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1.  Plasma Fibulin-1 Is Linked to Restrictive Filling of the Left Ventricle and to Mortality in Patients With Aortic Valve Stenosis 
Background
Plasma fibulin-1 levels have been associated with N-terminal pro–B-type natriuretic peptide levels and left atrial size and shown to be predictive of mortality in patients with diabetes. The mechanisms behind these connections are not fully understood but are probably related to its roles as an extracellular matrix protein in cardiovascular tissues.
Methods and Results
One hundred twenty-five patients with severe aortic stenosis who were scheduled for aortic valve replacement (AVR) were evaluated with preoperative echocardiography and their plasma fibulin-1 levels were determined with ELISA. The cohort was followed for a median of 4 years after AVR. Increased restrictive left ventricular (LV) filling pattern was observed with increased plasma fibulin-1 levels (2% versus 29% versus 24% in low, middle, and high plasma fibulin-1 tertile groups, P=0.004). Likewise, reduced longitudinal systolic LV function (6.6±1.1 versus 6.1±1.3 versus 5.7±1.5 cm/s, P=0.05) and increased LV filling pressures was systolic velocity of the mitral annulus observed with increasing plasma fibulin-1 concentrations (ratio of early transmitral flow velocity to early diastolic flow velocity of the mitral annulus 13±4 versus 15±5 versus 16±6 in the fibulin-1 tertile groups, P=0.04).
Conclusions
In patients with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis undergoing AVR, plasma fibulin-1 is associated with restrictive filling of the LV, decreased longitudinal systolic function of the LV, and increased LV filling pressures.
Clinical Trial Registration
URL: http://www.clinicaltrial.gov with Identifier: NCT00294775
doi:10.1161/JAHA.112.003889
PMCID: PMC3540672  PMID: 23316326
aortic valve stenosis; biomarkers; diastolic function; echocardiography
2.  Emergency coronary angiography in comatose cardiac arrest patients: do real-life experiences support the guidelines? 
Aims:
To describe the use of emergency coronary angiography (CAG) and primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and the association with short- and long-term survival in consecutive comatose survivors after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA).
Methods:
In the period 2004–10, a total of 479 consecutive patients with OHCA of suspected cardiac cause were referred to a tertiary cardiac centre, 360 patients were comatose and admitted to the ICU for post-resuscitative care. The population was stratified in two groups according to the pattern of the first ECG obtained after re-established circulation; ST-segment elevation (STEMI, n=116) and ECG without STEMI pattern (No-STEMI, n=244). Emergency CAG (≤12 hours after OHCA) was performed at the discretion of the attending cardiologist. Primary outcome was 30-day and 1-year survival.
Results:
Emergency CAG was performed in all patients in the STEMI group compared to 82 (34%) in the group without STEMI pattern (p<0.0001) with significant coronary lesions found in 108 (93%) compared to 43 (52%) patients, respectively (p<0.0001). Survival at 30 day according to emergency CAG vs. no emergency CAG was 65% in the STEMI group compared to 66% and 54% in the group without STEMI pattern (p log-rank=0.11). The use of emergency CAG in the group without STEMI pattern was not associated with reduced mortality (HRadjusted=0.69, 95% CI 0.4–1.2, p=0.18).
Conclusions:
In comatose survivors of OHCA presenting with STEMI, a high prevalence of coronary disease and culprit lesions suitable for emergency PCI was found, whereas in patients without STEMI pattern, significant coronary stenosis was less frequent. Clinical benefits of emergency CAG/PCI in comatose survivors of OHCA presenting without STEMI could not be identified.
doi:10.1177/2048872612465588
PMCID: PMC3760568  PMID: 24062920
Cardiac arrest; coronary angiography; coronary intervention; hypothermia; outcome; survival
3.  Prevalence of infective endocarditis in patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia: the value of screening with echocardiography 
Aims
Staphylococcus aureus infective endocarditis (IE) is a critical medical condition associated with a high morbidity and mortality. In the present study, we prospectively evaluated the importance of screening with echocardiography in an unselected S. aureus bacteraemia (SAB) population.
Methods and results
From 1 January 2009 to 31 August 2010, a total of 244 patients with SAB at six Danish hospitals underwent screening echocardiography. The inclusion rate was 73% of all eligible patients (n= 336), and 53 of the 244 included patients (22%; 95% CI: 17–27%) were diagnosed with definite IE. In patients with native heart valves the prevalence was 19% (95% CI: 14–25%) compared with 38% (95% CI: 20–55%) in patients with prosthetic heart valves and/or cardiac rhythm management devices (P= 0.02). No difference was found between Main Regional Hospitals and Tertiary Cardiac Hospitals, 20 vs. 23%, respectively (NS). The prevalence of IE in high-risk patients with one or more predisposing condition or clinical evidence of IE were significantly higher compared with low-risk patients with no additional risk factors (38 vs. 5%; P < 0.001). IE was associated with a higher 6 months mortality, 14(26%) vs. 28(15%) in SAB patients without IE, respectively (P < 0.05).
Conclusion
SAB patients carry a high risk for development of IE, which is associated with a worse prognosis compared with uncomplicated SAB. The presenting symptoms and clinical findings associated with IE are often non-specific and echocardiography should always be considered as part of the initial evaluation of SAB patients.
doi:10.1093/ejechocard/jer023
PMCID: PMC3117467  PMID: 21685200
Infective endocarditis; Echocardiography; Staphylococcus aureus; Screening
4.  The prognostic importance of a history of hypertension in patients with symptomatic heart failure is substantially worsened by a short mitral inflow deceleration time 
Background
Hypertension is a common comorbidity in patients with heart failure and may contribute to development and course of disease, but the importance of a history of hypertension in patients with prevalent heart failure remains uncertain.
Methods
3078 consecutively hospitalized heart failure patients (NYHA classes II-IV) were screened for the EchoCardiography and Heart Outcome Study (ECHOS). The left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was estimated by 2 dimensional transthoracic echocardiography in all patients and a subgroup of 878 patients had additional data on pulsed wave Doppler assessment of transmitral flow available. A restrictive filling (RF) was defined as a mitral inflow deceleration time ≤140 ms. Patients were followed for a median of 6.8 (Inter Quartile Range 6.6-7.0) years and multivariable Cox regression models were used to assess the risk of all-cause mortality associated with hypertension.
Results
The study population had a mean age of 73 ± 11 years. 39% were female, 27% had a history of hypertension and 48% had a RF. Over the study period, 64% of the population died. Hypertension was not associated with increased risk of mortality, hazard ratio (HR) 0.95 (0.85-1.05). LVEF did not modify this relationship (p for interaction = 0.7), but RF pattern substantially influenced the outcomes associated with hypertension (p for interaction < 0.001); HR 0.75 (0.57-0.99) and 1.41 (1.08-1.84) in patients without and with RF, respectively.
Conclusions
In patients with symptomatic heart failure, a history of hypertension is associated with a substantially increased relative risk of mortality among patients with a restrictive transmitral filling pattern.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-12-30
PMCID: PMC3470965  PMID: 22533520

Results 1-4 (4)