single patient are a rare occurrence and even rare finding is occurrence of double perforation of anterior mitral leaflet aneurysm. We present an adult patient with bicuspid aortic valve, coarctation of aorta and previous endocarditis presenting late with these rare abnormalities.
Mitral leaflet aneurysm; Aortic leaflet aneurysm; Perforation
VACTERL association is a non-random association of birth defects of unknown etiology derived from structures of embryonic mesoderm. The common cardiac defects seen with VACTERL association are ventricular septal defects, atrial septal defects, and tetralogy of Fallot. We present a 2-year-old child with VACTERL association in whom we detected double-chambered left ventricle on transthoracic echocardiography.
Double-chambered left ventricle; VACTERL association; birth defects
Aneurysms of mediastinal systemic veins are extremely rare, usually asymptomatic and incidentally diagnosed during chest radiography. We describe the case of a giant superior vena caval aneurysm in a 14-year old male following Glenn surgery and discuss its complications and management.
Superior vena caval aneurysm
Aortic root abscess in patients with aortic endocarditis is not uncommon. Aortic root abscess may cause persistent sepsis, worsening heart failure, conduction abnormalities, fistula formation, and an increased need for surgery. We present a young patient with aortic root abscess presenting as pyrexia of unknown origin. She had acute severe aortic and mitral regurgitation which produced very soft murmurs that were easily missed. This report reiterates that a high index of suspicion is needed in suspecting valvular endocarditis as well as a comprehensive transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiographic examination to diagnose complications like aortic root abscess.
Accessory mitral valve tissue is commonly associated with other congenital heart diseases and is usually detected in children causing left ventricular outflow tract obstruction. We present an adult patient with isolated non-obstructive accessory mitral valve tissue that was mimicking ruptured chordae of the mitral valve. Accessory mitral valve tissue in adults is very rare and can mimick various causes of left ventricular outflow tract obstruction. This patient represents the first case in literature wherein an unobstructive accessory mitral valve tissue simulated a ruptured chordae. This case illustrates that in patients with suspected mitral valve chordae rupture without any mitral regurgitation, this diagnosis should be considered, which can have therapeutic implications.
Accessory mitral valve tissue; Echocardiography; Ruptured chordae
Pericarditis with pericardial effusion in acute coronary syndrome is seen in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction specifically when infarction is anterior, extensive, and Q wave. It is very uncommon to have pericardial effusion in a patient with non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction. We present an elderly hypertensive patient who was diagnosed as non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction with pericardial effusion that turned out to be acute aortic dissection with catastrophic end. We conclude that, in patients with suspected diagnosis of non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction or unstable angina, if pericardial effusion is detected on echocardiography, aortic dissection needs to be considered.
A 55-year-old chronic alcoholic male known to be positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was admitted to a surgical ward following perianal abscess drainage. He was noted to have sinus bradycardia, ventricular premature complexes, and mild hypotension. His laboratory investigations revealed mild hypokalaemia. He was intermittently agitated and alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) was diagnosed. Postoperatively, he received intravenous piperacillin/tazobactam and metronidazole infusions along with a small dose of dopamine. Analysis of a 24-hour Holter monitor (ECG) showed a prolonged QT interval with two episodes of self-terminating torsade de pointes. His AWS was treated, hypokalaemia was corrected, and dopamine, along with antibiotics, was withdrawn. There was no recurrence of arrhythmias. This case highlights the importance of avoiding QT-prolonging drugs in hospitalised patients, since hospitalised patients often have multiple risk factors for a proarrhythmic response.
Torsade de pointes; QT interval; QT prolongation; QT-prolonging drugs; Alcohol withdrawal syndrome; Human immunodeficiency virus; Case report; Oman
This study aimed to evaluate the epidemiology and coronary risk factors of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in Oman.
Data were collected through a prospective, multinational, multicentre survey of consecutive patients, hospitalised over a 5-month period in 2007 with a diagnosis of ACS, in Yemen and five Arabian Gulf countries (Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates). Here we present data of Omani patients aged ≥20 years who received a provisional diagnosis of ACS and were consequently admitted to 14 different hospitals.
There where 1,340 confirmed ACS episodes in 748 men and 592 women (median age 61 years). The overall crude incidence rate of ACS was 338.9 per 100,000 person-years (P-Y). The age-standardised rate (ASR) of ACS was 779 and 674 per 100,000 P-Y for men and women, respectively. The ASR male-to-female rate ratio was highest in the ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) group (2.26, 95% confidence interval ([CI], 1.63 to 3.15) followed by the non-STEMI (NSTEMI) group (1.68, 95% CI 1.28 to 2.21) and unstable angina (0.79, 95% CI 0.66 to 0.99). Unstable angina accounted for 55%, STEMI for 26% and NSTEMI for 19% of ACS cases. Among the coronary risk factors, there was a high prevalence of hypertension (68%), diabetes mellitus (DM) (36%), hyperlipidaemia (63%), and overweight/obesity (65%), with a relatively low rate of current tobacco use (11%).
Our study confirms a high incidence of ACS in Omanis and supports the notion that the cardiovascular disease epidemic is also sweeping developing countries.
Acute coronary syndrome; Incidence; Cardiovascular disease; Ischemic heart disease; Risk factors; Oman
Currently recommended risk stratification protocols for suspected ischemic chest pain in the emergency department (ED) includes point-of-care availability of exercise treadmill/nuclear tests or CT coronary angiograms. These tests are not widely available for most of the ED’s. This study aims to prospectively validate the safety of a predefined 4-hour accelerated diagnostic protocol (ADP) using chest pain, ECG, and troponin T among suspected ischemic chest pain patients presenting to an ED of a tertiary care hospital in Oman.
One hundred and thirty-two patients aged over 18 years with suspected ischemic chest pain presenting within 12 hours of onset along with normal or non-diagnostic first ECG and negative first troponin T (<0.010 μg/l) were recruited from September 2008 to February 2009. Low-probability acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients at 4-hours defined as absent chest pain and negative ECG or troponin tests were discharged home and observed for 30-days for major adverse cardiac events (MACE) (Group I: negative ADP). High-probability ACS patients at 4-hours were defined by recurrent or persistent chest pain, positive ECG or troponin tests and were admitted and observed for in-hospital MACE (Group II: positive ADP).
One hundred and thirty-two patients were recruited and 110 patients completed the study. The overall 30-day MACE in this cohort was 15% with a mortality of less than 1%. 30-days MACE occurred in 8/95 of group I patients (8.4%) and 9/15 of the in-hospital MACE patients in group II. The ADP had a sensitivity of 52% (95% CI: 0.28-0.76), specificity of 93% (0.85-0.97), a negative predictive value of 91% (0.83-0.96), a positive predictive value of 60% (0.32-0.82), negative likelihood ratio of 0.5 (0.30-0.83) and a positive likelihood ratio of 8.2 (3.3-20) in predicting MACE.
A 4-hour ADP using chest pain, ECG, and troponin T had high specificity and negative predictive value in predicting 30-day MACE among low probability ACS patients discharged from ED. However, 30-day MACE in ADP negative patients was relatively high in contrast to guideline recommendations. Hence, there is a need to establish ED chest pain unit and adopt new protocols especially adding a point-of-care exercise treadmill test in the ED.
Emergency department; Accelerated diagnostic protocol; Acute coronary syndrome; MACE; Exercise treadmill test; Chest pain unit
Little is known about thrombolytic therapy patterns in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in the Middle East. The objective of this study was to evaluate the clinical profile and mortality of STEMI patients who arrived in hospital within 12 hours from pain onset and received thrombolytic therapy.
Patients and Methods:
This was a prospective, multinational, multi-centre, observational survey of consecutive acute coronary syndrome patients admitted to 65 hospitals in six Middle Eastern countries during the period between October 2008 and June 2009, as part of Gulf RACE-II (Registry of Acute Coronary Events). Analyses were performed using univariate statistics.
Out of 2,465 STEMI patients, 66% (n = 1,586) were thrombolysed with namely: streptokinase (43%), reteplase (44%), tenecteplase (10%), and alteplase (3%). 22.7% received no reperfusion. Median age of the study cohort was 50 (45-59) years with majority being males (91%). The overall median symptom onset-to-presentation and door-to-needle times were 165 (95- 272) minutes and 38 (24-60) minutes, respectively. Generally, patients presenting with higher GRACE risk scores were treated with newer thrombolytic agents (reteplase and tenecteplase) (P < 0.001). The use of newer thrombolytic agents was associated with a significantly lower mortality at both 1-month (0.8% vs. 1.7% vs. 4.2%; P = 0.014) and 1-year (0% vs. 1.7% vs. 3.4%; P = 0.044) compared to streptokinase use.
Majority of STEMI patients from the Middle East were thrombolysed with streptokinase and reteplase in equal numbers. Nearly one-fifth of patients did not receive any reperfusion therapy. There was inappropriately long symptom-onset to hospital presentation as well as door-to-needle times. Use of newer thrombolytic agents in high risk patients was appropriate. Newer thrombolytic agents were associated with significantly lower mortality at 1-month and 1-year compared to the older agent, streptokinase.
Acute coronary syndrome; GRACE score; Middle East; mortality; reteplase; STEMI; streptokinase; tenecteplase; thrombolytic therapy
Management of warfarin-induced major bleeding in patients with mechanical heart valves is challenging. There is vast controversy and confusion in the type of treatment required to reverse anticoagulation and stop bleeding as well as the ideal time to restart warfarin therapy safely without recurrence of bleeding and/or thromboembolism. Presently, the treatments available to reverse warfarin-induced bleeding are vitamin K, fresh frozen plasma, prothrombin complex concentrates and recombinant activated factor VIIa. Currently, vitamin K and fresh frozen plasma are the recommended treatments in patients with mechanical heart valves and warfarin-induced major bleeding. The safe use of prothrombin complex concentrates and recombinant activated factor VIIa in patients with mechanical heart valves is controversial and needs well-designed clinical studies. With regard to restarting anticoagulation in patients with warfarin-induced major bleeding and mechanical heart valves, the safe period varies from 7-14 d after the onset of bleeding for patients with intracranial bleed and 48-72 h for patients with extra-cranial bleed. In this review article, we present relevant literature about these controversies and suggest recommendations for management of patients with warfarin-induced bleeding and a mechanical heart valve. Furthermore, there is an urgent need for separate specific guidelines from major associations/ professional societies with regard to mechanical heart valves and warfarin-induced bleeding.
Warfarin; Major bleeding; Mechanical heart valve; Thromboembolism; Vitamin K; Fresh frozen plasma; Prothrombin complex concentrate; Recombinant activated factor VIIa
A 60-year-old male hypertensive was suspected to have post myocardial infarction left ventricular aneurysm. His transthoracic echocardiogram performed elsewhere reported an inferior wall left ventricular aneurysm. He was referred for coronary angiography. His coronary angiogram and repeat transthoracic echocardiogram demonstrated an accessory chamber arising from mid-inferior wall synchronously contracting with the left ventricle suggesting a diverticulum. In addition, he had anomalous coronary arteries with coronary artery disease. His electrocardiogram did not reveal any features suggestive of a post infarct aneurysm. This case illustrates the importance of a comprehensive clinical and echocardiographic examination with a broad differential thought process.
Left ventricular diverticulum; Left ventricular aneurysm; Coronary anomaly
We used prospective cohort data of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) to compare their management on weekdays/mornings with weekends/nights, and the possible impact of this on 1-month and 1-year mortality. Analyses were evaluated using univariate and multivariate statistics. Of the 4,616 patients admitted to hospitals with ACS, 76% were on weekdays. There were no significant differences in 1-month (odds ratio (OR), 0.88; 95% CI: 0.68-1.14) and 1-year mortality (OR, 0.88; 95% CI: 0.70-1.10), respectively, between weekday and weekend admissions. Similarly, there were no significant differences in 1-month (OR, 0.92; 95% CI: 0.73-1.15) and 1-year mortality (OR, 0.98; 95% CI: 0.80-1.20), respectively, between nights and day admissions. In conclusion, apart from lower utilization of angiography (P < .001) at weekends, there were largely no significant discrepancies in the management and care of patients admitted with ACS on weekdays and during morning hours compared with patients admitted on weekends and night hours, and the overall 30-day and 1-year mortality was similar between both the cohorts.
Acute coronary syndrome; Weekend; Weekday; Mortality; Admission.
Fahr's disease is a rare neurodegenerative disorder of unknown cause characterized by idiopathic basal ganglia calcification that is associated with neuropsychiatric and cognitive impairment. No case of Fahr's disease with associated cardiac conduction disease has been described in the literature to date. The objective of this case report was to describe a young female with various cardiac conduction system abnormalities and bilateral basal ganglia calcification suggestive of Fahr's disease.
A 19-year-old female was transferred to our hospital for a pacemaker insertion. Her past medical history included cognitive impairment and asymptomatic congenital complete heart block since birth. Her manifestations included cognitive impairment, tremors, rigidity, ataxia, bilateral basal ganglia calcification without clinical manifestations of mitochondrial cytopathy. She also had right bundle branch block, left anterior fascicular block, intermittent complete heart block, atrial arrhythmias with advanced atrioventricular blocks and ventricular asystole manifested by Stokes-Adams seizures, which was diagnosed as epilepsy.
According to our knowledge, this was the first case report of a su spected association between Fahr's disease and isolated cardiac conduction system disease. In addition, this case illustrated that in patients with heart blocks and seizures, a diagnosis of epilepsy needs to be made with caution and such patients need further evaluations by a cardiologist or electrophysiologist to consider pacing and prevent future catastrophic events.
Fahr's Disease; Basal Ganglia Calcification; Cardiac Conduction Defect; Congenital Heart Block; Epilepsy
A 44-year-old man presented with acute coronary syndrome. He was administered glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor antagonist (tirofiban) for a left anterior descending artery thrombus detected during percutaneous coronary intervention. He developed very severe thrombocytopenia 24 h after tirofiban infusion with no signs of bleeding. The thrombocytopenia spontaneously resolved after stopping tirofiban without any significant clinical sequelae. To our knowledge, this is the first case report of tirofiban-induced severe thrombocytopenia from the Middle East. Clinicians using this drug should be aware of this potentially lethal adverse drug reaction. Close monitoring of platelet count early after the initiation of tirofiban infusion is suggested and discontinuation of tirofiban infusion can reverse thrombocytopenia spontaneously.
Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor antagonist; thrombocytopenia; tirofiban
Ischemic stroke secondary to aortic dissection is not uncommon. We present a patient with left hemiplegia secondary to Stanford type A aortic dissection extending to the supra-aortic vessels, which was precipitated by rifle butt recoil chest injury. The diagnosis of aortic dissection was delayed due to various factors. Finally, the patient underwent successful Bentall procedure with complete resolution of symptoms. This case emphasizes the need for caution in the use of firearms for recreation and to take precautions in preventing such incidents. In addition, this case illustrates the need for prompt cardiovascular physical examination in patients presenting with stroke.
Aortic dissection; Hemiplegia; Stroke; Recoil injury